We’re here to help those who have suffered Sandy’s wrath and, especially, damage to their homes. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those few who lost much more.
Especially during difficult times when accidents or natural disasters smack you down, emotions and stress run high. I understand first hand the angst of living without electricity – my home was without power for 10 days after last Halloween’s Winter Storm Alfred. But by standing up together and being smart, everyone will recover.
If you have suffered damage to your home, when hiring a contractor to assess or repair it, we urge residents to be cautious. Be on your guard and be wary of anyone who says they can start work tomorrow. Work with your insurance claims agent but also make the final decision on choice of contractors – it is your home. Take steps necessary to stop further damage, e.g., by hiring someone to place tarps over a hole in your roof from a fallen tree, but be prepared to wait some period of time for a good contractor to obtain necessary permits and approvals and schedule reconstruction work.
At the outset, make sure any contractor is properly licensed or registered with the Dept. of Consumer Protection. As you always should, get references from neighbors and friends about local contractors. Check with one of our local chapters in CT (call them, search their web sites) to find a contractor in your area. Advice on how to select a reputable builder or contractor in Connecticut is important to heed all the time, but especially now.
Our national affiliate, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), some time ago created the Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund (HBIDRF). It’s a charitable organization established to assist areas affected by natural disasters. The HBIDRF focuses on rebuilding communities and helping people get back into their homes. When our members are getting ready to repair and rebuild homes within our communities, local Home Builders & Remodelers Association (HBRA) chapters can apply to the HBIDRF for funds to support reconstruction efforts. Again, check with the local HBRA in your area for what assistance might be available.
Stay safe and be smart. Togetherness and patience. Nobody need be in this alone.
– Bill Ethier, HBRA of CT