14 May 15 DIRTY SECRETS ROOFING COMPANIES DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW
Choosing an honest roofer among so many roofing companies and one with enough professional experience and expertise to really know what they are doing, is the most important decision you will make.
Putting a roof on your home is a major project for homeowners and should be treated that way. Installing a new roof is a task every homeowner and roofer needs to deal with professionally and carefully.
The roofing industry is filled with scammers, sales people and middlemen. All of which have excellent skills at saying everything just right and appearing to be a safe choice. We have written a slew of previous blogs about this very situation in the past.
We continue to do our part, warning our DFW neighbors to beware of this growing problem. This post is another effort from the HonestRoof.com team to help you make a wise choice concerning such a major investment for your home.
Here is a list of 15 dirty secrets that most roofing contractors do not want you to know:
1. THE ROOFING COMPANY IS NOT LOCAL
Choosing a local roofing company is a very important step towards avoiding roofing companies who are not legitimate. However, local doesn’t always mean from your immediate area. For instance, HonestRoof is located in Arlington TX, but we actually service a 90 mile radius around our office. If you live in the Dallas Fort Worth area, by local we mean a local Dallas Fort Worth Roofing Company.
When you’re hiring a roofer, you want to know that they will be around if something goes wrong down the line either with the work or with the shingle materials being used.
There is no shortage of roofing contractors that pop up after every hail and wind storm, especially in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Many of whom may claim to already be working on other roofs in your neighborhood, and very well may be. This may or may not be true. Even if they are working in your area, it doesn’t mean they are right for you. Homeowners get ripped off every day. Don’t be one of them.
The first step is to ask where their office is located, review their website and obtain their phone number. You will need this information later for your research.
If they are reluctant or hesitant about providing you this information, you are most likely dealing with a scammer. However, even if they do provide this information, do not trust them just yet.
Next, try a quick Google search. (Example, John Doe Roofing Complaints, John Doe Rip Off Report)
Homeowners today are doing a fantastic job of posting their negative experiences online for all to see. With a 2-minute search you can quickly determine if the information they provided, is valid and if Google recognizes them. If Google doesn’t know them, it’s a pretty safe bet, they are not a legitimate company and you probably shouldn’t be doing business with them.
2. THE ROOFING COMPANY DOESN’T HAVE A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE
Pretty much everyone today has a website. Last week one of my roofing customers had a pet lizard with its own website. A legitimate roofing business at the very least should have a professionally done, basic website to let the world know who they are and what they do.
If a roofing contractor tells you that they do not have a website or they are working on it, they probably do not deserve your trust. They are just getting started or they are hiding something. In either case, you don’t want to trust them with something as complex as a new roof installation for your home! It’s nothing personal. It business.
Some roofers may give you a website URL that “redirects” you to a free ‘Google Site’ page which is usually poorly done or as basic as it can be. What that means is they do not have a proper website. They just put up something for free to show someone just in case a homeowner asks! Avoid such companies!
3. THEIR ONLINE REVIEWS ARE NOT POSITIVE
Many roofing companies may actually have a presence online with a proper website and even social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Yelp, Google and Bing.
However, a large number of Dallas/Fort Worth roofing contractors are also doing a lot of work to hide their deficiencies from you. The one thing a roofing contractor cannot fake is the experience of their previous customers. Especially, when customers have a negative experience.
A roofing customer will go out of their way to write a negative review against a roofing company they were not happy with.
Checking reviews is a good way to learn more about the roofing contractor you are considering. Check out their online reviews at Google, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other places (where they have a presence) to see what their customers have said about them.
If a roofing company has even one legitimate complaint against them, it shows the roofing company just isn’t willing to anything possible to please their customers or does not deliver on their promises.
Roof systems are far to expensive to trust to a roofing contractor with even “one customer complaint”. You are not going into a restaurant to have a meal. Someone is about to tear off and replace your entire roof. If you’re going to spend that much money, why not go with a roofing company with No Customer Complaints”. It’s your money. Why risk it. Nothing personal. Just business.
4. A REPUTABLE ROOFING COMPANY NEVER ASKS FOR A DEPOSIT
This is probably roofing contractors biggest dirty little secret and you should never fall prey to this.
In today’s times, no legitimate contractor should ever expect for homeowners to put down a deposit or any money down until all of the work is 100% complete.
However, many Dallas Fort Worth roofing contractors are in fact requesting money up front to cover the material cost. This should be viewed as an immediate red flag. There are literally thousands of roofing horror stories all over the internet of roofing contractors either stringing homeowners along, quickly demanding more money as time goes on, spending the money on other projects, becoming over extended or just running off with the money all together, never to return.
A legitimate Dallas Fort Worth roofing company with the experience of doing real business will have the materials and resources to complete the repair or replacement without asking you for a deposit. You should NEVER pay a roofer until all of the work is 100% complete and you are 100% satisfied.
5. THE ROOFING COMPANY HAS NO GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
Workman’s Compensation insurance covers the employees working on your property; general liability insurance covers your actual property.
Some roofers claiming to be legitimate roofing contractors may not have either. Even if they have Workman’s Compensation insurance, it doesn’t help you as a homeowner if the roofer accidentally damages your house while on your roof and they don’t carry liability insurance, it could then be you that is responsible for the cost of the repairs.
When it comes to insurance, don’t simply take the roofer’s word for it. Be certain about the roofer’s credibility; ask them to provide proof of their insurance. If they fail to provide you with the proof, you shouldn’t be doing business with them.
6. A LEGITIMATE ROOFING COMPANY PROVIDES A WRITTEN ESTIMATE
There is a huge problem with this in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Contractors are actually attempting to avoid giving you estimates so they can talk you into taking over your insurance claim right from the beginning without ever showing you a price.
A roofing contractors estimate can tell you a lot about what kind of roofing company they are.
Roofing companies that try to avoid providing you with a written estimate should immediately be considered a SCAM.
- The roofer you are dealing with is not a true hands-on roof installer and does not possess the knowledge and experience necessary to prepare a real written roof estimate of their own. They are a commission sales person in disguise and have been trained to take over your insurance claim.
- They do not want to leave any of your insurance money on the table. They want it all.
Unfortunately, many of the roofing contractors operating in the Dallas Fort Worth area today know that if they showed you their real price, you would have money left over out of your insurance claim.
They are not interested in providing an honest roof estimate and risk losing money. They have been trained to take over your insurance claim allowing them to pocket “all” of your insurance money. Not some of it.
Roofing companies train salespeople daily on how to “TAKE OVER YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM”. Allowing them to get involved in your claim from the beginning, paving the road to a huge payday.
Bottom Line: Taking over your claim allows them to keep all of the insurance money. If they provide you with an actual estimate of their own, they may end up estimating too low, leaving money left over for you. They don’t want that. They want all of the money for themselves.
An actual, legitimate and hands-on roofing company should always be able to prepare a thorough and detailed written estimate of their own. They should never ask to see your insurance papers.
7. THEY CUT CORNERS ON ROOFING MATERIALS AND VENTILATION VENTS
We serve in the DFW area and I literally just had a customer tell me yesterday he hired me simply because we include free lifetime laminated shingle upgrades and attic ventilation upgrades on every job sold.
He says when he asked a competitor of ours about upgrading his shingles, he was told it would cost $1000.00 extra. It was later revealed that the shingle manufacture the roofer was recommending was already involved in a multi-million dollar law suit for product failure. And he wanted $1000 extra for it.
Many roofing contractors talk a lot about which shingle products are the best. The truth is only an actual hands on roofer, that is installing these products every single day with his own back and two hands, can truthfully say which shingle is the best. Sadly, most shingle recommendations are based on profit. Not what is actually best for your home. Because of this, many homeowners are missing out on opportunities to install a quality roof on their homes while they have the insurance money to do it.
Quality of Roofing Work Matters
Another very important aspect of installing a quality roof is properly ventilating the attic space. This is yet another major opportunity being missed by a lot of homeowners simply because they are listening to a greedy sales person or middleman.
Proper attic ventilation is imperative to any shingle roof systems longevity. Unfortunately,many homeowners are not being told the truth about their attic ventilation simply so the roofing contractor can make more of a profit. Giving up any of your insurance money towards an upgrade of any kind means less money in the roofing companies pocket.
This can and will have a negative impact on your product warranty. Most shingle manufacturing companies will not extend a warranty when the roof has been installed without proper attic ventilation or if the roof was installed improperly.
Make sure you examine your contracts and material information very carefully.
Most material manufacture companies post their warranty information and details on their websites. A good roofing contractor will not mind a customer who asks questions because they will have nothing to hide. Check your material list against the warranty requirements and make sure nothing is missing.
8. THEY AREN’T A LICENSED COMPANY OR THEY ARE USING SOMEONE ELSE’S LICENSE
This little dirty secret doesn’t necessarily apply in states like Texas. But, it’s an important piece of information for homeowners where contractors are required to have a license to operate.
Typical “storm chasing” roofing companies will follow the storms wherever they find a storm and that means sometimes, they go seeking business in places they aren’t licensed to work.
Some roofers try to get around this rule and use the license number of another company in your area. This is called running a “SET”. The storm chaser gives the local, licensed company a percentage off the top of all their sold jobs to use their name and license. Then, literally overnight they are now a local licensed company ready to go to work.
Everything may look normal to you at the time of the roof replacement work. However, if there is an issue with your roof after roofing work was performed; good luck getting a contractor back from out of state to fix it after they’ve gone back to wherever they came from.
Make sure you know with whom you are dealing with at all times. Ask for a drivers license, check their license plate on their vehicle. Just another reason why working with a local company is so much easier and far less stressful.
9. THEY ARE RIPPING OFF YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
There are many ways shady roofers try to rip-off homeowners and insurance companies. This is another one of their tricks.
When a homeowner believes they have received damage to their home or business as a result of wind, hail or other storm related forces, the first step is usually to call their insurance company and file a claim.
By the way, you might be interested in learning a few tricks of filing your insurance claims correctly. Here is a blog we published recently to help you with the aspects of filing your roofing insurance claim.
Most insurance companies usually refer the homeowner to a roofing contractor to inspect the damage before calling in the insurance adjuster. The amount of payment on the damages is often heavily influenced by the estimate provided by the roofing contractor.
Many roofing contractors will add to their estimate, products and add-ons that are not even needed. They will charge the insurance company for things you do not need or they just simply do not do in order to get extra money for your job.
Some other roofers will tell you they need to do things in order to meet code, when the code actually doesn’t require it. These contractors will sometimes bid your job with premium products that cost extra and actually install contractor grade products while pocketing the difference.
Sometimes, roofers ask the homeowner to submit paperwork to their insurance company with one total declared, but ask them to sign a contract with them for a different total and promise to split the difference. This is a clear case of insurance fraud they are persuading the homeowners to commit.
As an honest roofing company, we do not engage in such activity. Our estimates are independent of what insurance companies pay to homeowners, thus we keep our estimates honest and genuinely legitimate.
10. ROOFERS FAILING TO INSTALL YOUR ROOF ACCORDING TO CODE
Many towns and municipalities have their own building codes that should be followed for any major construction project, including a roof replacement.
Some roofing contractors take shortcuts by not declaring the work they are doing to the local authorities. This may appear to you that they are avoiding red tape, but it’s not a good practice.
It is always better to follow the rules, so that you don’t have to face the negative consequences in the end. It may cost you a little money and a bit of inconvenience, but it’s worth it since you are in compliance with the code of your community and local government agency.
Insist to your contractor that you want things done to code. Make sure the permits are included in the estimate, if that’s applicable to your area, and that your roofing contractor is aware of and following all of the necessary requirements for your project.
11. THEIR ROOFING WORKMANSHIP WARRANTY IS INADEQUATE
Imagine you hired a roofing company to do a new roof installation. They install your new roof and everything looks just fine. But after a couple of months or a few years, the roofing shingles are falling off due to high winds or there is a water leak in your attic.
You call the roofing company to explain your issue, only to be told, “Your warranty is expired. Or, it does not cover workmanship, just the roofing shingle.” What does this mean to you? MORE MONEY OUT OF YOUR POCKET!
This happens all the time with roofing contractors. Many of them do not cover the workmanship of your new roof. They will offer you a product warranty and call it a lifetime warranty. But that is actually provided by the product manufacturer and covers only the roofing material, not the workmanship or mistakes made by the installer.
DFW roofing companies that do offer a workmanship warranty, typically range between 2 to 10 years maximum. This means, if your roof starts leaking due to bad workmanship by the roofer without any issue with the roofing material, you are on your own and will have to pay for repairs yourself.
It is important to know what you are buying. Knowing that includes the warranty of both types – manufacturer’s warranty and labor workmanship warranty.
If a roofing company is not providing a workmanship warranty that should be a huge red flag. If your roofer is giving only 2 to 10 years of workmanship or labor warranty, that is not sufficient as well. You should look elsewhere.
At HonestRoof.com we provide all clients 20 years of leak-free workmanship warranty on every roof replacement project we undertake.
12. ROOFERS SHOW URGENCY TO CHEAT HOMEOWNERS
Most roofing companies are sending their sales people to knock on your door to inspect your roof. When they are done with the inspection, they immediately create a since of urgency or pretend that you only have a limited time to make a claim and that they need to get started right away.
They are even asking for homeowners to sign a work order or contingency agreement allowing them to meet with your adjuster as soon as possible. The contingency agreement is the key document they want you to sign to lock you into their trap. You should stay away from any roofer who wants you to sign something urgently or immediately perform tarp repairs.
No legitimate or ethical roofing company will ever pressure you to make decision in haste. Honest roofing contractors should always give you time to consult with your insurance provider on your own, review facts and figures and then decide when and how you want to proceed with filing an insurance claim to replace your roof.
13. FRAUDULENT ROOFING COMPANIES USE SUBCONTRACTORS
90% of Dallas Fort Worth roofers really have no choice but to use subcontractors to complete the job since they do not have any experience or expertise in the roofing industry. They are simply a middleman just there to make money.
They are not the actual roof installers who know roofing work and who will be doing the work themselves. Such roofing companies get the job first and then they hire a third party subcontractor to do the work for them.
Subcontractors are typically not as well trained and are not properly insured, if insured at all. They also have no real vested interest in your home and have nothing to lose if the project is poorly done or if they decide to simply walk off the job in the middle of the project.
In some cases, these subcontractors will not even get paid by the middleman you hired to do your roof installation. If that happens, they may be able to file a mechanics lien on your property which is a further headache for you as a homeowner.
The best course of action is to ensure that the roofing contractor you are hiring has the actual workers on their payroll and that they have workman’s comp insurance along with general insurance. If that is not the case, you want to avoid hiring such a roofing company at all costs.
14. ROOFERS SOMETIMES DAMAGE YOUR ROOF DURING ROOF INSPECTION
Remember what we said earlier about door knockers or contractors that come to your home or call you uninvited?
No legitimate roofing company will ever come to your home or call you uninvited. If somebody is knocking at your door to inspect your roof, they are to be seen with great suspicion.
After every hail and wind storm, scammers will start going door to door seeking potential clients. They will offer to inspect your roof for free. After the inspection they claim to have observed damage that warrants a new roof or major roof repair.
Some DFW roofing contractors will even intentionally cause damage to your roof during their inspection if they didn’t find any real damage just to get you to hire them for roof repair work.
They may even show you a picture of someone else’s roof and allege that it is yours. They may seem polite, knowledgeable and helpful.
However, they show all this fake damage on your roof and then they encourage you to submit a claim to your insurance company. They even may insist nicely that you allow them to handle the entire process on your behalf. This is something for which you need to be very careful of. Do not fall into their trap.
15. ROOFERS CLUTTER YOUR DRIVEWAYS AND LAWNS
Property protection is very important but mostly ignored by homeowners as well as by the roofing companies. We disclose this information on every estimate we write because we know how important it is.
Many roofing contractors do not clarify whether or not they will be protecting the property and/or guaranteeing there to be no damages while installing the new roof.
This is a huge mistake also made by a lot of homeowners. Before you hire a company, ask specifically what they will do to protect your landscaping, your driveway and surrounding areas. Where will the old shingles, nails and potentially rotten plywood be dropped or tossed so that it doesn’t affect the bushes and flowers that surround your home.
There are countless stories of homeowners having flat tires for several months after their roof replacement work was done because nails were not cleaned up properly from the driveways. If you do not pay attention to these small details, imagine having to change your vehicle tires because the roofer had spread nails all over the place when they did the roof replacement for you and forgot to clean up your driveway.
Property protection and clean up should be as important to the roofing contractor as it is to you, the homeowner. If a roofer’s estimate/contract does not specify how this will be handled, it is usually another sign that they are not as experienced and as professional as they claim or appear to be.
DFW HOMEOWNERS HAVE TRUSTED HONESTROOF.COM FOR 60+ YEARS
When it is time to put a new roof on your home, you want to use a roofing company you can trust. It is unfortunate the roofing industry has earned such a poor reputation due to so many shady practices by so many roofers.
But there are good local roofing contractors out there in every city of the USA.
If you live in the DFW area however, you can trust HonestRoof.com.
We have earned our brand name as an honest company with honest practices as a result of three generations of serving our customers with honesty and integrity and still going strong 64 years later.
As in every industry, there are people who work hard, do things the right way and honor their word – there are also people who will lie, cheat and sometimes steal to get an advantage. You can’t take it personal. It’s just business. You always have a choice to do your due diligence and choose with who you want to do business.