Home improvement contractors, and contractors in general, don’t have the best reputation. Unfortunately, roofers are near or at the top of the list.
We’re a roofing company, so I fully understand the industry we’re in and the bad side of it. And the truth is the industry has this reputation for good reasons.
But how did roofers get a bad reputation? And why is the reputation still going strong today?
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has tried to right the wrongs of the roofing industry by being transparent with homeowners on the good and bad. Because of this, I’ll break down how and why roofers have a reputation.
The roofing industry has such a bad reputation because so many homeowners are taken advantage of by roofers. This happens in a variety of ways, but there are a few that are the most common.
Pushy and dishonest sales tactics
The first reason roofers have a bad reputation is because of pushy and dishonest sales tactics. Unfortunately, many roofing companies care more about their bottom line than your best interest.
Because of this, some roofing companies send out salespeople whose only goal is to leave homes with a signature on a contract. They’ll push you to buy a new roof instead of being transparent that your roof has 10 years of life left.
This forces homeowners to immediately put their guard up anytime a roofer comes out to their home. This has also led to the rise of DIY roof work.
It has gotten so bad that regular homeowners would rather risk their safety than call a professional roofer. Just know that getting an inspection from only one roofing company means you have to take their word on what your roof needs.
This is how homeowners get scared into buying a new roof they don’t need. That’s why you should always get multiple quotes when you need a new roof.
Poor workmanship and not honoring workmanship warranties
Poor workmanship will make anyone angry, but mistakes are possible even with the best roofing contractors. What matters is how they handle the issue when it pops up.
What gives roofers a bad reputation is when they don't answer the phone or won’t honor their workmanship warranty when there’s a problem. The little trust you may have had in the industry is already gone after spending thousands of dollars on a faulty roof caused by lazy or poor workmanship.
But the trust completely vanishes when you can’t even get the roofer to come out and fix the problem they caused. While I want to say you can’t put every roofer under the same umbrella, this happens way too often for me to argue.
Just know that mistakes do happen on roofing projects. But as long as a roofer is willing to stand behind their work and take care of the problem, you made the right hiring choice.
Storm chasing and insurance scams
The last reason roofers have a bad reputation goes hand-in-hand with another industry with a bad reputation, insurance. Roof damage insurance scams are so prevalent in the industry because insurance work is lucrative.
Which is why there are roofing companies whose whole business model is storm chasing across the country. The bad reputation comes from these out-of-state companies coming in after big storms, knocking on doors, and scaring homeowners into buying a new roof.
They’ll undercut the prices of local roofing contractors, get the money, and move on to the next storm-hit town. They’ll leave behind a crew to replace your roof without knowing (or caring) about local codes or if they properly install your roof.
Another reason for the bad reputation is the fact that some roofers don’t care about committing insurance fraud. Once your roof damage insurance claim is approved, you’ll have to pay your deductible.
An incredibly common scam I see today is when a roofer offers to pay the deductible. However, you are outright committing fraud if you and the roofer do this.
How do you avoid being taken advantage of by a bad roofer?
Now you know why roofers have a bad reputation. The truth is the reputation is warranted based on how the industry as a whole has treated homeowners.
However, there are great roofing companies out there who do good work and have your best interest in mind. Unfortunately, it’s hard to spot one of these companies with how saturated the roofing industry is now.
So, how can you ensure you’re not getting taken advantage of before and during the hiring process? The best way to do this is by doing your due diligence, knowing what to look for, and having the right mindset.
Because of this, I wrote another article with the tips homeowners need to avoid falling victim to the bad reputation of the roofing industry.