• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Tips for hiring legitimate contractors after SoCal windstorm

December 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
It is a very old pepper tree that has always been the favorite of Arcadia resident Jeanette Keseloff-Boshart.

But when the devastating winds hit the San Gabriel Valley early Thursday morning, the 60-year-old tree took quite a beating, losing two major branches, with one of them going through the roof and into a bedroom of her Arcadia home.

"We just walked in and it was a disaster. It was just like it was blown up. It was very shocking, and kind of scary," Keseloff-Boshart said.

Along with Jeanette's home, another 100 in the area were damaged and more than 40 have been red tagged. Repairs will need to be done, but this is a time for homeowners who need to hire a contractor to be extra cautious who they hire.

"Unlicensed contractors, unlicensed adjustors will come to town immediately and say 'I can get you a sweet deal.' If they say 'I can get you more money, I can get you a sweet deal, I'm available right now no problem, cheap,' it should raise a red flag," said the Insurance Information Network's Candice Miller.

When you hire a contractor, it is important to keep these tips in mind:

-Make sure they are a licensed contractor.

-Shop around for contractors, and get at least three bids.

-Make sure you understand and agree to the terms of the contract before signing.

-Don't pay a down payment of over 10 percent or $1,000, whichever is less.

-Only make the final payment when you are completely satisfied with the work.

If your home has been red tagged, or you have to move out for repairs, Miller also advises discussing Additional Living Expenses coverage with your insurance company. ALE will more than likely cover the cost of temporary living arrangements, like hotels or rental properties.

Finally, if you do have to move out of your home for repairs, make sure you visit the property on several occasions thoughout the day to inspect the contractor's work and workers. Remember that legitimate licensed contractors will expect you to do that.


Load Comments