You've heard of them, the roofing contractors who travel to suburban neighborhoods and knock on doors, promising to save you thousands of dollars by reroofing your home. Like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Too often these "roofers" take your money, start the job, and then leave town with nothing but a pile of shingles as evidence their presence. Should anything go wrong with the roof, warranty information can be very difficult to gather.
Roofing scams are popular more popular than you may think and impact communities throughout the nation each year. Most "roofers" go to neighborhoods after they have been hit by a hurricane or a storm. These storm chasers target elderly people and claim that they can fix a roof for $ 2,000-$ 3,000 dollars.
To avoid a roofing scam from happening to you, NEVER accept any unsolicited offer for roofing work. Legitimate contractors are busy doing roofing work for their clients, not going around the local neighborhood in search of work. Also, legitimate roofers will be able to provide references, identification, and roofing credentials. To avoid being a victim of a potential scam, always remember, a legitimate roofer should never ask you to pay for the work up front.
Researching a Roofer:
To choose the best roofer to repair or install your roof--research! A good and easy place to start is by asking your friends and neighbors for the names of reliable roofing contractors they have used. Or look in your phone book's yellow pages for local roofers, and then look for customer reviews of roofers online in addition to personally asking the roofer for references. When you contact roofers and get bids, make sure the bid price is reasonable and pay attention to the roofer's professionalism. Often, you get what you pay for.
What to look for in a Roofer:
- Repeat business with a long term record of roofing in the nearby area
- Number of years in the business locally
- Membership in local professional associations
- Knowledge of roofing materials and procedures
Evidence that your Roofer is Legitimate:
A professional roofer should be able to provide you with an up-to-date copy of their references. Your roofer should also be able to show you a copy of his insurance coverage. Look for a roofing contractor with sufficient liability insurance, such as a policy with at least a $ 1,000,000 of coverage.
Indicators that a Roofer is Legitimate:
- Local references (jobs completed in the last 30 days and 1+ years ago)
- Business license
- Workers compensation insurance
- General liability insurance
The Contract and Costs of the Job:
Before any work is started, get a written contract. The contract should include roofing estimate details such as hauling away the old roof, warranties, roof type, roof brand, and a schedule for when the work is to be completed. Also, make sure the price covers all materials, ventilation, and cleanup.
When choosing a roofing contractor, don't fall for a scam. The tips provided should help better prepare you to spot potential red flags infamous of "storm chasers" and other deceptive roofers. Remember the importance of making sure your roofer's background is well documented and has experience with roofing that you can review. Also, make sure you fully understand the contract before work begins so that everything goes according to plan. By following these basic pieces of advice, you are more likely to end up with a roof that you are happy with.