Restorers are often faced with important decisions that either result in profitability or loss. Defending your reputation, actions, and bottom line, without proper evidence or data wastes time, money, and energy. There are a couple steps a restorer can take to make this process seamless.
Step 1: Consistent Process
I've had the opportunity to go to court as a defendant, plaintiff, and an expert witness. Jobs typically end up in court because the documentation was vague and left open to questions.
98% of all disputes will close before they make it to court, but that doesn’t mean that it won't cost you money. Prepare every job with consistent processes, and consistent results will follow.
Lorne McIntyre, CR, WLS, CLS and a partner of First General Services of Toronto stated:
“The only person on site with the knowledge and understanding of the hazards, risks and liability of the job is the restorer. It is the duty of the restorer to document the pre-existing conditions, the damages from the loss, and what actions will likely restore the job. If something changes during the job, it is also the restorer’s responsibility to document the changes and inform the materially interested parties.”
Lorne speaks from experience and from the unique position of being an expert witness. His body of work also includes being a Registered Third Party Evaluator who often performs technical file reviews and provides an opinion in disputes. Lorne deals in the vagueness and poorly documented files to try and determine the rationale of the restorer’s actions. “
It shouldn’t surprise me, but most of the time it is the restorer has failed to document and inform the parties of the issues. It is their failure to properly record the issues that causes a chain reaction of circumstances that damages the jobs profitability," says Lorne.
Step 2: Document Pre-existing Conditions
Prevention is the best medicine for any attack on your restoration services. Document the pre-existing conditions. These are the damages that were not related to the loss and can be anything from the dents, dings; and scratches from normal homeowner wear and tear. It could be pre-existing water damage that left water marks or mold growth from the high moisture content. In many cases, it is the discoloration of the flooring that causes issues when it is time for the invoice to be paid. The restorer must also provide clear documentation of the resulting damages, determine when it was damaged, how severe the damage is, and the likelihood of restoring the damage. The restorer is left to provide a budget on the job to ensure everyone is likely to be informed about the severity of the loss and the anticipated costs.
The restoration contractor is obligated to document, justify, and respond to the damages of a building. In order to ensure payment, the onus is on you to defend your actions. The only way you can do this is to document from the start and continue documenting until you leave the job and get the completion certificate signed.
If you want help documenting your claim contact the team at Encircle who will start reducing your liability and increasing your profitability today.