Your home is one of the most substantial investments you will ever make, so most of us are happy to spend money to make it look good or to add value to the property. Regular maintenance of interiors and exteriors is absolutely essential to keep the home cozy, dry, and warm. Some folks like to take care of the maintenance and decorating themselves, while others will hire companies to take care of it.
Unfortunately for those who choose to call in the experts, there are a large number of dishonest traders and scams doing the rounds. Roofing scams are one area that often sees homeowners ending up out of pocket. So we have put together this quick guide to help you identify common roofing scams so that you don’t end up as another victim of these con artists.
If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…
Scammers usually manage to hook their victims with their amazing quotes and quick turnaround times. However, once work starts, all manner of additional charges are added to the bill, and when the work is completed, you are presented with a bill significantly higher than the original quote.
This trick is as old as time, but budget-conscious homeowners still fall for the promise of low costs. Reputable contractors will give you a detailed quotation and workflow before starting work, as well as remaining very open about any areas of the project that may incur additional costs. If a contractor is unwilling to do this, then walk away.
That Was One Hell of a Storm
You have probably heard of “storm chasers” who have made quite a business out of preying on homeowners’ fears. These people typically show up after a storm and manage to persuade homeowners that they have suffered storm damage to their roof. They will then get out an insurance form and get straight to work for a reasonable price.
This may sound good, but the problem is that these guys have done the same thing to lots of people in the area, and they are aiming to get as many jobs done as possible in as short a time as possible. They achieve this by using cheaper materials and doing a poor job, which never lasts. When it comes to taking them up on their guarantee, they will be long gone.
The easiest solution to this issue is to go for a local contractor who comes highly recommended, instead of someone who shows up on your doorstep one day.
Where Do I Sign?
In some cases, the scammers will offer to do the work without a contract. This may seem like you are saving time, but the lack of a contract means you have no legal recourse if the contractor does work that doesn’t meet your requirements. For example, you may have paid more for expensive materials, but upon closer inspection, you can see that they have used cheaper alternatives.
The lack of a contract can also lead to the frequent occurrence of disappearing workmen. If the contractor has taken a down payment, then it is possible they might show up for a day or two before never being seen again, leaving a big hole in your roof and your pocket.
That is why you should always insist upon a contract that sets out the work schedule and the terms of payment. If you are dealing with a trustworthy roofing contractor, then this shouldn’t be a problem at all.