Gizmo Guy was late with gadget suggestions to help you through the storm, sorry. But let me be the first – with help from Angie’s List – to warn about the fly-by-night con artists about to descend on your damaged neighborhood, offering clean up/fix up help.
These so called “Storm-Chaser” contractors were a plague on Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, with more than 6,000 repair-related complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office. Many victims had handed over cash upfront (a big no-no) to a “helpful” contractor who just happened to be working in the neighborhood – but would never be seen again. Other victims overpaid for roof replacements when a mere patch job would have sufficed. Storm Chasers also try to con you out of cash
with the promise of quick tree service, window repair, plumbing, electrical fixes and carpet/flooring replacement.
A leading provider of consumer reviews on local contractors and service companies, Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks today issued a tip list for after the storm best practices.
The good advice includes documenting any damage with pictures, calling at least three reputable contractors and checking their credentials (license, insurance, experience with similar jobs.) Be forewarned, the best repair guys are usually busy. And you will have to fork over some moolah in advance for materials.