Homeowners shouldn’t rush to make storm damage repairs in Georgia

Jake

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
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Take a deep breath! Dealing with the aftermath of a savage storm can be tough, especially wondering how you're going to afford to pay for the damages your property received. Homeowners who deal with storm damage, shouldn't rush into making repairs right away. Take a step back, access the damage and wait for the insurance adjuster to look things over, and hire services like tree-cutters if needed, or bring in a residential or general contractor to make repairs up to $2500 or more. Rushing into it could result in severe financial losses, so take a deep breath and plan things out.

Rushing could also result in you hiring the wrong contractors to take on the job. You want to look for the highest rated contractors, ones certified in the work they do. Georgia law currently requires that residential and general contractors pass a state exam to obtain a license. So, some contractors, to get around this, will offer lower prices to compete. There's is no guarantee these contractors will do quality work and who knows if they will provide valid permits for the work ahead.

It comes down to research and making sure you hire the best person for the job. You need to verify the status of the contractor you plan to hire. Make sure they are licensed to work in the state of Georgia by verifying their data between the Georgia Secretary of State’s Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors or the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. It can also help to hire a lawyer who specializes in construction law, and have them go over any contracts.

For more on this, follow the article here - Atlanta News First
 
Location
Georgia, United States
I get that, rushing into it can cause further issues. I've dealt with my share of snow storms, heavy rain and so on, but haven't had weather that's been too damaging to my own property. But, I know when I need repairs done for anything, I always look for the best of the best, the ones that are licensed to do the job. I won't hire just anyone, because I've been swindled in the past for hiring people on good faith. Some people just lie and lie, so you have to research anyone you are looking to hire on. Be safe, and be smart.
 
There was an unfortunate cautionary tale in the "Better Call Harry" video included with that article. It involved a homeowner who paid an unlicensed contractor $50,000 to repair his house but the contractor walked off the job after only demoing the roof. Although the story warns against hiring unlicensed contractors, I think the issue has more to do with people hiring contractors who aren't properly bonded (technically speaking). In practice, I think the two go pretty much hand-in-hand, but homeowners should be aware of the distinction. A contractor bond is basically insurance that a licensed contractor buys to ensure funds are available in case they're unable to finish the work for whatever reason. I think that contractors generally can't become licensed without showing that they're bonded, so I can understand how the two terms may get used interchangeably. The point is, it's the bonding, not the licensure, that homeowners really need to verify. I guess if you confirm a contractor is licensed, you can pretty much always safely assume they're bonded? Personally, I'd probably want to ask about each separately just to be sure I'd covered by bases.
 
There was an unfortunate cautionary tale in the "Better Call Harry" video included with that article. It involved a homeowner who paid an unlicensed contractor $50,000 to repair his house but the contractor walked off the job after only demoing the roof. Although the story warns against hiring unlicensed contractors, I think the issue has more to do with people hiring contractors who aren't properly bonded (technically speaking). In practice, I think the two go pretty much hand-in-hand, but homeowners should be aware of the distinction. A contractor bond is basically insurance that a licensed contractor buys to ensure funds are available in case they're unable to finish the work for whatever reason. I think that contractors generally can't become licensed without showing that they're bonded, so I can understand how the two terms may get used interchangeably. The point is, it's the bonding, not the licensure, that homeowners really need to verify. I guess if you confirm a contractor is licensed, you can pretty much always safely assume they're bonded? Personally, I'd probably want to ask about each separately just to be sure I'd covered by bases.
Losing $50,000 to a bad contractor must be an awful feeling. What can anyone do in the case some contractor swindles you for $50K? I assume he is attempting to take the guy to court, I know I would.

It's scary, because I can see many people being cheated by unlicensed and or unbonded contractors. I didn't even consider that side of it. There is so much you need to know when hiring a contractor. I kind of hope I don't need to hire any contractors anytime soon. I don't want to deal with the process.

If I ever do need to do any major remodeling, I will look at that NARI site first.
 
There was an unfortunate cautionary tale in the "Better Call Harry" video included with that article. It involved a homeowner who paid an unlicensed contractor $50,000 to repair his house but the contractor walked off the job after only demoing the roof. Although the story warns against hiring unlicensed contractors, I think the issue has more to do with people hiring contractors who aren't properly bonded (technically speaking). In practice, I think the two go pretty much hand-in-hand, but homeowners should be aware of the distinction. A contractor bond is basically insurance that a licensed contractor buys to ensure funds are available in case they're unable to finish the work for whatever reason. I think that contractors generally can't become licensed without showing that they're bonded, so I can understand how the two terms may get used interchangeably. The point is, it's the bonding, not the licensure, that homeowners really need to verify. I guess if you confirm a contractor is licensed, you can pretty much always safely assume they're bonded? Personally, I'd probably want to ask about each separately just to be sure I'd covered by bases.
It's quite devastating to deal with something like that. A neighbor of mine had to get roof work done for a leaky roof, and the contractors she hired on were family friends, and they ended up doing a really awful job, along with leaving some of the roof opened and exposed. She had to get the courts involved, but I think they finally fixed the roof. She had paid them too, and nothing was being done for a while.

Losing $50,000 to a bad contractor must be an awful feeling. What can anyone do in the case some contractor swindles you for $50K? I assume he is attempting to take the guy to court, I know I would.
I would assume he's suing them for damages. $50K for little work, is not going to fly. And if he knows the person and the courts know him, I bet he could easily win a case against them. It's just that I don't think anyone wants to go through that process.
 
It's quite devastating to deal with something like that. A neighbor of mine had to get roof work done for a leaky roof, and the contractors she hired on were family friends, and they ended up doing a really awful job, along with leaving some of the roof opened and exposed. She had to get the courts involved, but I think they finally fixed the roof. She had paid them too, and nothing was being done for a while.

That's really unfortunately...hopefully your neighbor and her contractor friend are still on good terms. I'd generally advise against mixing personal and business relationships like that. I can understand how, for a really expensive home repair or real estate deal, etc., people who have a friend who's a contractor, real estate agent, etc., might want to help their friend out and give them the business. However, it's really a double-edged sword because if your friend messes up and it costs you a lot of money, your personal relationship could very well take a hit from that.

I would assume he's suing them for damages. $50K for little work, is not going to fly. And if he knows the person and the courts know him, I bet he could easily win a case against them. It's just that I don't think anyone wants to go through that process.

The news clip mentioned that the contractor "walked off the job" but it didn't explain why exactly. If it was criminal (i.e., they skipped town with the money) then I think they could be sued and/or prosecuted for fraud. However, if the contractor went out of business or declared bankruptcy, then I'm really not sure what sort of legal recourse the homeowner would have. But we do know the contractor was operating without a license...hopefully the homeowner would be able to sue and recover damages based on that.
 
That's really unfortunately...hopefully your neighbor and her contractor friend are still on good terms. I'd generally advise against mixing personal and business relationships like that. I can understand how, for a really expensive home repair or real estate deal, etc., people who have a friend who's a contractor, real estate agent, etc., might want to help their friend out and give them the business. However, it's really a double-edged sword because if your friend messes up and it costs you a lot of money, your personal relationship could very well take a hit from that.
It took a while to get it all sorted out. And I think when they finally repaired the roof, after all was said and done, they still did a mediocre job. I think later she got another group in to correct it, but no one should have to go through that. I've always been against hiring a friend or family member for such tasks, because I know there's that risk that it could result in a loss of friendship or relationships. And I certainly don't want that.

The news clip mentioned that the contractor "walked off the job" but it didn't explain why exactly. If it was criminal (i.e., they skipped town with the money) then I think they could be sued and/or prosecuted for fraud. However, if the contractor went out of business or declared bankruptcy, then I'm really not sure what sort of legal recourse the homeowner would have. But we do know the contractor was operating without a license...hopefully the homeowner would be able to sue and recover damages based on that.
I hope the homeowner got the money back at least. $50K is a lot of money to lose to a contractor. I never thought about them filing for bankruptcy though.

If they did run off with the money, the should sue for damages. Might get the contractors attention if they haven't skipped town or something.
 
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