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Homeowners: What Should You Do After Storm Damage to Your Home

Howdy, this is Chris Bishop, a general contractor in Dallas and the greater DFW area. I've been in construction for over 30 years. Every year in Texas, we see strong thunderstorms including hail and wind that can damage our properties. Too many folks are left unprepared. 


Whether it’s not documenting properly for insurance claims or hiring a dishonest, storm chasing contracting company, we’ve seen our share of post storm nightmares. 


Bishop Builders is here to help you prepare for what you as a homeowner need to do before and after the storm damage happens. Don’t let your home become a storm damage nightmare. Here is my expert advice after 30 years helping homeowners with damage after a storm.



How to Spot and Avoid Contractor Scams and Storm Chasers

This may not be the best place to start chronologically, but it is, I believe, the most important thing that homeowners should be aware of when considering what to do after storm damage. 


Every year in Texas, there is something that happens to homeowners who have been affected by storm damage. Storm chasing, dishonest contractors come into town and often go door to door offering their services.


Unfortunately for the homeowner, many times this ends badly. I've heard many horror stories, many starting with the homeowner making a payment and ending with the work done badly, or not done at all. 


Many times these contractors will start the job with the larger part of the project, like the roof, and then disappear without completing the rest of the work leaving the homeowner scrambling to try to find a contractor willing to help with the smaller, lower cost jobs. 


Telltale Signs of a Storm Chaser Contractor Scam

So, how can you spot — and, more importantly, avoid — contractor scams?

Don't judge a book by it's cover. Just because contractor shows up at your doorstep and has a professional appearance doesn't guarantee their trustworthiness. Also, I know several highly skilled contractors who do not necessarily look all that professional. 


Many times these guys have been at other jobs and can't take the time to change clothes to be more presentable.  So, when you are getting bids from contractors after a storm or natural disaster, scrutinize their words and actions instead of their appearance. 


So, here are some red flags to look out for.


  • Arrive at your doorstep claiming to be "in the area."

  • Pressure you into making decisions without a written contract.

  • Insist that you pay upfront.

  • Ask you to secure any necessary permits on your own.

  • Dismiss your questions or concerns too quickly.

  • Use high-pressure sales tactics.

  • Make bold claims about their speed, efficiency.

  • Impersonate another well-known or established brand.

  • Make an offer that sounds “too good to be true”.

  • Discourage you from seeking quotes from other providers.


You may have additional red flags that resonate with you personally, in which case, it's advisable to either decline their offer or thoroughly vet them.


How can you find a reputable general contractor?


Verify Insurance

Ensure that the contractor is insured. Confirm that they have liability insurance to protect both you and their workers.


Get Multiple Bids

Obtain detailed written estimates from different contractors. Compare the scope of work, materials, labor costs, and project timelines. Be cautious of bids that are significantly lower than the others, as they may indicate subpar quality or hidden costs.


Check References

Ask the contractor for a list of references from previous storm repair projects. Contact these references to inquire about their experiences with the contractor, the quality of work, and whether the project was completed on time and within budget.


Inquire About Permits

Ensure the contractor is knowledgeable about local building codes and permitting requirements. They should be willing to handle the permitting process for you.


Review the Contract

Carefully review the contract, ensuring it includes all the necessary details, such as the scope of work, materials to be used, a project timeline, payment schedule, and warranty information. Don't proceed without a written and signed contract.


Communication and Professionalism

Pay attention to the contractor's communication and professionalism. A reputable contractor should be responsive, open to your questions and concerns, and clear in their communication.


Trust Your Instincts

If you have any doubts or feel uncomfortable with a contractor, it's best to continue your search for a more suitable and trustworthy option.


Get Everything in Writing

Before work begins, make sure all details, including changes to the project, are documented in writing. This helps avoid misunderstandings and disputes later.


What Homeowners Should Know: Documenting Possessions for Insurance Claims

The team at Bishop Builders has helped many families with storm damage restoration in the greater DFW metro area in the aftermath of catastrophic events.

Damages from tornadoes, wind, fire, storms...we've seen in all. One thing that is clear is that preparing the best you can from these kinds of events can really be helpful in the aftermath.


In order to process and get the benefits you pay for from your homeowner's insurance it is pertinent to document, document, document. This cannot be understated.


The more proof you have of the state of your home and belongings before the damage is done, the better. Insurance adjusters will claim that damage is wear and tear when it is clearly storm damage, and the best way to combat this is with documentation.


Although it may sound overwhelming, taking a couple of hours out of your day can really save you a lot of headaches...and money...down the road. Here are our tips for documenting your possessions for insurance claims and a downloadable spreadsheet to help.


Why is insurance documentation important?

A thorough inventory of your possessions serves as a bridge between loss and recovery. It provides evidence of the condition and value of your possessions before any damage occurs. This proof is vital when filing an insurance claim, as it helps establish the extent of the loss and the compensation you are entitled to receive.


Without proper documentation, it becomes challenging to prove the value of your belongings and the severity of the damage. By thoroughly documenting your possessions, you can verify their existence and condition, preventing any accusations of fraudulent attempts to claim compensation for nonexistent or pre-existing damages.


Insurance documentation offers peace of mind. Knowing that you have a detailed record of your belongings and their value provides a sense of security in the event of a disaster. It allows you to navigate the claims process more efficiently and ensures you receive the compensation you deserve.


For example, if an insurance adjuster claims that damage was wear and tear and not covered, you can show photos of the condition of that part of the home before the catastrophe and prove your case.



I hope you have enjoyed this preview of our eBook. Click the button above to download the rest of the information and learn all the valuable info you need to know to prepare your home, and what to do if your home is damaged by a storm.


The team at Bishop Builders is here to help any time you have questions. Just call or text and we will get you going in the right direction.

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The Bishop Builders Team

Chris Bishop and Dennis Hall

Chris Bishop brings over 30 years of expertise to the construction industry in Texas. With a comprehensive understanding of construction techniques, materials, and project management, Chris oversees every aspect of the building process, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail.

 

Dennis Hall is the strategic business operations specialist. Dennis plays a pivotal role in the success and growth of Bishop Builders with his adept handling of contracts, seamless communication with clients, and financial management. Together, Chris and Dennis form a dynamic partnership, combining construction expertise with astute business acumen to deliver outstanding results.

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