State

Flood damage victims should be wary of scams

CHICAGO – A nonprofit consumer group is cautioning people who suffered flood damage in recent heavy rains about dishonest contractors.

Better Business Bureau President Steve Bernas says home and business owners should carefully consider repair contracts and not rush into making decisions.

The group suggests requesting bids from several companies and getting estimates in writing. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder and don’t make a full payment until all the work is finished to your satisfaction. Pay no more than one-third of the cost upfront.

Require a written contract. The agreement should specify the work to be done and the materials to be used. It should include the price breakdown for labor and materials. Any promises made should be written into the contract, including warranties on materials or labor.

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