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The original item was published from 7/3/2013 12:03:08 PM to 7/14/2013 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: July 3, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Storm Damage - Consumer Alert

The recent storm blew down some trees, and it also attracted people trying to make a quick buck at the homeowner’s expense.

If your home or property was damaged, you may get salespeople knocking at your door promising to make repairs. Although most businesses are legitimate, there are some who may try to take advantage of you. They’ll use high pressure or intimidating tactics to get you to buy their products or services.

Before signing a contract or hiring anyone to do the work, we recommend:

• Ask friends or neighbors for recommendations.
• The Housing Resource Center provides free consultations on home repair and remodel jobs for homeowners in the Roseville area. Contact them at 651-486-7401. They can recommend contractors and will help you review bids, proposals and estimates, and they will assist you during the repair process.
• Check references, and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the person or company.
• Obtain a written contract describing in detail the work to be done, total costs, and start and estimated completion date. Do not sign a contract you do not understand.
• Do not work with a contractor who requires full or substantial prepayment on work.
• Do not pay in full until work is completed to your satisfaction.
• The State requires building contractors to be licensed. Ask to see their license number then contact the Department of Labor and Industry at 651-284-5065 to verify if the license is current or if they have unresolved complaints from other homeowners.
• The City requires the following businesses or individuals to have a City-issued license. Licensing verifies that they are carrying insurance which is a protection to homeowners. Call 651-792-7080 to check whether their license is current.
• Cement and brickwork companies
• Driveway installers
• Fertilizer companies
• Sewer and water repair companies
• Heating contractors
• Tree trimming and removal services

Contact the Attorney General’s Office at 651-296-3353 if you have not received the services for which you paid.

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