Download PDF My water was cut off. What do I do now? Due to the severe winter weather, the main water line serving your residence or business was turned off at the city meter. Please make sure to turn on all fixtures and leave them in the “on” or “open” position. Once your pipe thaws this will allow water to flow freely. Who do I contact about my water damage? You will need to contact your insurance company. Most homeowner insurance policies cover sudden and accidental water damage. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) can help you locate your agent or insurance company. Call TDI’s Consumer Help Line at 800-252-3439 for assistance. How do I find a plumber? If you need plumbing work done, contact a state licensed plumber for a repair or an evaluation on any impacted plumbing systems. The State Board of Plumbing Examiners provides a Responsible Master Plumber List at https://tsbpe.texas.gov/portfolio/downloadable-files. A company offering/contracting plumbing services to the public must secure the services of at least one Responsible Master Plumber and have a current certificate of insurance on file with this agency. Additionally, the City of Richardson requires all contractors to register with the city. This list can be found by clicking here. Are building permits required? Building permits for repairs will be required in most cases. Please note permit fees related to repairs resulting from the severe winter storm will be waived. The online building permit portal allows plumbing contractors to obtain a permit anytime here. Permit forms are available here. You may also submit the permit via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Building Inspection staff at 972-744-4180 if you have any questions. How do I schedule an inspection? Building permits for storm repairs require inspections. Inspections are typically conducted from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Inspection requests may be made online any time here or via phone at 972-744-4180 during normal operating hours. To assist with expediting repairs, after-hours inspections will be provided during the week and on the weekend. Please contact 972-744-4111 to schedule an after-hours inspection.
Here are a few important guidelines to assist with selecting a contractor:
- Enter into a complete and clearly written contract with your contractor.
- Much of the work on a home is performed, designed and installed by state licensed/insured contractors. State licenses are required for electricians, HVAC contractors and plumbing contractors. Foundation and framing designs/modifications are typically prepared by state licensed engineers.
- Make sure the contractor has a permanent business location and a good reputation with a local bank and suppliers. Find out how long they have been in the building business. You want to know that your contractor will be around after construction is complete to fulfill any warranty obligations.
- Ask for and verify references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to learn if any complaints have been filed against your contractor.
- Obtain multiple estimates to compare pricing. Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids or hard-sell tactics.
- Do not pay for the entire job upfront or pay in cash. In fact, state law prohibits contractors in disaster areas from taking upfront money unless they have held a physical business address in the county or adjacent county for at least one year.
- Texas does not require general contractors to be licensed. However, the City requires that all contractors be registered with the Building Inspection Department prior to performing any work. If you're considering awarding a project to a contractor, first verify that the contractor is registered by visiting the City's Registered Contractors List. If your contractor isn't listed but claims they are, you can call 972-744-4180 and speak to a Building Inspection staff member during normal business hours.