The roof is a valuable and defining asset of a home, so it’s essential to keep it in good working condition, especially after getting beaten up by the elements. However, roofing projects can be costly. Most homeowners want the best quality of work for a fair price when they get their roof done.
Unfortunately, many dishonest businesses take advantage of this. And since many homeowners have limited experience finding roofing contractors, they can easily fall prey to roofing scams. Like many industries, the roofing industry has scam artists that create schemes to cheat you out of your budget.
Avoid becoming another victim by staying alert and learning the following precautions to save yourself the headache.
Some roofing contractors approach homeowners and attempt to pressure them into signing a high-dollar, binding agreement without a full explanation. These companies aim to charge customers with down payments and legally bind them before they have a chance to find other bids.
The made-up time limit to make a claim and start repairs are typical strategies to get you to make a quick decision. They know any extra time to make an informed decision decreases their chances of getting that signature. By the time they’ve caught word of other bids, breaking the contract would be legally complicated and terribly expensive.
Keep calm and don’t give in to their demands at all costs. These contractors prey on the anxious and fearful. If you submit to the pressure, you will end up with shoddy work. This can worsen your roof’s condition, and you will have to pay an expensive bill for the roofing disaster.
Ask Around for Referrals
First-hand referrals are beneficial in finding the difference between a self-proclaimed roofing expert and actual roofing professional. This is the chance to find out the past customers’ opinion on their work. Additionally, you can learn about the issues that arose during or after completing the job and how they were handled.
It shouldn’t be difficult to find someone who had their roof done by the contractor you’re considering. You should be able to neighbors, co-workers, friends, or family members. You can also contact the roofer’s references and ask to inspect their work if possible.
Roofing contractors should happily provide you with a list of references if they are confident about their work. That’s why you need to be on your guard when they refuse or seem offended when you ask for one. These shady roofers know that people will never recommend workers who did a shoddy job. In fact, they will go out of their way to spread the word about the lousy job that they did.
Conduct an Online Research
Besides personal recommendations, conduct an online search on search engines to confirm that the contractor you’re talking to is a good one. There’s a big chance that their website will appear in the search results.
A website is an excellent source when you’re collecting information about a roofer, as most contractors who care about their work will have some web presence. They’ll work on making a great-looking website to provide a feel of professionalism.
You can also find opinions from previous clients on many review sites such as Yelp, Facebook reviews, Google reviews, and NextDoor. Similar to referrals and references, this can give you an insight regarding the roofer. Unlike real life, people are less likely to hold back in showing their grievances online. Some people would be more descriptive regarding the service deliveries they weren’t satisfied with.
Check for Proof of License and Insurance
Licenses and permits are essential details roofers need before they can operate a business and offer contracting work. However, many are offering their services without these requirements. They will often provide meager rates and take advantage of your urgent need for roof repair or replacement, particularly in times of emergency.
Before hiring a roofer, you should insist on seeing proof of their license and business permit. They need to prove that they’re licensed in your state or the state where their business is located. You also need to ensure the contractor’s license is authentic and updated. Fraudulent contractors often offer an invalid or outdated license to trick customers into thinking they’re legit.
Insurance is also an important thing to check. A roofing contractor needs to have valid and verifiable worker’s compensation insurance and liability insurance before they can start working. This is essential to protect you from being hold accountable should an accident happens on your property.
Never Pay Upfront or with Cash
It is an immediate red flag when a roofer requests an upfront payment of a substantial amount or pays in cash. Fraudulent roofs will do anything in their power to get you to work with them and walk away with your money. They might play on your emotions or trick you into believing that it’s needed to purchase materials or hire people to complete the job.
You will be at a disadvantage when you pay money upfront. These roofers can suddenly disappear before doing any or do a terrible job on your roof. If you have already paid them in full, it will be nearly impossible to get that money back and will only make things much more stressful for you.
Asking for initial payment is a standard for the trade, but they should never go beyond 20% of the total estimate. Any established or legitimate roofing company with real experience won’t charge you beyond that price until all of the work is 100% complete.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against roofing scams is to contact a reputable and trustworthy roofing contractor in your area like Universal Contracting of Florida.
Universal Contracting of Florida handles all types of roofing projects, from start to finish. Our team of professionals in Florida is equipped with the necessary experience and skills to ensure that every shingle to your roof will provide top performance and maximum protection. Visit our website or contact us at (866) 603- 4965 to learn more.