CAN A CONTRACTOR WAIVE MY DEDUCTIBLE?
In short no. On June 6, 2012 a new law was passed stating that a company can no longer waive your deductible on repairs done on an insurance claim.
HOW TO KNOW IF I HIRED A GOOD CONTRACTOR?
There are a few things to be cautious of. (1) If they ask for money up front. This is a red flag. They can walk with your money or start the job and not complete it, but they have your money and can stop work at anytime. (2) If they don’t have you sign a contract that protects you and the contractor. At Rathert Inc. we have a contract that specifies exactly what you have decided on down to the color of your paint. We also have each trade have the home owner sign off once they complete their part showing that you approve there work.
HIRING A CONTRACTOR
Once you have decided to remodel, build a deck, or build a new home you should start interviewing contractors. If doing insurance repairs, be wary of contractors that immediately want to know what you are getting from your insurance. This is a necessary step but need not be discussed immediately. Also do not hire any contractors that want you to pull permits “to save money”. This means they are not licensed.
RESEARCHING CONTRACTORS BEFORE HIRING
You can find out if the contractor is licensed and insured through the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department by going to their websites, clicking on the CONTRACTORS tab, then “Search By Name Or License Type”. Then enter either the business name or contractor’s name and their license will pull up.
Also check the Southern Colorado BBB and see if there are any complaints filed through them against the contractor. Just because it is on their signs or advertising it does not mean they are currently in good standing. Always go the the BBB website and confirm that they are still in good standing. Below is our link to the BBB. Rathert Inc. is an A+ Accredited Business.
HAVING THE CONTRACTOR PULL PERMITS PROTECTS YOU!
In several ways it is a protection. First it holds the contractor responsible to make sure that all the work is completed according to code and that it is finished. Building Departments keep track of permits pulled and if a contractor is not completing work your licensed gets suspended until all inspections are completed and passed. Second as mentioned everything is up to current code. So if at any time you have as insurance claim on your house, and it was not built or remodeled to code, they may decide not to pay your claim. And it is for safety issues making sure that electrical and HVAC won’t start fires or cause CO2 poisoning , structural walls are going to hold weight and not cause cracks in drywall or more serious issues.
WHAT PROJECTS NEED PERMITS PULLED?
Basically anything that involves structure, weather proofing, HVAC, most plumbing, or electrical changes. Different projects such as basement finishes, new decks, remodels if changing walls or changing electrical outlets.
WHAT IS ORDINANCE OF LAW AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT BUILDING AND REPAIRS?
Ordinance of law is part of your insurance policy that pays for the additional cost and or materials to have your home brought up to the latest building codes. If your policy does not include this it is still required by the city for you to have the house built to current building codes and must be paid out of pocket to complete the rebuilding. Fortunately most insurance policies have this and will pay additional money to bring your home up to code not just replace existing.
WHAT IF THE ESTIMATE FORM THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER IS NOT ENOUGH TO COVER COST OF REPAIRS?
Many times the cost to repair the home exceeds what the adjuster initially estimated on the home. This can happen for multiple reasons. To name a few, perhaps the adjuster missed some of the damage that was done to the home or after getting into the job it is discovered that there is additional work that needs to be done or perhaps in order to make the repairs look right more materials need to be replaced. There is no need to worry. What we do is contact your insurance and inform of the additional items needed to be done. Every insurance company and policy is slightly different but the contractor will usually meet or call the adjuster and explain what additional damage or materials are needed. Once it is shown that the work needed done is legitimate a supplemental payment is issued for the additional work and materials.