Installing a new roof on your Hutto property is something you’ll probably only have to do once or twice in your life. Most people don’t have experience in roof materials and hiring roof installation contractors, so its wise to be patient and do your homework. The Better Business Bureau warns homeowners that suffer damage from violent storms, high winds or hail, to not let disaster hit them twice. It’s a sad truth that fly-by-night scammers often move into the area after storms, along with many professional and reputable roofing contractors. Theses fly-by-nighters try to steal from as many people as possible, then head out of town without warning.
“Homeowners should be careful of unknown and unverified contractors that come into their neighborhood after storms. The BBB knows from experience that after such a storm, fly-by-night operators will try to make money from victims, supposedly saying they’ll buy materials, then leaving town, never being seen again,” said the President of the Better Business Bureau. “Don’t ever pay for a job up front; don’t sign anything until you are ready to hire a contractor, and make sure to read and get a copy of anything you do sign.”
Unless you need emergency repairs due to a sudden leak, be patient when you’re hiring a roofer. Doing your research ahead of time should translate into a quality job at a better value for property owners.
Property owners should follow these important tips to guide them in finding a company that is reputable and can be trusted to protect their home and their investment.
To find a solid, reputable roofing contractor, the BBB urges homeowners pay attention to the following recommendations:
1. Get local referrals. There is much less chance for potential problems, or of being scammed, when you choose a roofing contractor from your local area. They’re more familiar with local rules and code regulations and should have relationships with local crews and suppliers.
2. Look for manufacturer designations. Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor has to pass certain minimum requirements to become factory certified, although, some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others.
3. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Some contractors show up right after a monsoon storm trying to find work, so it’s very critical to look them up on the BBB website and be sure they have a good score. Stay far away from contractors who do not exist on BBB.org.
4. Get extensive warranties. Not all roofing contractors offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof poorly, it could take months or years for the problems to show up – and insurance isn’t going to pay for it. If the contractor refuses to fix it, or worse, they’ve gone out of business, your only recourse is to pay for fixing their poor installation yourself.
5. Check for proper insurance. The contractor needs to have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate to you to validate it. If they don’t have adequate insurance, it could potentially lead to legal issues between the contractor and property owner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the job site.
6. Pay your insurance deductible. Any roofing contractor that claims they can do the repairs without having the property owner pay their insurance deductible is committing insurance fraud and putting the property owner in danger. The insurance deductible is the insured’s responsibility, and the contractor should reflect that in the estimate without inflating the quote to cover all or part of the deductible.
7. Handle your own insurance claim. A roofing contractor that says they are “claims specialists” or can “take care of your insurance claim” could be breaking the law. In most states, it’s not legal for contractors to act on behalf of the homeowner when negotiating an insurance claim. Any contractor who exposes the customer to potential legal problems is not acting in their customer’s best interest.
8. Don’t give in to sales pressure. Look out for contractors that pressure you to sign a contract before your insurance company has estimated the damage. Some contractors say they can work with whatever amount your insurance company settles on, but the property owner needs to make sure it’s not just any amount, but the correct amount. The contractor should thoroughly inspect the property and check that the insurance adjuster didn’t miss any obvious damage.
9. Know your material choices. A contractor who doesn’t offer you different shingle or tile options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles and tiles you install can greatly affect the resale value of your home. If the insurance company is paying for a new roof, it could be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more unique style and color that perfectly suits your taste.
Of course, there is no magic system for hiring the right contractor. To have us schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your new roof, give Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors a call at (512) 333-7663.