Your home can be damaged at any time whether because of a fire, a flood, or a storm. If you are a homeowner, the responsibility of repairing the damage falls squarely on you. It is time to put your big boy pants on!
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for home emergencies so you can actually deal with them like an adult:
Keep A List Of Contractors Handy
You need to find the numbers of several contractors – from HVAC contractors to electricians – and keep them in your phonebook. You never know when you will need those services.
Besides, once disaster strikes, it's doubtful you'll be in the condition to be hunting down phone numbers. By already having the numbers close by, you will be able to call for help faster, meaning your home will be repaired quickly and your family will be that much safer.
Make sure the contractors you find are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a good idea to save several numbers in case your first pick does not come through.
Plus, if a storm strikes a large area, the contractors might be overwhelmed by calls, so it’s smart to have several numbers on hand. Just in case.
If you have homeowner’s insurance, it might be necessary to get in touch with your agent if the damage you suffered is substantial. Then most likely the agent will send an insurance adjuster to evaluate the damage and come up with an estimate for repairs.
If your insurance company suggests a local contractor, look at their credentials before agreeing to hire them. Don't just take their word for it that they're the best.
While laws vary from one state to the next, always ask for proof of insurance as well as their license.
Get A LOT Of Estimates
Always obtain several estimates before you make your decision. Something you should be doing with all your decision making tasks. That way, you will have several experts looking at the emergency repair job. This means you will get a lot of insight into the services they provide and who can help you the best.
Asking for a detailed estimate will save you money and time. This estimate will help you know how much work needs to be done and how much it will cost. The contractor should not charge you for an estimate. If they do, RUN!
Have Good Communication Skills
Once you choose a contractor, communication will be key in getting the results you want. During the project, do not hesitate to ask questions. Once the project is complete, do a final walkthrough to see if there are any issues that need to be resolved.
Make sure your contractor responds to your calls and emails on time. Nothing is worse than dealing with a contractor who is uncommunicative or does not get back to you on time. If you have to leave queries on the contractor’s website, you should consider looking elsewhere.
You need to have a direct line of communication with the contractor. To avoid hiring a bad communicator, try calling his office before hiring him to see how fast your calls will be answered. Look at online reviews before hiring a contractor too.
Set Up An Emergency Fund
Because nobody knows when tragedy will strike, set aside emergency funds. Doing so will make the process of repairing damage and restoring your home to its original condition that much easier. Even if you can only manage to put away a hundred dollars per month, it is better than nothing.
If you fail to set up emergency funds, you will have to start borrowing money when disaster strikes. If you have water damage, any delays in the cleanup and repair process will just make matters worse.