Hiring a roofer (be it a residential or commercial roofing contractor) requires circumspection. Although the roofing segment of the construction and remodeling sector is made up of trustworthy professionals who put a premium on integrity and quality, some dodgy characters, sadly, give the trade a bad name.
Selecting a fraudulent roofer could double your expenses and stress levels. Even if it wasn’t your fault, you might find yourself in trouble with the law.
How can you separate good roofers from the bad ones? The red flags below indicate that your prospective roofing contractor is probably going to rip you off.
You’re Being Asked to Pay a Large Sum Up Front
The most unreliable roofers would want to be paid as much money as possible early on. Why? A huge down payment is a means to trap you. After all, you’d be less motivated to fire a contractor that you already prepaid 50% before your project even begins.
States have different legal maximums when it comes to upfront payment related to home improvement jobs. But as a general rule, avoid paying more than 10% of the project’s total cost or $1,000.
Reputable roofers accept progress billings. They ask for a down payment not because they can’t procure supplies on credit. Rather, they want to take the money to determine whether or not you’re serious about the project.
You’re Being Discouraged to Get a Permit
Any home project that could affect the structural integrity of a property generally requires a building permit. If your roofing company itself is opposing the idea of pulling a permit on your behalf, it’s best to take your business elsewhere.
A roofer’s reluctance to apply for a building is tantamount to refusing to take responsibility for workmanship errors.
The other party may try to convince you by saying that the changes won’t be noticeable and attract the attention of the government. It’s true that it could fly under the radar, but this deep dark secret will surface someday. When that day comes, you’ll pay the price, literally and figuratively.
You Can’t Get Legitimate Local References for Recent Projects
Wanting to know what other people have to say about a roofer you’re about to hire is common sense. You could read reviews about practically every legal business with online presence today, but it’s wise to ask your prospective contractor for some references for work done in the past few months.
Any smart roofing company will likely to share the contact details of its most satisfied customers in recent memory. However, a dishonest contractor might provide false information or none at all.
If your roofer can’t give you some local references, you’re probably dealing with a storm chaser. This door-to-door operator visit town after town and offer roof restoration services on the spot. A true storm chaser would disappear on you, leaving you high and dry in the event of an installation defect.
No matter how you slice it, roofing is a faith-based project. All reputable contractors are reputable until they’re not.
You won’t be able to eliminate the risk of hiring an unscrupulous completely. So you ought to watch your back and do due diligence to protect your best interests when your relationship with your contractor gets sour.