DIY Helpful Tips

Buyer Beware: Storm Chasers, Insurance Games & Warranties

By Josh Minturn


Buyer Beware: Storm Chasers, Insurance Games & Warranties

July 7th, 2017
By: Josh Minturn

After a storm, homeowners usually want just one thing; for their home and their life to be back to normal as quickly as possible. But because of this mindset, homeowners are vulnerable to certain predatory practices that can leave your home in disrepair and your wallet flat. Here are 3 things you should think about before signing any contract for storm restoration services.

1. Is this contractor a Storm Chaser?
Storm Chasers are contractors that follow storms around the country setting up temporary shop in a town near you to take advantage of the volume of work available in any single market. Because roofing is not something you think about often, you may be unfamiliar with the local brands, and might not even think to ask if the contractor is local. If you run across one and want to use them, be sure to ask for all appropriate licensing information, check their BBB rating, and collect their permanent phone numbers (usually long-distance numbers) to ensure you are able to reach them once they have left town.

2. Is this contractor handling my insurance appropriately?
The good news is that your insurance company is likely going to pay for all or most of the damage to your house, and will pay you enough to replace your current roofing material with a comparable product. While this is an opportunity to upgrade your roof, siding, windows, etc. to a more premium product, you most certainly do not want to go backwards! This happens when a contractor fails to educate you on the type of product you have relative to what he is proposing you go back with. Much can be derived from the price point on the products, so if you see your insurance company is paying you $6 per square foot ($600 per 100 square feet) for an asbestos roof, and your contractor wants to put you in a $4 per square foot product ($400 per 100 square feet), you need to be sure to collect the difference or ask for a better product.

3. Is this contractor going to be able to honor any warranties offered?
A common practice in the industry is to offer a 1-5 year labor and materials warranty directly from the contractor in addition to whatever warranties are offered by the manufacturer for product defects. Of course, if that contractor is a Storm Chaser, you are going to have a hard time with any warranty claim once they have skipped town. If you want to ensure you will have service after the sale, be sure to select a local trusted brand that can help you with your roofing and other exterior needs.

Good luck homeowner! Remember, if you need a company you can trust to give you a second opinion on your next project, be sure to contact Lastime Exteriors at 402-330-0911.

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