by Charlie Edward
As if the catastrophe of losing your home or having damage to your home after Hurricane Irma wasn’t enough, imagine a contractor taking advantage of your situation just because he or she could.
Let’s set the scene. In October, shortly after the hurricane, CNN Money reported a shortage of construction workers throughout the U.S.
A Naples contractor, Bill Varian said, “There’s already a shortage of skilled workers, and Harvey and Irma won’t make it any better.” It wouldn’t be surprising if this created an easy pathway for con artists to make a living on your darkest moment. As is evidenced by a story one woman told on Facebook.
Loretta Giangrosso was recently trying to get her house fixed and the contractor told her they don’t give estimates. Here’s her post:
“They said items are put into a Xactimate estimate using insurance industry pricing. It’s auto-filled and they don’t make up the pricing. They said this estimate could take 10-15 hours to write up, so they require a deposit and paperwork signed prior to any work being done. They also said any contractor I hire will do this exact process.”
Every contractor we spoke to told us that’s not how they do business.
John Burrows of American Construction and Plumbing said, “I would say that’s not normal for this market.”
He continued, “My experience is a customer’s looking for estimates, they’re going to get multiple estimates, and they’re certainly not going to pay multiple estimate fees. A lot of people come from out of state and they’re here to make quick money and leave.”
Burrows listed a few things to be watchful for when hiring a new contractor, as well.
“First, I would ask what is the number of your license? What licenses does your company have? Do you have worker’s comp for your employees? And do you have general liability?”
For a list of warnings about moving contractors, check out the Collier County website .