As hundreds of people seek out contractors following windstorm – don’t be fooled by scammers

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Homeowners and people all across Colorado are working towards recovery and repairs following a damaging windstorm that ripped through the state last week.

Strong winds toppled tractor trailers, uprooted trees, tore off shingles and siding, ripped up fencing and even pulled concrete sidewalk blocks from the ground.

So, requests for repairs are flooding into various roofing and tree removal companies. But, in your rush to get your home and yard fixed, don’t forget to check out your contractor to make sure they are licensed to work in El Paso County.

“It’s so important to make sure that they are properly licensed and are in good standing with our office,” said Greg Dingrando, spokesperson for the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. “That’s so they can pull the proper permits, and of course those permits are going to lead to the necessary inspections for that particular work.”

Dingrando said the best way to do that research is through PPRBD’s website, because all contractors in the county’s jurisdiction are required to be licensed with PPRBD – he said checking for licensing with his office is like “going straight to the source.”

On the website, click on “contractors,” and simply plug in the name of the worker or company you are considering hiring.

And, if someone knocks on your door to pitch their services – or if you seek an unfamiliar company out – there are a few red flags you should look out for.

“If a contractor is ever asking you, as a homeowner, to pull the permits for them – that can oftentimes be a red flag,” Dingrando said. “A homeowner should always want the contractor to pull the permit, because that puts the responsibility on that contractor. If they say, ‘Oh, can you pull a permit for me?’ That could mean they don’t have a license and they can’t pull a permit at all.”

Another thing to look out for: a contractor should not ask a customer to pay for an entire job up front.

“They might ask for some money up front, but not all of it” Dingrando said.

If you come across someone who is unlicensed and trying to solicit business in our community, Dingrando says PPRBD wants to know about it.

“That’s something we can put on file and, if something comes up again, we can hand that off to our legal department,” he said.

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