Some of the most common Roofing Scams:
When a homeowner is looking for a Roofing Company to repair or replace their roof, sometimes out of desperation they will hire a roofing contractor for many reasons without doing some research. Some of these reasons might be leaks around the house, shingles that blew off, water damage or they just don't like the way their roof looks. Your roof plays the biggest role in keeping your home out of the elements. It is the "most important" component to keeping your house dry. Some so called "roofing contractors" will use this in their advantage and prey on vulnerable homeowners in a fraudulent way. Sometimes they will take your downpayment and you will never see them again. Other contractors say they will give you a cheap price but by the end of the job that price has double or tripled. Some homeowners will hire a company that is not even established in this area, not realizing until they have a problem that they have hired a company from a different city or even state! Here we will take a closer look at some of these scams and how to avoid them.
*Your Roofing Contractor door-to-door "Salesman":
If you go to see a mechanic to fix your car and just by looking at it, the mechanic tells you that he will charge you $9,000.00 to fix it. If you decide to do it right now he will give you a "big discount" and only charge you $7,000.00. Well of course you are going to tell him that he's insane for giving a price like that without finding the problem first. Only then, can he actually give an accurate estimate. Well, it is the same way with Roofing, unless you have plenty of money to spare. Anyone can give an estimate like that, knowing that there's plenty of margin for profit and error. They just up-sale everything, so when the next company gives you an estimate that is a lot cheaper, you then think it is too good to be true . Some companies that do door-to-door sales are honest and will do what they promise, but others will prey on naive homeowners and will target neighborhoods with a large number of senior citizens or older homes. Sometimes they will offer "big discounts" or "upgrades" if you decide to sign the contract right there. Most of the time they are professional "salesmen" that have never installed a shingle in their life, instead they are well trained to sell you anything, and they will not take a "no" for an answer. The best way to avoid this scam is to NEVER sign any contracts until you have at least two more opinions from other roofing companies. Take a day or two to think about it and do your research on each company.
*Your "Disappearing Down Payment" Roofing Contractor:
The title says it all! This is your typical guy that will pressure you to get a downpayment for materials, labor etc. and after you have given it to him, you will never see him again. These types of roofers are usually found on "Craigslist". We have heard about these scams and this is why many homeowners don't feel comfortable giving a downpayment anymore. What we do in our company, for example, is that if you don't feel comfortable giving us a down-payment all you have to do is sign the contract (to protect ourselves as well) and pay us the whole amount when the job is completed. A reputable roofing company, most of the time, will be able to afford to front the materials for most jobs. The best way to avoid these scams is to always do your research about these "roofers" and ask for references and past jobs.
*Your "High Pressure Salesman" Roofing Contractor:
Again, the title says it all. These guys love to tell you that they have an "exceptional" offer for you today only, and you must sign the contract right now or you will loose it (and of course the upgrades). If you put any kind of resistance to the "sales pitch" they will make dishonest claims or mislead you and again. They will NOT take a "no" for an answer because they know that the minute they walk out of your door, the chances of selling that roof are diminished greatly. They usually want to meet both the husband and the wife so they can put them in a situation where they won't argue in front of them. They usually charge a higher rate and want to get the homeowner to sign the contract before another company comes along with a lower price. These type of scams happen all the time, since most homeowners will only replace a roof once or twice in their lives its easy to fall into their trap because of the lack of knowledge and experience in this field. Again, the best way to avoid this scam is to NEVER sign any paperwork on the same day. Roofs are not cheap, it is a big expense and you should always have time to consider spending that kind of money.
*Your Roofing Contractor "Storm Chaser":
These guys are my favorite! They will go from town to town chasing hail storms, hurricanes and other big storms. They will go thru neighborhoods with a lot of damage offering their roofing services. You better not have a problem because if you do you will never hear from them again! These "roofing gypsies" know insurance will cover most of the cost of these damaged roofs and of course the homeowner will be desperate to get a roof over their exposed house, so they fall into a trap. These "gypsies" will usually replace a roof to a bare minimum, in order to maximize their profit, leaving you with poor workmanship, cheap materials and most of the time they are not even licensed to work in that state or their insurance won't cover them(if they have any). Most of these roofs will have to be replaced within 5 to 7 years according to some consumer reports. The best way to avoid these scams, even if a big storm goes thru your town or city always use a local reliable roofing company; even if you have to put a tarp over your roof for a month or two it will be worth it in the long run.
*Your Roofing Contractor with an "Inflating Estimate" :
Last but not least, the "always changing" estimate guy. These guys will always come up with a cheaper price than anybody else, but at the end of the job you end up paying more than any other estimate other companies provided. Most homeowners will jump in when they see the low bid but they will regret it when the final bill shows up in their mail explaining all the "unexpected costs" or "unforeseen problems" that they ran into during the job. It is very important to always have everything in writing, about the whole process. In order to avoid scams like this, always look at the small print. Material prices should never change in the middle of the job, unless it is a job that is going to take months; and even in that case they should have a locked in price for labor and materials. It is impossible to know what we are going to run into once the job is started but it is very important to talk with the homeowner and explain to them the unexpected extra costs as they arise; such as the cost of an extra sheet of plywood (average $35), replacing a rafter or all other unforeseen problems. It is very important to always inspect a roof before giving an estimate, most of our clients tell us that we are one of the only companies that "walk" the roof every time and goes inside the attic before giving and estimate to avoid having all these extra costs at the end.
Well friends, thanks for taking the time to read this. If you are in the Hampton Roads area (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, etc) and have any roofing needs, please don't hesitate to contact us, we will be glad to help.
Call for a free estimate : (800) 757 6701