How to Spot Roofing Scams
With any contractor you hire for your home repair and installation needs, you want to make sure they are on the up and up. Besides performing your due diligence, or getting referrals from people you trust, it’s wise to know the tell-tale signs that you might be dealing with an unseemly roofing contractor.
No License, No Deal
There are plenty of reasons to work exclusively with contractors who are licensed professionals. The most obvious one is that it makes them much more likely to be trustworthy. Why would a reputable contractor not go through the proper licensing process?
Go to contractors-license.org to look up any contractor's license information.
They Pitch You at Your Front Door
Nothing against door-to-door salesmen as a whole, but if you have someone coming to your door offering roofing services, beware! They will likely offer various things for free in order to get their claws into you. Not to mention, they’re likely not even the person who will do the work. The best roofers are too busy doing their job to be soliciting work door-to-door.
You’re Offered a Free Roof
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and certainly no such thing as a free roof. What some unscrupulous roofing contractors do is tell you that you will get a new roof for free, because your insurance company will cover it all. You will be paying your deductible, and if you have a roofer who says you won’t or that they will somehow cover it or have someone else cover it, run, don’t walk away from their offer.
Also read: 4 Types of Roofing Scams to Watch Out For
They Can’t Produce a Permit
If the roofer says they have a permit and are licensed, don’t take their word for it. Verify applicable licensing and permits exist, and be sure the permit is posted before they start any work at your residence.
Why are permits so important?
- If work is done without them, your insurance coverage might be voided.
- It holds the roofer responsible for complying to building codes and requires inspections of the work to be performed.
- Permits are required by lending institutions.
Cheaper Isn’t Always Better
It’s human nature to seek out the cheapest price in anything we spend our hard earned money on. Scammers know this, and offer unreasonably low rates for their work to lure you in. If you haven’t had roofing work done before, it’s not all that easy to know what you should expect a reputable roofer will charge. The best way to approach this quandary is to get several quotes. If one is dramatically lower than the rest, it may be suspicious.
It definitely pays to be cautious and do your research on any contractor before making an agreement! Whenever possible, give special consideration to roofers and other home service professionals that come recommended by a friend or family member. You'll be glad you did!
About Sara Thompson
Blogging since 2007 about home improvement, home design, and lifestyles.