What to watch out for when preparing home repair contracts after winter storm

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Right now, many people are going through insurance and FEMA to start the recovery process from the winter storm that damaged thousands of homes in our area.

Often times, when it comes to getting damage fixed from a storm, people rush out and hire the first person they find. But taking your time can really pay off and save you big headaches.

If you have damage in your home, getting your house back is a top priority, and chances are a contractor is in your future.

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Recently, ABC13 sat down with home inspectors, and they have advice on what to bring up and what to get written down for any home repair contract before you sign.

"If it says replace flooring, specifically what kind of flooring? How much flooring? It will be done according to, this is a key word, manufacturers installation instructions," said home inspector James Sutherland.

Inspectors also say home repair fixes need to meet building codes because work that does not meet codes can cause huge problems later on.

"A lot of contractors say, 'Oh, we are in the county, we don't have codes.' HVAC, plumbing and electrical are all licensed through the state. The state says those licensed people will follow the codes, so they are required," Sutherland said.

It is also a good idea to hire an inspector to review the work before signing a check.

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Be very wary of a contractor demanding full payment up front. Most will ask for portions of the amount owed over the course of the job.

Officials with Texas Law Help have a great step-by-step guide to hiring a contractor.

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