Saturday, April 10, 1999

Tips to picking a contractor

Enquirer news services

        Scam artists often prey on disaster victims, Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery warned Friday. Here are some tips to avoid loss of time or money:

        • Be cautious of a contractor who does not provide proper identification, have a permanent place of business, cannot provide references or insists on a large payment before work begins.

        • Get a written estimate from several contractors.

        • Find out when work will begin, how long it will take, what type of materials will be used, how much it will cost, what guarantees and warranties will you receive and whether the contractor will obtain a license and permits if needed.

        • Never sign or initial a document until you understand its purpose and all the blanks are completed.

        • Never sign over an insurance check to a contractor. Instead, arrange for a Certificate of Completion with your bank. The bank will pay the contractor for each completed phase.

        • Before paying any bills, insist that the contractor provide you with a sworn statement that all materials have been paid for and subcontractors have been paid.


Hope emerges from the rubble
Sirens worked, but some slept through
Families flew from their beds
Bengals coach: 'God's hand on me'
Driver got upside-down trip on freeway median
Photographer encounters death, devastation
House is a cheap price to pay for life
Community safe, serene and vulnerable
In Addyston and Ripley County, some feel blessed just to be alive
Survivors eager to swap stories
Two died in field; two died on roads
Adjusters quick to arrive at disaster
To file a claim
Dealing with storm aftermath
Don't rush repairs after storm
- Tips to picking a contractor
Kids need help to overcome grief, fears
Talking to kids
Phones, power out until Sunday
Rescue team did tough job
Storm could spur support for tax levy
Storms' memories linger after damage is repaired
Mobilization was instant
Tornado tales
TV/radio stations had reason to boast
Volunteers grab chain saws, mops as workers untangle wires
At least 7 businesses destroyed
911 calls reveal confusion, fear