How to vet residential contractors to prevent scams

How to vet residential contractors to prevent scams
Source: Pexels

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After severe weather events like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the historic flood in August of 2016, opportunist masquerading as licensed contractors scammed dozens of victims looking to repair and rebuild their homes.

Hoping to pump the breaks on the spread of scammers following severe weather in April, the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) hopes homeowners will remember the following tips before signing any contracts or handing over their hard earned money to contractors:

  • Get at least three itemized, detailed bids from licensed contractors.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors by clicking the link here.
  • Always require the contractor show you proof of insurance such as workman’s compensation and general liability insurance. Call that insurer to confirm coverage.
  • Do not agree to a large down payment.
  • If possible – accompany the contractor to the building supply store, pay for the materials yourself, and have materials delivered directly to the work-site.
  • Get a guarantee and a contract in writing. Any changes in the contract should be in writing and initialed by both parties.
  • Always pay contractors by check or money order and keep a receipt.
  • Write all checks to the company, not the individual worker.

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