Rebuilding & Permitting

Contractor Hiring Tips

Make sure your contractor is registered with the City of Dickinson. You can verify the contractor is registered by calling Community Development at 281-337-6259.

Scammers know you'll spend money to repair and improve your home. Be sure you know how to protect yourself, and you should familiarize yourself with common home improvement scams.

Door-to-Door Sales

Be cautious when a salesperson appears at your door uninvited. Two very common sales pitches often associated with home improvement scams are:

• The salesperson "was in your neighborhood and noticed that you needed" siding, storm windows, or some other improvement.

• The salesperson "just did some work in your neighborhood and has extra" building supplies that would be just enough to repave your driveway or re-shingle your roof.

Be Smart about Contracts

Most home repair and remodeling work is performed under contract. Legitimate businesses will usually insist on having a contract for their own protection, and a well written contract should protect the homeowner, too.

DO NOT sign a contract with blanks in it. It happens: the blanks get filled in later, and the new terms are not likely to be in the consumer's favor.

DO NOT sign a contract until you have carefully read and understood every word of it. Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of a signed contract.

What the Law Says

Any contract you sign for work on your homestead must contain the following warning next to the space for your signature:

"Important Notice: You and your contractor are responsible for meeting the terms and conditions of this contract. If you sign this contract and you fail to meet the terms and conditions of this contract, you may lose your legal ownership rights in your home. Know your rights and duties under the law."

When you sign a contract for home improvements on your homestead, the contractor can legally place a lien on the homestead. If you sign a contract containing the language quoted above and you fail to make the payments, the company can take away your home. Therefore, it is extremely important that you understand exactly what your obligations will be under the contract, and that you are confident you can meet those obligations. If you have any questions or doubts, consult an attorney before you sign the contract.

For more information, please visit the Attorney General of Texas website.

Permitting FAQ

Q1: Are permits being required by the City of Dickinson? And are fees be assessed?

A1: The City of Dickinson is requiring that all flood repair work be permitted for residential and commercial structures, regardless of how much water existed within the home/business. If water did not reach the light switches within a home, the resident/contractor will not be charged a permit fee. In the event the homeowner is wanting to relocate or rewire electrical systems, relocate plumbing or mechanical (HVAC) systems, or remodel their home, a permit fee will be assessed by the City. All commercial permits being pulled will be charged a permit fee. Permits can be pulled at the Community Development Department located at 4403 Highway 3.

Q2: What is needed to pull a permit?

A2: The Community Development Department requires residents/businesses to bring a picture of the high water mark from the structure and a copy of the estimated cost to repair the structure. The Building Official will determine from these items whether a permit fee will be assessed and what if any inspections are needed before or after repair work is started.

Q3: Will the City prohibit me from rebuilding my home?

A3: The City is not prohibiting residents from rebuilding/repairing their homes. The Building Official will determine what permits need to be pulled at the time the picture of the high water mark and estimated cost of repairs is submitted. In the event it is determined that repair costs are in excess of 50% or more of the value of the home, the Building Official will discuss the steps needed to take in order to repair the home.

Q4: Does my Contractor need to be registered with the City?

A4: We are here to help ensure the safety of all residents/businesses and can only do this with your help. All contractors doing repair work inside the City of Dickinson are required to be registered. If you are unsure if a contractor is registered we encourage you to call the Community Development Department at 281-337-6259.