Not all roofing contractors are legitimate, here are some situations to steer clear of when making your hiring choice.
Everyone wants to hire the best person for the job with the biggest bang for their buck, but often something too good to be true can be a telltale sign that your roofing contractor is fraudulent. Choosing the wrong contractor can saddle you with problems you will have to deal with for years. Taking the time to make sure you hire the right contractor will save you time, money and trouble in the long run. Here are some mistakes to avoid when hiring a roofing contractor.
Contractors asking for money upfront
If a contractor asks for money upfront, that could be the sign of a potential scam. The elderly, in particular, are often targeted by scammers who get payment (partial or in full) upfront and then never return or complete the work. Homeowners should beware of paying anything upfront or making a final payment before a job is complete. In some cases, a partial payment upfront is not cause for alarm, such as 1) when a partial payment is required for materials, after they have been delivered to the project location and 2) if a special order, custom made or high-end product is required.
Storm chasers – here today, gone tomorrow
When storms hit in Oklahoma, we sometimes see an influx of out-of-town roofers (a.k.a. storm chasers), who “work the storm” and then leave town not long after the storms do, making it hard to reach them if something goes wrong with your roof later on. Similarly, we also see “in-town” storm chasers, who may be from the area, but have no roofing expertise and aren’t registered or insured. Sometimes these traveling contractors are helpful to have around when local roofing companies can’t keep up with the demand, but we advise you to pick a company that is local and a member in good standing with ORCA.
If the bid is significantly lower than their competitors
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Price is only one consideration when selecting a roofing contractor. Make sure you don’t pay more later by hiring a contractor that is uninsured, performs substandard work and/or leaves Oklahoma shortly after the storms do. Also, a low price that is below other contractors’ costs could mean the contractor is using a lower-quality product.
Contractor warning signs
To protect yourself and your family from inexperienced, uninsured contractors, and out-of-state contractors watch out for the following warning signs:
- Out of state license plates
- No local office
- No insurance or under-insured
- Won’t provide local references
- Demands upfront cash or deposit
- Poor BBB ratings or no local ratings