April 29 Tornado Updates

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Andover 2022 tornado local, licensed, contractor list available online by Wichita Area Builders Association.  

WABAThere are thousands of legitimate, ethical contractors in business around the country. Unfortunately, there are also scam artists looking to cheat you out of your money who pose as legitimate contractors. These “fly-by-night” operators often show up in communities impacted by natural disasters to try to scam distressed homeowners into paying for shoddy repairs or work that they will never show up to perform. 

The Wichita Area Builders Association consists of more than 1,000 members, including residential and light construction builders, developers, remodelers, suppliers, sub-contractors, banking industry officials, and attorneys. These WABA members have been vetted by the Builders Association and are licensed and insured. In light of the structural losses caused by the recent Andover Tornado, WABA has compiled a list of Builders, Contractors, Suppliers and Financial Institutions that are available to work with Andover Homeowners immediately to help in the rebuilding process. 

The Contractor List is available online now and will continue to be updated on their website at WABAHome.com or by clicking HERE. 

Also available online are two downloadable resource information sheets to assist homeowners. The first is on Selecting A Contractor: Important Information You Should Know and the second is Don’t Get Scammed: Find A Qualified Contractor. 

Every year hundreds of families in the Greater Wichita Area are taken advantage of by disreputable individuals or companies who represent themselves to be reliable, reputable contractors If you are planning to hire someone to rebuild, repair or make improvements to your property there are safeguards you can take to assure the best selection of a contractor for you.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

1) Hire only licensed contractors. Contractors are required to be licensed to do certain types of work. When selecting a contractor you should make sure the contractor holds a current, valid license either issued by the City of Wichita/Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department, 660-1840 or Sedgwick County. Some of the smaller cities in the county also issue licenses. If you live in the jurisdiction of one of these cities and are planning to hire a contractor check with your local officials to determine if they require contractors to be licensed and whether or not the contractor you are considering hiring is either licensed by your local city, or has been licensed by Wichita, or Sedgwick County.

2) All contractors do not possess the same expertise. Ask for references and check those references to assure yourself that the contractor is qualified to do the type of work you are wanting done.

3) Check business references. Ask the contractor for a list of business references that you can call and verify that the relationships with suppliers and sub-contractors are good ones and that the contractor pays his bills.

4) Call the Better Business Bureau, 316-719-4208, to find out if there are any complaints or charges pending against the contractor.

5) Call local trade associations such as the Wichita Area Builders Association, 265-4226, or visit our website at www.wabahome.com for more information about selecting a contractor.

6) Ask for proof from the contractor that he has general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance in order to protect you, as the property owner, against any claim in the event the contractor, his employees, or someone else is injured as a result of work being done on your property.

7) Make sure the contractor you are contracting with will be personally involved in coordinating the work to be done on your property.

8) Make sure all required permits are secured and inspections are made. The contractor should be expected to secure all necessary permits. Beware of contractors who want you to secure the permit as the property owner. It is permissible to do so, but it is very unusual that a reputable contractor will ask you to do this. 

9) Make sure you have a written contract with the contractor that details: • A full description of all work to be done. • A firm date of completion • Total cost of the job. • Contractors license number. • All warranty information. • Quality of materials to be used. • How and on what basis payments are to be made. • How changes and payment for changes will be handled. 

10) Make sure complete architectural drawings are done and agreed upon if you are having a home rebuilt, room addition added, or extensive remodeling done. Be certain that detailed material specifications are also provided and made a part of the contract you sign. 

11) Monitor the work being done in accordance with the contractual agreement with the contractor. If you have questions about what is being done or problems with the contractor, either ask questions or confront the problem head on when it occurs in order to minimize any conflict and reach a satisfactory resolve as quickly as possible. 

12) Final payment should not be made until you are satisfied that the job has been completed in accordance with the terms of the contractual agreement between you and the contractor 

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Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Does not have license and insurance. All professional contractors should be insured and able to show their certificate proving such insurance. Although all states do not require licensing, contractors in states requiring licenses should have it and be able to provide a copy.
  • Asks you to sign anything before you have hired them. If they want you to sign an “estimate” or “authorization” before you have made the decision to hire the contractor, be cautious. They may be trying to get you to sign what is an actual binding contract.
  • Does not write contracts. Professionals have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost, and helps clarify how problems will be managed. If you do not have a contract, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Do not hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.”
  • Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job. Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. A deposit towards materials is common, but only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor. It is also suspicious if you are asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.
  • Vastly underbids all other contractors. Such contractors may cut costs on quality, which can end up costing you more when you have to have the substandard work redone.
  • Offers “special” pricing. If you are told you have been “chosen” as a demonstration project at a special, low price, or you are told a low price is good only if you sign a contract today.
  • Cannot provide customer references. Professional contractors should have current references they can provide from current and past clients — and you should be able to reach those references, not just an answering machine.
  • Difficulty contacting the contractor. Professionals have a physical office, mailing address, phone, and email. They should respond to your queries in a timely manner. Make sure you can verify the contractor’s business address. If they only have a P.O. box, be wary.
  • Tells you to obtain the building or remodeling permits. Professional contractors go to the county or state offices and get permits for their work themselves. Asking the homeowner to do it is a sign that they are not a legitimate contractor.
  • If your state requires contractors to be licensed, look them up on the state licensing website even if you have seen a piece of paper that looks like a license. Make sure they do not have a record of consumer complaints lodged with your local Better Business Bureau. Contact the Wichita Area Builders Association and verify they are a member in good standing.