After experiencing a devastating event, such as an earthquake, flood or fire, the only thing you want to do is start rebuilding. This requires choosing a restoration expert that can help you repair or rebuild your home from the ground up. This is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, since there are so many differences between contractors. Here are some tips for finding and choosing the right restoration expert.

How They Handle Payments and Invoices

The first thing to look for is figuring out how the restoration expert handles the payment requests and invoices. If they ask to be paid in full upfront, find another expert. When it is a contractor working with disaster victims, they should know better than to ask for an upfront payment from people who just lost their home or business. Instead, ask if they take a smaller deposit, or are willing to let you pay after you work with your insurance company and at a later date.

Working with Insurance

The restoration expert should also be willing to work closely with your insurance company. Most of the time, people and businesses getting work done after a natural disaster or fire will be using some of their insurance coverage. You will still need to file the insurance claim on your own, but the restoration experts should be able to communicate with your insurance adjuster, helping to smooth the process and get a good deal for the remodel.

They are Insured and Bonded

Not all restoration experts have to be licensed and have insurance according to certain local codes, but it is highly recommended. You are hiring a contracting company to perform repairs or renovations after a major disaster, so don’t take your chances with a company that hasn’t become licensed and bonded. Ask to see their credentials, verify their license number, and find out exactly how they are insured. These are all good signs of a good restoration expert.

Have References Available

After having done all your research, you still need to get some references from the restoration expert. While looking at samples and verifying their license is great, this still doesn’t provide you with information about the working experience. After having dealt with a disaster, the last thing you want to do is hire a company to help you rebuild and have a bad experience. Avoid this by asking for references of clients they have previously done similar work for. Make a list of questions to ask them about their experience, ranging from costs and materials, to dealing with the contractor and if they experienced any issues.

The Owner is Available for Questions

Lastly, a good sign of a reputable restoration expert is a company where the owner is available to answer your questions. If you find that while communicating with them, you always seem to be talking to an office manager or assistant, move on to another company. You want to be able to speak to the owner, as they often do a lot of the planning and the work.