A strong storm blew through Central Minnesota on Saturday morning, bringing with it large hail and damaging winds. Our house in Sartell got nailed pretty hard by the hail and a number of siding panels were cracked badly on the front of the home.

Take a few minutes to survey your house and take a look at all the siding. Take a few steps back on the lawn and see what you can see on the roof as well. With more rain in the forecast and winter fast approaching, you don't want to realize you have damage (and the problems that come with it) in the middle of January.

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Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau when it comes to hiring a contractor to fix your home:

1. Research the company before hiring them. This one seems obvious but a loit of times after a big storm people from the roofing companies might approach you right at your front door. Check out their website and reviews before committing to look for red flags.

2. Ask for references. Most companies will have a list of references from past customers to help you decide if you want to go with them.

3. Get multiple quotes. The BBB recommends getting quotes from three different companies before making your choice.

4. Get it in writing. Never take a person's word when it comes to the cost of a big project... always get it written down.

5. Verify license and insurance.  You can check HERE to make sure the company you are dealing with is on the up-and-up.

6. Inquire about a lien waiver. This is a statement from the contractor that says all suppliers have been paid for their materials and/or labor.

7. Get a receipt. Keep this in your records in case either side makes an accounting error.

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