ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Even when the sun is shining and life is good, finding competent contractors is a time-consuming and stressful process. But after Hurricane Sandy, when emotions prevail and work is needed urgently, it's all too easy for homeowners to fall prey to contractors who are incompetent and even unscrupulous. In How to Vet a Contractor Online, you'll learn how to vet prospective contractors using government websites.
In How to Vet a Contractor Online, Kia Ricchi, a licensed contractor and consultant, reveals actual screenshots of government websites and explains how to verify contractor licensing and insurance using a simple two-step process. "I don't want homeowners to get stuck with hurricane damage and then be doubly victimized by a contractor who doesn't know what he or she is doing," says Ricchi. "In How to Vet a Contractor Online, I show homeowners how easy it is to get this information on the internet."
In addition to carefully vetting a prospective contractor, Ricchi recommends working closely with professionals such as insurance agents, attorneys, and building officials, and having the contractor pull a permit for the proposed work. "A building permit is important because it helps ensure that the work is code-compliant and that the contractor meets the state's requirements for contracting," Ricchi says. "Beware of the contractor who asks you to pull a permit because it may indicate that the contractor is unqualified to do so. It also transfers responsibility and potential risk to you."
With urgent repairs pending from Hurricane Sandy, Ricchi advises homeowners to vet their contractors before hiring them.
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Ricchi is a Florida licensed contractor, consultant, and author of Avoiding the Con in Construction—winner of three national book awards and included in the Library Journal's "Best of" list. She is a contributor to NPR affiliate stations, Remodeling Magazine, and FineHomebuilding.com, and is quoted in TheStreet.com, Inman.com, and MoneyPit.com.
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SOURCE Kia Ricchi