Nobody wants to be in a situation where something as personal as your home is at the mercy of contractors who can’t deliver on what they promised. Maybe the roofer didn’t set out to rip you off, but their lack of planning and experience caused the project to come in over budget, late, or not at all. Don’t get caught in contractor limbo— beware of the following red flags when hiring your next roofing contractor.
How Roofers Rip You Off
Unscrupulous roofers find many different ways to rip off customers so their bottom line looks better at the end of it all. Some of the biggest red flags to look out for in a roofer include:
Playing contract games
Having a poor online presence
#1 Cutting Corners
When selecting shingles for your home, look for recognizable brand names like CertainTeed, Owens Corning or DaVinci. It’s a red flag if your roofer won’t tell you where your materials are coming from. Your shingles could be recycled or made from inferior asphalt, which could cause leaks or other major problems in the future.
Hiring unskilled workers
Another way roofers will try to cut corners is by hiring cheap, unskilled workers to do a job they might not be qualified for. Always vet a contractor by reading reviews and visiting their team page.
Faulty prep work
Another easy way contractors cut corners is by skipping steps. Sometimes contractors will save an hour of labor by neglecting to install an ice and water shield, by not replacing rusted or damaged flashing, or by ignoring rotting wood on the roof deck. Skipping these steps might help the roof come in under budget, but will cause major issues down the road.
Roofing is a messy job. With so many shingles and nails flying, cleaning up after the job is essential. Loose shingles and rusty nails in your yard put you, your family, and your pets at risk of injury. Any damage to your landscaping should be cleaned up as well.
#2 Contract Games
Bait and switch tactics
Some roofers will try to bait you with a ridiculously low starting bid, only to increase the price the minute it’s time to sign the contract. Don’t fall for it. Ask questions and get multiple quotes to see if your being led on by a dishonest contractor.
Never make handshake or word-of-mouth agreements. The contract is designed to protect you legally from any future problems which might arise during or after your roof replacement.
Pressuring you to sign a contract
If a contractor starts pressuring you to sign a contract, this is a big red flag. Never sign anything before reading through it fully.
Overcharging for materials
Contractors know that you’re probably not well-versed in the going price of lumber and shingles, so increasing the price of materials can be an easy way to make extra money. This is why it’s important to get a second or third quote for your roofing project to make sure you’re not getting ripped off. However, a lower price does not always mean you're getting the best deal. Underpriced roofing labor could result in much poorer workmanship. Your best bet is to read reviews and get a second opinion.
#3 Bad Online Presence
Bad or no reviews
The best way to gain insight on the trustworthiness of a business is to see what past customers have to say. If a roofer has negative reviews on Google, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, or Angi’s List, take note. Oftentimes history is the best predictor of future behavior.
If a business has no reviews, this could mean it’s a new business, which comes with its own host of problems. Most notably: How are you going to trust a business that’s only been in existence for two years to make good on a 25-year warranty? If the business goes under in 7 years, there will be nobody left to make good on your warranty.
No professional website
If a business doesn’t have a professional website, this is a telltale sign that you’re working with a fly-by-night contractor. Ask yourself this question— how are you going to get ahold of this contractor if something goes wrong with the installation? If they stop answering their phone, do you have another way of contacting them? Or have they disappeared into the night, never to be heard from again?
#4 Missing Certifications
Unlicensed roofing contractors
According to the State of Wisconsin statute 101.654(1)(a), contractors are required to maintain a license in order to perform general construction work like siding, insulation and roofing. This license ensures that a company complies with worker’s compensation requirements, unemployment requirements, and has proof of liability insurance up to $250,000.
No general liability insurance
Liability insurance is massively important when it comes to choosing a contractor. If something goes wrong during installation, you want to be sure you’re protected. This policy covers basic roofing risks like damage caused by falling shingles or leaks after a roof replacement.
Warranties help protect your home for years to come. If a contractor doesn’t provide a workmanship warranty, you could be on the hook for any problems caused by faulty installation. If a manufacturer’s warranty isn’t offered, you won’t be protected in the event of faulty materials or premature aging of your roof.
Starting a project without a permit could result in your roof replacement being paused or shut down entirely by the city. You’ll also incur large fines and whatever work has been completed could be subject to removal.
Infinity's Unique Approach to Roofing
At Infinity Exteriors, we take a different approach to roofing. Our goal is to educate you about the project and let you make the best decision for your home and budget. We’re confident that once you know the facts, you’ll see we’re the best option. We’ve won more awards than any other roofing company in Wisconsin and no contractor has a more competitive warranty or financing options.
With over 18,000 served and thousands of 5-star reviews, our approach seems to be working! Contact us today for a free estimate on your next roofing project.