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How to hire a contractor

For people who have survived a natural disaster, there's no higher priority than rebuilding what was lost. That could mean a major construction project or the remodeling of just one room. In the wake of hurricanes, floods and other surprises from Mother Nature, contractors arrive in a hurry, ready to take your money. But how can you make sure you're getting a good deal? All the experts' advice boils down to this: Do your homework.  Below are links to resources that can help you avoid becoming another "Fleecing of America."

Federal Trade Commission publication: "After a Disaster: Repairing Your Home"

FTC quiz: Test your knowledge about how to avoid a repair nightmare

FTC quiz: Test your skills at hiring a contractor

Better Business Bureau tips on home repairs

The National Association of Home Builders Remodelors Council will provide a free copy of their brochure "How to Find a Professional Remodeler," if you send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

NAHB Remodelors Council
Dept. FT
1201 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

If you suspect you're the victim of contractor fraud, you can file an online complaint with the FTC or call them at 1-877-FTC-HELP (TTY: 1-866-653-4261).