In addition to repairing the damage done to your home, now is a good time to think about any features you might need to add to make it more accessible and to better support both you and the person for whom you are caring. These features may include a ramp, wider doorways and grab bars.
If you’re hiring someone to do home repairs, take care to find a reliable company or individual. Ask people you know to refer you to a contractor, or call the local office of codes enforcement, builders' association, Chamber of Commerce, or Better Business Bureau. Check to see if your state requires general contractors to be licensed.
When looking for a contractor, it's important to identify one with the expertise you need. Some contractors build new homes, while others specialize in reconstruction or remodeling work. Find a contractor familiar with the type of work you need, and ask to see some past projects. If this is not possible, ask for references from previous jobs.
The contractor must be insured and provide you with proof of insurance. Insurance should include comprehensive policies that protect his or her business and your home, including public liability, property damage protection, and workers’ compensation. The contractor also should warranty damage that might become evident in the year after the job is completed.
Ask for written estimates for the work, including all details, from at least three different bidders. Make certain all are bidding on exactly the same job. Remember, the lowest price is not always the best. There may be a misunderstanding about the nature of the work being quoted, a mistake in the quote, or differences in the quality of workmanship and materials.
All the details and agreements about the job must be written down.
Never sign a completion certificate until all work is satisfactorily done. Also, never pay a contractor or worker in full for work before it is finished. The contract should specify the payment schedule.