The building and many of the things in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke and water. You may find things that the fire did not burn up but are now ruined by smoke and soggy with water used to put out the flames. Anything that you want to save or reuse will need to be carefully cleaned. The firefighters may have cut holes in the walls of the building to look for hidden flames. They may have cut holes in the roof to let out the heat and smoke. Cleanup will take time and patience.
Check with the Department of Consumer Affairs to find out how to select a licensed, qualified contractor; check the status of a contractor license; negotiate a clear contract; prevent disputes and mechanics liens; and resolve contractor disputes.
Protect yourself against a fraudulent contractors:
- Only use contractors licensed by the state of California
- Get a written estimate of costs and get estimates from more than one contractor
- Demand and check references
- Ask for proof of insurance (liability and Worker’s Compensation)
- Insist on a written contract and refuse to sign a contract with blank spaces
- Get any guarantees in writing
- Make final payments only after the work is completed
- Pay by check