How can you tell if the roofing contractor you are about to hire or have already hired is honest? Are you letting a professional into your home and can you trust what they are telling you? It can be hard to tell at times. Smooth-talking and charming salespeople can be extremely convincing. But a new roof installation is a major and often expensive home improvement project, so you want to ensure that the person you are allowing into your home and giving your money to, is telling you the truth. Let’s help you put your mind at ease or confirm your suspicions.
Trust our team of roofing contractors Brockton MA. We’re presenting this article in order to warn local residents on how to determine if they’re being ripped off.
There are several warning signs that you should be on the lookout for when both hiring and working with roofing contractors. The whole process of replacing your roof can be stressful without having to worry about whether or not you hired an honest and truly professional contractor. Protect yourself, your home, and your investment, and keep an eye out for any of these red flags.
Being Overcharged by Your Roofer
No one expects you to be a home improvement pricing expert and some dishonest contractors will attempt to take advantage of your lack of expertise and try to pad the pricing on your bid. Being overcharged is a real concern you should be on guard for. Now, there are several factors that will affect the costs of your new roof; from materials, labor, size of your home, the scope of work, and the type of warranties the roofing contractor offers. All of these different factors can be difficult for you to understand and some dishonest contractors will use your confusion against you.
So, how can you tell if your roofer is trying to overcharge you? Protect yourself with research and get multiple quotes. Check each of your potential roofers’ online reviews and reputation. What do their past customers have to say about their experience and the costs of the project? Then, call at least three contractors to come to give you a bid. While you should expect some variations in price and scope of work if one bid is astronomically higher than the others, then that is a clear sign to avoid that bid and that contractor altogether.
Roofer Wants to be Paid All Upfront
While it isn’t unreasonable for home improvement contractors to want to verify payment before beginning a project, demanding the full amount of the project upfront is another red flag. This is especially true if you are paying with cash or credit card, once you have paid the full amount the contractor may feel less likely to complete the task to your liking, or worse, they could disappear with your money.
Now, wanting a down payment or holding a credit card on file are perfectly reasonable requests many roofing contractors will insist on. You can expect a reputable contractor to request a down payment of up to 15%, but if they want all of the money or an extremely large down payment upfront, the contractor may be planning on taking your money and running off with it. But if you are planning on financing your new roof installation, any reputable contractor will want you to complete the financing applications and be approved before beginning the project. Again, these are normal requests any valid contractor might ask for to protect themselves and ensure they will receive payment for their work.
My Roofing Contractor’s Bid is Super Vague
The materials and their costs should always be listed in the contract before you sign it. You should see the cost of labor and an estimated time to complete the project. However, if your roofer or the salesperson they send, just presents you with a vague piece of paper with the quote, that is a red flag.
Contracts from a reputable business should also state any warranties and guarantees the company is offering you. You need all of this information in writing in case any issue arises during the installation process or if there is any damage or leaks after the project is completed.
Roofer is Super Eager to Me to Sign a Contract
If the salesperson is eager for you to sign the contract without giving you time to read everything or think it over, this is another red flag. Firstly, make sure you read ALL of the fine print on the contract, flip it over and make sure there isn’t more fine print on the back the salesperson hasn’t shown you. It is normal for you to want to look over the contract and think about it overnight, a new roof is a major expense after all.
Be wary if the salesperson says the “deal” they are offering is only good if you sign that day. This is a sign he doesn’t want you to take the time to think over your options, get other bids, or do more research. If the price they are offering is only magically good until the moment the salesperson leaves, this is a signal that you are dealing with an iffy contractor. You are buying a new roof after all, not a used car.
Contractor Tries to Change the Price After the Work Begins
If you agree on a price and the scope of work then sign a contract with your roofer, that should be it. If your contractor comes to you after they begin their work with additional charges or claim they need more materials, that is a major sign they are trying to scam you. A true professional knows what a project should cost in labor and materials and they should most definitely be willing to stand behind their contract and the promises they made you.
Remember you are not responsible if your contractor miscalculates their material costs and they should never come to you and ask for more money. The only expectation would be if YOU request additional work or want to make a change.
Job is Completed Early or the Contractor Doesn’t Want to Provide A Detailed Invoice
Your contractor may try to cut corners or pad the bid then act sneaky later to gain a larger profit. For example, say your roofer quotes your job for three days of work but completed the project in a little over a day. This is a sign that the contractor either A) overbid on the labor to raise the cost or B) cut corners to complete the job early to cut labor costs and pocket more of your money.
Another major warning sign is if your contractor fails to provide you with a detailed invoice or flat out refuses to give you one when you request it. If the contractor charged for more expensive materials but purchased cheaper materials instead to keep more of your money, how would you know? Ask to see what a typical invoice looks like from the roofer before signing the contract.
Damaged or Leaky Roof After Installation is Completed
Having a new roof installed and paying all that money, then finding out that something is wrong is any homeowner’s nightmare. Unfortunately, it does happen and is sadly, the biggest sign that your roofing contractor has ripped you off. Since this is the hardest warning to catch in advance, there is one important step you must take to protect yourself. After the work is completed and your new roof is installed, have your roofer go over their work and do a walkthrough with you.
Keep your contract close and at the ready. And if you are still concerned, look for another contractor or professional to look over the completed work and see if your first roofer cut corners. This will likely cost you a small fee but if your original contractor acted concerning, you may want to assume the added expense to give yourself peace of mind.
So, How Do You Not Get Ripped Off?
You can avoid the headache of being scammed by your roofer by being careful who you hire. Check online reviews and BBB ratings before calling for a quote, get at least three bids, review the contractor or anything you sign carefully, and don’t be bullied by pushy salespeople. Hiring a reputable and trustworthy roofing contractor is your best bet to ensure your installation is a success.