News | Communication Services, 360-902-5400 - PublicAffairs@Lni.wa.gov

Hire smart to avoid storm repair scams

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January 13, 2014

Tumwater – If a winter storm trashes your house, don't let the repair job add to your woes.

Take time to choose a well-qualified, registered contractor. State law requires that contractors be registered to remove downed trees, replace gutters, fix fences or perform any other repair work on your property.

Hiring registered contractors gives consumers some recourse if anything goes wrong with the repairs. Homeowners, for instance, can seek money from a contractor's bond if a job is unfinished or poorly done.

Though you may be in a rush to repair storm damage, keep these tips in mind to Hire Smart and avoid shoddy work or bad contractors:

  • Check whether a contractor is registered by clicking on the link at protectmyhome.net. You can verify whether contractors are licensed, how long they have been in business and see the amount of their insurance coverage and bond.
  • Beware of red flags, including contractors who ask to be paid in cash, have a check made out to someone other than the business, or work only evenings or on weekends. Unregistered contractors or scam artists typically use these tactics.
  • Don't pay in full until the job is done.

See more tips and download the "Hire Smart" worksheet at protectmyhome.net.

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For media information: Debby Abe, L&I Public Affairs, debby.abe@lni.wa.gov, (360)902-6043.

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Broadcast version: If a winter storm trashes your house, don’t let the repairs add to your woes. Take time to choose a registered contractor. The state Department of Labor & Industries says hiring registered contractors gives consumers recourse if something goes wrong with the job. State law requires that contractors be registered to remove downed trees, replace gutters, fix fences or perform any other repair work on your property. Learn tips to hire a contractor at w-w-w-dot-protectmyhome.net.

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