FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/Hard Learned Lessons
Today we commemorate the second anniversary
of Hurricane Katrina and the destruction it brought upon so
many of our friends and family members. Today also marks the
start of the high point of another potentially active hurricane
Meanwhile, we watch as parts of our midlands dig themselves out
after massive flooding. The one thing that many of us will have
in common after such disasters is the rebuilding process. Maybe
that is why I've been having so many conversations with
caregivers who find themselves in the position of having to
rebuild their lives and homes - sometimes from the ground up. In
many cases, such rebuilding happens in a smooth and efficient
manner, unfortunately for others they can find themselves in:
Allow me to impart some hopefully helpful
hints for those of you with home repair woes:
Check ‘em out! Call the Better Business
Bureau and our state to check on any complaints against
their license. Talk to previous clients.
Make sure they have a license. Many
times, even if there is a license associated with the
business, you never deal directly with the license holder.
Make sure that the person is aware you will refer them to
the proper authorities, if necessary.
Bid! Bid! Bid! Prices, as well as
qualifications, will vary. GREATLY!
Insist on a time and payment schedule,
with penalties for missed scheduled commitments and rewards
for beating the schedule with competent work.
Do not give anyone cash. Never. Not for
any reason. Get receipts and when the work is done-get
Do not pay in advance. If you are asked
to pay too much before the work is done –worry.
Watch the paperwork. Retotal figures.
Ask questions. Demand proof. Demand receipts. It is your
money, after all.
Make sure you get “Release of Liens”
from all subcontractors. If you do not-and the contractor
fails to pay them-you are liable.
“If in doubt, don’t lay it out!”. Get
good advice from your attorney if you feel that someone may
be taking advantage of you.
Trust yourself. Don’t settle for answers
that don’t ring true.
Now that you’ve passed Contractor 101, may you never have to
take the final exam