SA Building & Remodeling
Use Care When Hiring to Re-Build Your Home
Rudy Niño (October 25)
Weather patterns can change quickly, and, as evidenced by last week's weather, so can your chances of being flooded out of your home. Such unforeseen changes in atmospheric conditions can affect thousands of homeowners.

Rains will eventually cause roof leaks, wear out exterior paints and siding, affect the foundation, and so on, but heavy rains can cause destructive floods. You can't prevent a flood, and sometimes you won't see it coming. Last year, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, "two of three federal disasters were flood related, and 25% of all flood claims came from areas no one considered high risk."

We saw such flooding here in San Antonio, and many homeowners in the city will now need to rebuild or at least remodel their damaged homes. However, during such emergencies, these homeowners should seek a strategy and follow a process to reduce risks and to protect and rebuild their biggest investment.

During such distress times, all kinds of contractors can come out of the woods. Be careful who you decide upon to repair or rebuild your home. Avoid those who call themselves "flood damage experts or professionals," and steer clear of any who are running "neighborhood" or "door-to-door" specials. Also, be careful of those who solicit your business by phone or claim they were "just passing by." You should choose a contractor to work on your damaged home in the same way you would choose one for any remodel job, with research and careful consideration.
Carefully checking out a remodeler to repair your home may take a little time. If you home was damaged by last week's floods, or if you ever find yourself in such a situation in the future, there are some immediate things you can do to put you on your way to recovery.

• Contact your homeowners insurance agency as soon as possible and inform them about your damages.
• Contact the local police and fire departments about what you should do before moving building materials, debris, etc.
• Call your utility companies for specific emergency information.
• Call the Red Cross for temporary shelter, food, water, bedding, medical help, and so on (San Antonio -- 210-224-5151, New Braunfels -- 830-606-1999).
• Listen to the local news for flood information and for information on federally funded money.
There are also some measures you can take to protect yourself when you go to get your home repaired:
• Call the Consumer Information Center at 1-800-878-3256 or visit their web site at to receive the free publication #574E, "Repairing your Flooded Home."
• Call the Texas Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-621-0508 to check an unknown contractor wanting your business.
• Don't be pressured. Allow enough time to select a good contractor to fill your needs. Ask your lender or contractor about your rights concerning any waiting period other than the federal three-day waiting period.
• Call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD, ext. 154, or visit their web site at to get an information packet on federal flood insurance.
• Call the GSABA Remodelors™ Council at 210-696-3800 for your free brochure titled " How to Choose a Remodeler" and a free directory of member remodelers and builders.

Hopefully this information will help you in rebuilding your biggest investment. None of this is intended to be legal advice. For specific legal advice and representation, contact your attorney.

Call Rudy Niño for a quote at (210) 723-2616 or Request an Estimate online.
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