Tips for choosing a reliable home contractor:

Confirm the contractor is licensed with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department by visiting pprbd.org/Search/Contractor. Look for contractors around Colorado Springs that have had an active license for several years. If a contractor asks you to pull a permit for your roof repairs, it’s a red flag that they do are not properly licensed to obtain the permit themselves.

Check to make sure the contractor is registered to conduct business in Colorado, by visiting the Secretary of State’s Office website at sos.state.co.us/biz/.

Get estimates from more than one contractor. Don’t let a contractor pressure you into signing right away — especially if a contract has blanks that a contractor can fill in later.

Look for a contractor that is consistently registered at the same permanent address and has insurance. Ask to see the company’s certificates of insurance and verify with the insurer that the certificate is valid.

Contact the Better Business Bureau to check for complaints filed against any contractors you are considering hiring. Visit the local BBB website at bbb.org/southern-colorado.

Ask a contractor for references in your area and contact them.

Before paying for roof repairs or signing a contract, contact your insurance company and arrange to have an authorized adjuster come to your home.

Don’t pay for a job in full or sign a completion contract until all the work is done.

What homeowners should know:

Contractors can prepare an estimate for you, discuss that estimate with you and answer an insurance company’s questions about that estimate. They cannot negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

A law passed in 2012 makes it illegal for scammers to pay, waive, or rebate a homeowner’s deductible — which companies will sometimes do by offering gift cards, other perks or payments in exchange for a homeowner placing a sign in their yard.

The Colorado Roofing Association maintains a list of roofing contractors that are properly insured and licensed, have passed a nationally recognized exam related to roof repairs, and have committed to following a code of ethics. Visit the association’s website at coloradoroofing.org.

A written contract must include the following elements: the approximate dates and cost of service, the contractor’s contact information, information about the contractor’s surety and liability coverage insurer and information about the consumer’s right to rescind the contract within 72 hours if their insurance company denies the claim. The document must also include a statement, in bold-type, saying that the roofing contractor “shall hold in trust any payment from the property owner until the roofing contractor has delivered roofing materials at the residential property site or has performed a majority of the roofing work on the residential property.”

Following hailstorms, residents should check for damaged mechanical vents that connect gas-fired appliances, such as furnaces and water heaters, to roofs. If the vents are broken, disconnected, or not allowing air to flow freely, carbon monoxide can become trapped in a home. Visit pprbd.org/Information/Disasters for more information.

What homeowners can do if they think they’ve been a victim of a scam:

File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Call local police if you believe fraud has been committed.

File a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office by visiting coag.gov/file-complaint.

Sources: Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Division of Insurance, Colorado Roofing Association, Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, Better Business Bureau

County Government Reporter

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