Southeast Texans anxious to repair and rebuild damaged homes in the wake of Hurricane Ike should beware of out-of-state builders and contractors who already are flooding into Texas looking for work, warns the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) and its local affiliates.

“Our industry understands that people want to quickly put their homes and their lives back together,” said Bill Pittman, president of the Galveston County Builders Association. “But the state sets stringent requirements for building and remodeling in Texas that are designed to protect homeowners. Using a builder or remodeler who has met these requirements will help safeguard a homeowner’s rebuilding investment.”

Under state law, home builders and remodelers must register with the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) in order to do business in Texas. Registration assures homeowners that their builder or remodeler has passed a background check and maintains a Texas business address. In addition, work performed by that builder or remodeler must meet specific building standards and be covered by a warranty.

“Using an out-of-state builder, remodeler or contractor is risky,” said Beaumont builder Bill Little, a director of both TAB and the Home Builders Association of Southeast Texas. “Neither they nor their work is held accountable to standards set by the state of Texas. Hurricane Ike victims run the risk of being revictimized as they try and rebuild their lives.”

A homeowner can check the registration status of a builder or remodeler through the TRCC’s online searchable database at or by calling 1-877-651-TRCC. The database also contains other information, such as the number of homes a builder or remodeler has registered with the TRCC and whether that builder or remodeler has a confirmed construction defect.

If approached by a builder or remodeler looking for work, Texans should ask to see the individual’s TRCC-issued registration certificate and / or wallet card to verify proof of registration.

Homeowners also should keep in mind that, as of Sept. 1, homes in unincorporated areas must undergo inspection to ensure their home’s construction meets applicable code.

Founded in 1946, the TAB is an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders and has 33 local home builders associations across Texas. Representing over 500,000 jobs and more than $35 billion in the Texas economy, the state and local associations play a crucial role in providing housing for Texans.

With nearly 13,000 members, TAB is the nation’s third largest home builders association.