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Three questions you should ask before hiring a contractor

HOUSTON – If you flooded or need to repair damage to your home after Tropical Depression Imelda, you need to protect yourself from fraud and scammers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says there are three questions you should ask that can to make sure you're dealing with a reputable business. 

  • Ask for the contractor's license. In Texas, woodworkers, builders and roofers don’t need a license from the state. You can check if a business is registered with the state of Texas and paying taxes by looking them up in the Texas Secretary of State’s website. Air Conditioning contractors and electricians are licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. You can search for them by name at TDLR.texas.gov/LicenseSearch. Plumbers are licensed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. You can search for a plumber by name on the TSBPE website.
  • Ask them to provide three recent recommendations from your area. Contact those people to find out if they were happy with the work done for them. 
  • Ask how long they have been in business.
  • Before you give any money or any work is started, get something in writing that outlines what you are expected to pay and exactly what you'll get for your money.

    If the person trying to sell you a product or service can't or won't answer your questions, don't do business with them. This same checklist will help you anytime you need to hire a business or person to do work for you that don't know.