We have a name for those who take advantage of homeowners that recently experienced a natural disaster - Storm Chasers.
These people usually are not from the area who descend on disaster stricken areas. They claim to be "handymen" but they're really scam artists. They say they'll fix up your storm damaged home, take your money, and then vanish without so much as lifting a hammer.
It's unfortunate. And it really happens.
Homeowners need to protect themselves, their families, their wallets, and their homes from such people. If your home is damaged by a hurricane or superstorm, we understand the urgency and need to fix your home as soon as possible. We advise you to take a little bit longer with the decision to avoid being the victim of a scam. Be wary of door-to-door handymen who just happen to be in your neighborhood and see you need some repair work, especially if they use scare tactics. Turn them down initially, ask for their contact information, and see if they continue down your street knocking on doors.
Here are a few steps to take so you don't get taken advantage of Storm Chasers:
- Make a list of potential handymen to use. Before you start your list, talk with your family, friends and neighbors to see who they've used. We all know a recommendation from someone you trust is best. If you're able, try to find the latest edition of your local newspaper for handymen advertisements, however, remember, advertising does not always equate to credible.
- Ask questions. Contact the handymen on your list and ask for references, what their experience is and what their abilities are. Remember, you're inviting these people into your home, don't be afraid to be picky.
- Make a list of what you need. Have a clear indication of the storm damage to your home and write it down. Though there are many handymen with a long list of skills, you can't assume anything. It's important to go over the list with the handyman before you hire them.
- Make sure the handyman is licensed and insured. It is completely reasonable to ask for proof of insurance and a current license, especially after experiencing a natural disaster. You're being protective and that's OK. Be sure to check expiration dates. Each state is different, if your able to, try to check with your local business inspector or city hall. And if your Internet connection is working, go online to your local Department of Business and Professional Regulation and look up information there. If the contractor does not have insurance, the liability of an accident could be your responsibility.
- Ask how the handyman charges. How does the handyman charge? By the hour, or by the job? Also ask how the handyman wants to be paid and if they provide free estimates.
All Mr. Handyman technicians are licensed, bonded and insured and our employees have an average of 10 years of general contracting experience. All of our technicians arrive wearing a Mr. Handyman uniform, in a clearly marked company van - on time, with their own tools and ready to work. They also clean up before they leave.
If you and your home have experienced a hurricane or superstorm, consider Mr. Handyman for your home repair services. You can contact us at 1.877.256.3376 or visit us online.