Washington state officials are advising property owners to do their homework when it comes to hiring contractors to repair damage from winter weather.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries issued these tips to help property owners avoid dealing with bad contractors and shoddy repair work:
– Check whether a contractor is registered by visiting protectmyhome.net. Users can verify whether contractors are licensed, how long they have been in business and see the amount of their insurance coverage and bond.
– Beware of red flags, including contractors who ask to be paid in cash, have a check made out to someone other than the business, or work only evenings or on weekends. Unregistered contractors or scam artists typically use these tactics.
– Don’t pay in full until the job is done.
Officials advise property owners to take time in choosing a well-qualified, registered contractor. State law requires that contractors be registered to remove downed trees, replace gutters, fix fences or perform any other repair work on your property, according to L&I.
Hiring registered contractors also gives consumers some recourse if anything goes wrong with the repairs. Homeowners, for instance, can seek money from a contractor’s bond if a job is unfinished or poorly done.