Dealing with Storm Damage

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If your home sustains storm damage, make sure to hire a reputable contractor to make the needed repairs. You hear about families getting scammed regularly when they need someone to repair their homes quickly — but you don't have to be one of them! Here's a quick checklist to help you find the right contractor for the job.


  • Check that the contractor is licensed or registered in Minnesota. Contractor license oversight is through the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Use their quick license lookup tool to confirm the company you're interviewing is licensed or registered (depending upon their business classification) and has no complaints against them.

  • Discuss payment carefully. When a company insists on payment up front, think twice before hiring them.

  • Check online that the company is an actual business (a PO Box for their business address is a cue to dig deeper). The MInnesota Secretary of State provides a quick lookup tool.

  • Only do business with an actual contract in hand, and read it carefully. These days, doing business on a handshake isn't always wise.

  • Discuss your insurance situation, and make sure any company you hire is knowledgeable about working with insurance claims. You may want to talk to your insurance agent about the company you plan to hire before signing an agreement, too.

  • Make sure the firm you hire pulls a permit from your city for the work they do, and if they ask you to take this step, make sure they have a good reason.

  • Ask for and contact several past customers. FInd out how the job went, where the customer found the company and if they would use them again.

When you're faced with damage to your home from Mother Nature, don't let human nature make it worse. In the Twin Cities, we suggest contacting these members who are experienced working with insurance claims. And if you're in other cities, look to your local builders association or NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) chapter. Members of professional organizations like these will have licenses when required, access to the resources they need do good work, and in most cases, signed ethics agreements about how they do business.