How to choose the right roofing contractor
Roofing contractor con men are running rampant across the country, or at least that’s what the latest Scam Tracker Annual Risk report from the Better Business Bureau’s says.
Whilst some people actually volunteer to help storm affected areas to recover by doing manual jobs and rebuilding or repairing houses and other property, there are a few unscrupulous people claiming to have leftover materials that they can use to repair your home’s roof for a tiny fraction of the actual cost, which translates in a scam that leaves the homeowners waiting for the work to be finished -sometimes they don’t even get started with it– and a con man with full pockets after taking advantage of people in need.
But falling into these scams can be prevented if you pay attention to the signs and do a very basic background check. Checking quickly for reviews on Facebook or another platform, can save you a lot of trouble, and there’s not such a thing as being overly cautious when it comes to these situations. But in case you cannot find, the contractor approaching you on social media or a local listing -which in itself should raise a red flag– you can also follow a few simple steps to get ahead of the game and prevent a potential scammer from ripping you off.
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- Request a copy of their insurance certificate. Any serious contractor MUST carry insurance for all employees and subcontractors. If you want to be extra safe, call the insurance carrier to verify they’re valid.
- Avoid insurance fraud by dismissing any contractors who offer to repair or replace your roof without paying your required insurance deductible.
- Beware upfront payments. Although it is normal for a contractor to request some money in advance, keep in mind that anything beyond 20% should be a deal breaker.
- Hire a contractor from a reputable roofing manufacturer’s contractor program. Nonetheless, bear in mind that certification alone may not tell the whole story.
- Find someone you can easily communicate with. Your contractor should show you a wide variety of roofing shingle and accessory options by price, style and color and stick to what you’ve chosen when the time of installation comes.
As an extra pointer taken it out of the Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, the most susceptible demographic when it comes to home improvement scams is men between 55 and 64 years old.