In the world of home improvement, choosing a contractor for your given project can be tough! With so many different companies out there, picking a trustworthy and hardworking contractor is paramount for the future of your home and finances.
In this brief guide, PRQ's professional roofers will outline common contractor scams to look out for and help you avoid dishonest roofers!
Hiring a Trusted Contractor Can Be Tough
With a high-ticket item like roofing, it's unfortunately all too common for scams to arise. Unsuspecting homeowners can be desperate to fix their roofs in a timely manner, while storm-chasers and scammers are lurking to take advantage of that opportunity.
It's important to take your time and do thorough research on your options with contractors; you will want a roof that's built correctly and safely above all else!
Want to know how much it would cost to repair or replace your roof?
Common Roofing Scams to Look Out For
After many years in the roofing industry, we've seen nearly every trick in the book that dishonest contractors try. From high-pressure sales tactics to coming up with "mystery roof damage," it's important to be aware of the many scams that fraudulent roofers can deploy.
As one of the more common and frequently executed home-improvement scams, it's always important to be wary of storm chasers. Storm chasers are typically classified as roofing contractors, who are not local to the area, that will seek out storm damage to homes and provide quick, hasty roofing estimates to try and get you to agree to their terms. After all, your roof may be in disrepair, and you're eager to get it fixed!
These storm chasers will typically present themselves by going door-to-door after severe weather strikes with trained salespeople trying to sell repairs and new roofing systems. Even if your home has been greatly damaged by a major storm, it's still important to take the time to vet each contractor that you're considering.
Mystery Damage Upon Inspection
Another popular scam for dishonest roofers is to exaggerate or provide inaccurate inspections for their prospective clients. They will tend to leave out important details or not be able to pinpoint exactly what the damage may be. It's paramount to get second, third, and even fourth opinions on your roofing damage, if possible! Also, ask your roofing inspector to provide pictures or other proof of the damage that they find. This way, you can cross-reference estimates to see who might be exaggerating and who is not.
Unusually Low Starting Bids
There's an old saying: you get what you pay for.
Most professional roofers will warn homeowners to stay away from unusually low bids for roofing jobs. While roof replacement and repairs are expensive, and many people want to save money on this expense, it's important not to jump at the lowest offer you receive. Also, noticeably low starting bids may mean that the roofer is not serious about performing the repairs the right way. This can lead to shoddy workmanship with bad materials or even nothing getting done at all!
Requesting Large Payments Upfront
Possibly, the most notable red flag for a roofing contractor is requesting a large payment upfront. Many scammers will take this money and run, leading to not only a loss of funds but also no repairs on your roof!
Most reputable contractors will ask for no more than 15% of the project price as a down payment. They will also provide clear contract details outlining the rest of the payment, scheduling for their work, and more.
Tips for Avoiding Dishonest Roofers
Now that you're aware of some of the most popular roofing scams out there, we'll walk through some of the steps you can take in your contractor search to avoid them!
Always Do Your Research
As professional roofers ourselves, the main thing we can recommend to avoid a dishonest roofing company is taking the time to do your research. Knowledge really is power, especially when it comes to making a large investment in your home. From vetting multiple contractors to checking in with the Better Business Bureau, there are many steps you can take to protect your home from scammers.
Consider Multiple Bids and Beware of the Lowest Price
When shopping for something as expensive as a roof, it's always best to consider multiple options when it comes to price, materials, and contractors alike. However, comparing these bids side by side doesn't simply mean you should pick the lowest price - as we stated earlier, when it comes to roofing, you get what you pay for!
Oddly low bids compared to others can mean that the contractor could have poor workmanship, bad customer service, and use shoddy materials, among the many other problems that can arise with roofing! It's always best to find a happy medium that you are comfortable with when it comes to a contractor's price and quality.
Check In With the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Luckily, there are many resources available for vetting contractors when completing your search. One of the most popular sites for proving business credibility is the Better Business Bureau. Not only does the BBB provide credentials and validity, but it also provides rankings and grades for each business that is listed in its database.
This is a great way to vet a contractor or business that you have never heard of before!
Ask for Insurance and Licensing from Your Contractor
Speaking of credentials, while it may seem silly to ask a contractor for proof of their licensing and insurance, you absolutely should! This way, you will know that you are working with a reputable company that has the paperwork to back it up. Unfortunately, it's all too common for homeowners to hire contractors who do not have the necessary licenses or insurance.
Get Referrals from Friends and Family
Most contractors rely on word-of-mouth advertising for their businesses, and for good reason. If a job is successfully completed, and a customer is happy with their work, they will likely tell their friends and family about how great of a job that contractor did! This way, you will not have to "go in blind" when it comes to hiring any old roofer for your home.
Don’t Rush Into Making a Final Decision
While it may seem difficult, especially if your home is in desperate need of roof repair, it is important to take your time while researching and vetting contractors. Never rush into making a snap decision when it comes to your home's overall safety and well-being.
We recommend that you follow the tips outlined in this brief guide to help you along the way.
PRQ Exteriors is a Leading Roofer in Colorado
PRQ Exteriors is proud to be a trusted roofer in the Greater Denver area and throughout the state of Colorado. We are known for providing top-rated services for home and business owners alike while bringing our trademark workmanship and excellent customer service to every roofing project.
For a complimentary roofing estimate, contact the pros with PRQ today!
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Since 2014, our team of top-notch professionals has been helping homeowners and property managers throughout Colorado meet and exceed their roofing needs with our proven roofing services. To learn more about how we can help you with your next roofing project, contact us today for a free estimate and consultation!