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Roofing Scams - Don't Fall for Them
The roofing industry is unfortunately over-susceptible to scams and shoddy workmanship. Below are some common ones:
- Your roof warranty is void the moment it's installed!
What few people outside the roofing industry don't realize is that your roofing warranty is wholly dependent on the skill and honesty of the contractor. In order to understand why, you have to understand the warranty process. All warranties are given by the manufacturer by default after installation - they do not inspect roofs at project completion for craftsmanship. Once a claim is submitted, the manufacturer will send a qualified representative to determine if the roof was properly installed using the correct materials and to their required instructions and details. If not, the warranty is void. Your only recourse is legal action against the contractor. Often the contractor cannot be located, is not licensed, may not still be in business, or refuses to remedy the defects. Add to that, the hassle and expense of legal proceeding is not worth the effort.
So how do you know if the roof was properly installed? You don't...unless you research the manufacturer's recommendations, get on the roof personally, and inspect all components of construction. It's just not practical to do. You are almost forced to take the contractor at his word - hence the value of contracting an honest roofer.
I wish I had a fool-proof solution to this problem; I don't. Some steps you can take to help protect yourself are:
1. Verify the contractor is licensed and insured. Also, verify the saleperson who sold you the roof has a sales license. All are requirements of state licensing boards.
2. Ask for references for similar work in your area. Call the references, every time. Ask for references for the same roof type (shingles vs. TPO vs. clay tile) and the same type and size of project. A contractor's performance on 3 tab shingle roof for a detached shed may not indicate their ability to install a 3000 SF standing seam roof on your dream home.
3. Do not automatically go with the lowest bid. Sometimes, the contractor is low because they take shortcuts. Evaluate the scope of work of multiple bids, ask questions until you're satisfied, and trust your instincts with contractors operating out of the back of a truck, or ones that you just don't feel you can trust. Always select the lowest price for the best value and quality, not just the lowest price.
We stand behind our work, period. We are not always the lowest price, we are the lowest price for dependable, quality work.
High Pressure Sales Tactics
Many roofing contractors will use high pressure sales tactics to wring as much money out of clients as possible. They insist on meeting in person, even if it's entirely not necessary. They provide an inflated bid, often 150% or higher than a fair price for work. If you hesitate, they call their boss and negotiate a 20% discount. If you hesitate again, they hem and haw, tell you are taking all the profit out of the job, call their boss again, and reduce the price another 10%. They say they are only giving you this price because they need the work, it's a steal, there is no profit on the job, are going to get fired, or use tricky accounting to eliminate unnecessary work from their quote, knowing it had no value in the first place. They won't leave until you sign the contract. Pressure, pressure, pressure - and hopefully you cave. But now you know, so you won't!
In the last scam, I told you the lowest price can be a trap. For the above reason, the highest price may also be a scam. The only way to know is get multiple quotes, compare the scopes and look for warning signs. A bid inappropriate high, even two bids, may be a drain on your wallet. Look for warning signs, especially any of the above tactics.
And if you don't want to deal with high-pressure sales, consider giving us a call. But only if you want to...