The storm on July 21st ravaged much of Illinois, and people are starting to see how much damage it truly caused. In some parts of Elk Grove, homes with vinyl siding look like swiss cheese after the hail. Other areas had broken windows or their roofs destroyed. At times like this, people often act hastily and open themselves up to scam artists and hack contractors who prey on homeowners’ ignorance to gain their “business.” Being aware of what’s really needed, can keep you safe.
Understanding Your Home’s Needs and Local Building Codes
A roof is a system. In addition to shingles, there are flashings, a drip edge, ice and water felt, and more that go into making that system work. Your city, state, and county all have strict guidelines that must be followed to remain in compliance with the code.
Despite what their advertisements claim, insurance companies do not create billions of dollars of wealth and investments by properly taking care of you. Insurance adjusters, many of whom are from out of state, want to settle whenever they can. Their goal is to get out quickly and move on for the least amount possible. While the check and price offered may seem high, many insurance companies pay way below market value for home repairs. Thanks to their strict internal guidelines there are many legitimate items they are not authorized to pay for, even when your city or county calls for it.
This is when things can get confusing for the homeowner:
Your insurance company agrees to pay you $10,000 for a smaller roof. From that amount, your deductible will be removed; as that’s your portion to pay your contractor, or whomever, you decide to perform the work.
From there, you go out and start to get estimates. You absolutely don’t trust contractors, and your insurance adjuster told you not to let the contractors know the estimate given by the insurance company, so you keep that information to yourself.
The first estimate provided is for $7,000. You think that’s great! I have enough to do the work, but then you decide to get a few more estimates just to be safe. Two more come in at $12,000 and another comes in as high as $14,000. Now things are weird, so you start to get even more estimates.
Let me tell you; contractors can be competitive. However, they can usually be only so competitive with their profit. From that point, they must cut corners. THAT’S WHERE THE TROUBLE IS!
See, if a contractor wants to give a lower price, there’s a line where they will have to start acting much like the auto industry and not offer “options”; no Bluetooth, no leather seats, etc. Only, in this case, the Bluetooth and leather seating are required by your county. From the outside, it looks the same, but any real auto expert would have a much different experience while in the car.
From the outside of your home, your new roof may look better than the previous one but once evaluated it would reveal a different story. Assembling a new car with old parts won’t work well or last very long. The same goes for your roofing system. Old flashings or other ways of cutting corners always shortens the life span of the roof and leaves you open to more problems.
Make sure your Contractor or Public Adjuster is on your Team
A competitive environment is what drives the insurance restoration world. Insurance companies will continuously tell you someone can do the job for cheaper, but they never tell you they can do it better for cheaper. That’s because quality isn’t the insurance company’s responsibility, it’s yours. Having a reputable contractor or public adjuster from day one will solve most of these headaches for you.
Good companies will review the insurance company’s estimate and make sure it follows all local guidelines. They will also make sure you pay nothing more than your deductible for repairs. The same goes for siding, windows, and other parts damaged by a storm. The people waving deductibles, and offering money back, etc. are committing crimes and laws set by the Department of Insurance. These companies do not plan to be around to warranty their work. They are setting things up to move to another storm for as long as possible until Karma catches up with them.
At first glance, a reputable contractor may be more expensive, but that’s because he holds the proper licensing and insurance. He will be able to submit documentation of local codes, estimates, etc. to make sure your home remains in compliance with local and state ordinances. It’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to having your home repaired and keep an open book with your contractor.
One of the very first things Renowned Building Solutions does is keep everything open from day one. We set proper expectations, discuss wants vs. needs, upgrades, ideal repair, and so on. Remember, if you want your contractor to be honest with you, you need to be honest with them from the get go. You both should have the same goal, and that’s to repair your home.
If you are one of the many homeowners affected by the July storms in Illinois, contact Renowned Building Solutions for a FREE ESTIMATE. We will walk you through the storm damage claims process and work with you to create custom renovations for your home.