The roofing industry doesn’t have the best reputation. Unfortunately, this is because roofing contractors take advantage of homeowners every day.
You shouldn’t have to worry about this, but the sad reality is that you do. And it makes the rest of us that do things the right way look bad.
Well we want to help you avoid this happening to you and your family. That’s why we’ll give you ways to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has tried to right the wrongs of the roofing industry. Because of this, we’ll help you avoid falling victim to a bad roofing contractor.
Let’s get to what you can do to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor.
Only look at roofing contractors local to your area
The first way to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor is by only looking at companies local to your area. You need to make sure they have a local phone number and a physical location in your area.
This ensures you know exactly where to find them if there’s ever a problem. But the main reason you need to make sure they’re local is because of storm-chasing companies.
And when problems eventually show up, they won’t be around to fix the problem. This is not to say all storm-chasing companies are bad.
However, just be on the safe side and look at local companies to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of by one of these roofing contractors.
Do your due diligence and research the roofing contractor
Even when hiring a local roofing contractor, there’s the possibility you could be taken advantage of. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and research roofing companies in your area.
Once you find two or three roofing companies in your area, you need to look at their reviews. With reviews, you can gauge if a potential roofing contractor is reputable and reliable.
Just know all reviews you read won’t be accurate because people tend to go to the extreme one way or the other. But if a local roofing contractor stands behind their work, interacts positively with customers, and does things the right way, it should show up in their reviews.
On the other hand, if you see multiple reviews with similar problems, like poor quality work or not honoring workmanship warranties, you may want to avoid that roofing company. To ensure you’re getting an accurate picture of the company, look at reviews from the last 2-3 months to get recent good or bad homeowner experiences.
Ask the roofing contractor to see all appropriate paperwork
Every roofing contractor should be licensed, bonded, and insured. That’s why one of the easiest ways to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor is by asking for proof that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured.
If they have all three, they’ll have no problem showing you proof of all the appropriate paperwork. If a roofing contractor isn’t licensed, bonded, and insured in your specific state, don’t even think about hiring them.
Below is a little information about each to help you understand why they’re important and why a roofing contractor has to have them.
For a contractor to get a license, all they have to do is register with your state’s board of licensing contractors. The price of the job will determine what license they’ll need.
For example, a job over $3,000 requires a home improvement license and anything over $25,000 requires a general contractor’s license. Roofing contractors should have a general contractor’s license because a roof is a large investment.
A bond ensures that if a company goes out of business during the middle of a job or if there's a problem with the work and they don't fix it, then the customer can fall back on the bond company.
Being bonded means that a bonding company knows that a roofing contractor does business correctly and ethically. The bonding company puts up the bond because they know the contractor will do the job the right way.
All contractors should be fully insured with general liability, workman's comp, and a company vehicle insurance policy on all the vehicles owned and unowned.
General liability insurance and workman’s comp limits depend on the size of the contractor’s jobs and the state they’re in. If all they’re doing is small residential work, their general liability will not be as much as a company that does larger jobs.
At the end of the day, being licensed, bonded, and insured is to protect you and your roof investment. If a roofing contractor can’t provide proof of all three, don’t even think about hiring them and move on with your search.
Don’t look for the cheapest price available
I understand a new roof is an expensive investment, and you may have a tight budget. But one of the biggest ways a homeowner gets taken advantage of by a roofing contractor is by looking for a low price.
That’s why it’s important not to go into the roof replacement process looking for the cheapest roof possible. If you’re looking for the cheapest price available, you’re making yourself a prime target to be taken advantage of by a bad roofer.
They’ll use this to their advantage and will even lower their prices to win your business. They’ll use poor quality materials, cheap labor, and could even cut corners by leaving crucial components off your roof altogether.
If this happens, your roof is set up for premature roof failure from the very beginning. I know the price for a new roof is intimidating, but just know that there are ways to afford a quality roof without breaking the bank.
Get multiple roof estimates for your roofing project
Getting multiple roof estimates gives you a chance to compare the quotes from the different roofing contractors. This is a great way to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor if you notice some red flags.
The roofing contractor isn’t willing to go over the estimate with you
I’m not saying you have to get multiple quotes if you find a roofing contractor you trust and feel comfortable with. But it’s always a good idea to get multiple opinions on your roofing needs.
Ask the right questions when meeting with a roofing contractor
Now you know how to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor. As long as you do the things in this article, you should be able to find a great roofer in your area.
But there’s another way to avoid being taken advantage of by a roofing contractor I didn’t cover in this article. This is asking the right questions when talking to or meeting with potential roofing contractors in your area.
That’s why we created a checklist of 16 questions every homeowner needs to ask their potential roofing contractor. The checklist also has the right answers you should get back from a reputable roofer.
With your checklist, you’ll have the power to make the right hiring decision to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of. Keep going to get your free checklist.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services to thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. No matter if you need roof repairs or a full roof replacement, you can count on us and our lifetime warranty to take care of your roof for years to come.
If you’re local to Nashville or a surrounding Middle Tennessee area, don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your roofing needs.