The roof is among the most important elements of the home, building or any establishment. If it gets issues like leaks, hail damage or needs to be completely replaced, owners may panic and have it quickly repaired. Indeed, roof issues need immediate attention.
If left unattended, roofing issues can cause deterioration and loss of home value. Contractors who work on roofs can give efficient, professional services, but others offer frustration and give homeowners more headache. It is important to know the difference between a good and a bad roofing contractor because getting a new roof or fixing one usually incurs large expense. Homeowners seriously want to have a legit and dependable roofing contractor.
Not all people have extensive knowledge of roofing and it is unfortunate that some contractors take advantage of this. It is good to get familiar with some roofing scams so as not to fall victims or it would really be a waste of money and time.
Here are some hints that should at least alert anyone when it comes to roofing contractors:
After agreeing to fix roofs, some contractors may ask for a down payment before commencing work. However, he or she may disappear after receiving the money, never to be seen again. Typically, honest contractors do not require down payment and if they do, it should just be a small amount. Homeowners should not pay more than one-third of the agreed amount as down payment if they have to.
- Door-to-door contractor
Someone shows up at the door without an appointment and offer a free roof inspection. The person may fabricate damage to the roof and show photos of the damage happening on the roof, which can be someone else’s. These kinds of salesmen may manipulate homeowners, especially the elderly. Though there are legit door-to-door salesmen, it is best to just decline this type of free offers.
- High price
Homeowners could be offered a new roof at a very low price. In the middle of the job, contractors would say the price of materials increased, demanding more money than what they have agreed upon. Contractors are usually aware of increase of material prices weeks before it happens. The surge of prices of materials is supposedly the responsibility of the roofing company, not of the homeowners’. It is best to make sure that the prices are addressed specifically in any contract to be signed.
- Storm scammers
Some scammers go to areas recently hit by major storms, approach owners about home damage and offer to fix or replace the roof at a low cost. They would do the job, but with very poor quality materials that the owner would need a new one in just a short time. The supposed company of these scammers will also disappear.
The threat of roofing scams is real so it is better to be aware and avoid them than to be victimized. Homeowners can heed the following suggestions:
- Hire contractors recommended by trusted friends
- Know more about standard or average costs associated with roofing jobs and get multiple estimates. Most people regret getting the lowest bid among very few bids. One needs to look at the entire aspect of the job and not just the initial cost.
- Check if the contractor has proper and real permits and licenses.
- Check the insurance and see to it that it is current and covers the firm and its workers.
- Put everything agreed upon with the contractor in writing.
- Read contracts carefully before signing them. Never ever sign a contract when it has blank spaces.
- Do a background check of the contractor and his company. Legit contractors usually have an online presence and their website lists real phone numbers and address.