Finding a good roofer can be a difficult task. The roof is a huge investment, so making sure that the best roofer possible is working on your roof is of the utmost importance. When choosing a roofing contractor, you’re affecting the health and longevity of your roof, which in turn impacts your home. When you choose the right roofer, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting honest suggestions and quality assistance with all of your roofing needs.
It’s important to be able to tell the difference between a legitimate roofer and a scammer. But how do you know if a roofer is legitimate? The following are some tips for spotting a fake roofer or a scam, as well as how to tell that the roofing company you’re looking at working with is a quality roofer.
Ask for Insurance Information
It’s important to ensure that any contractor you hire to work on your home, whether it’s the roof or elsewhere, is insured. Any roofing contractor that is hesitant to show their insurance is most likely not legitimate. This is one of the most important aspects of choosing a roofer because if something happens on your property, you could be liable for the damages or injuries. Any roofing company that you hire should have both workman’s comp insurance and liability insurance. Don’t hesitate to contact the insurance company to verify that the policy is legitimate.
Check Their Certifications
Not just anyone can become a roofer. Legitimate roofing companies will be both trained and certified in roofing. It’s also one of the best ways to make sure that your roof is in the best, most qualified hands. A quality roofing company is happy to show off their certifications so you shouldn’t have to ask for them.
Ask Them Questions
Often, roofing scammers will try to dodge questions, whether it’s about your roofing project or about their company. Don’t hesitate to ask any question that you can think of. The more honestly and openly the company answers those questions, the more likely it is that they are legitimate.
Read Their Reviews
When it comes to verifying the integrity of a company, the internet is your best friend. Before choosing a roofing company, check out their online reviews. Google can be a great resource for all consumers to learn about a roofing company before hiring them. Search for the company’s name and read the Google reviews and ratings to ensure that they’re a trusted source for what they do. Yelp is also a good source of reviews. If you can’t find any reviews and the company has no presence online, that’s a sign the company may not be legitimate.
Ask Your Friends and Neighbors
Anyone you know who owns a home, from your family and friends to your neighbors, will need to have work done on their roof at some point. This means that they may be a good resource for finding a trustworthy, quality roofing company. Ask around to see if anyone you know has heard of the roofing company you’re considering. You can also ask them for recommendations.
If you’re considering a roof replacement or need a roof repair, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting a second, third, or even fourth opinion. Talk to multiple, reliable roofing companies about the roofing needs you have and compare their rates. If one seems outrageously high then move on.
If one of the quotes you get seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Never settle for the lowest cost, as those tend to be scams. If a quote is too low, then either the scammer may walk away with the money you’ve paid or the scammer will “discover” additional damage that inflates the price later on.
Thoroughly Read the Contract
Before signing anything, make sure that you thoroughly read the contract. Scammers can often be very convincing and make it seem like you’re getting a great deal. However, if the contract doesn’t include everything you wanted, be wary.
Don’t Pay Anything Up Front
A scammer is most likely going to ask for the money upfront. This way, they can take the money and run without actually doing any work. A legitimate roofing company will ask for some money upfront as insurance that you’ll pay the rest when the job is finished. But if the asking amount before any work has been done is the full amount or the majority of the total costs, that’s a sign of a scam.
Don’t Hire a Solicitor
Roofers who knock on your door to offer their services, especially after a storm, tend to be scammers. Legitimate roofers are typically very busy after a storm and won’t have the time to go door-to-door soliciting business.
What accreditation should a roofer have?
Not all states require roofers to be licensed. Even if your state doesn’t require a license, your local area may. It’s a good idea to research ahead of time if there’s a government-required license your roofer should have and, if so, ask to see it.
Whether there’s a government license or not, you can still ask to see what credentials a roofer may have. The National Federation of Roofing Contractors, or NFRC, offers a certificate that roofers may qualify for.
How do you know if a roofer is ripping you off?
If a roofer plans to rip you off, they’ll be looking to get the largest amount of money for the least amount of work. Did the roofer ask for the entire bill or a large percentage of it to be paid upfront? Does the work look shoddy? Are the prices they quoted for the materials much higher than normal? Look at the work the roofers have done. If it doesn’t look well-done, that’s also a sign that they’re ripping you off.
What roofing scams should I look out for?
A common roofing scam occurs after a storm. In this scam, a roofer knocks on your door and tells you that they can see damage on your roof from the storm and offers to look at it for you. While it’s possible that your roof may have been damaged by the storm, genuine roofers are typically too busy after a storm to have time to go door-to-door soliciting sales. It’s best to schedule an inspection with a roofer you know to be trustworthy following a storm.
Another common scam is someone knocking on your door and telling you that they were doing roofing work on your neighbor’s roof and that they have extra materials leftover. They’ll offer you a discount if you let them work on your roof, too. Chances are good that the work won’t actually get done, or if it does, it won’t be well done. They’ll take the money and leave you with a shoddy roof.