Quick sure ways to avoid being scammed on a metal or asphalt roof.
Save your money, time, and grief before you sign!
1. Super important! ASK who is actually doing the installation? Their own crew or a subcontractor?
I have seen some companies who advertise heavily on TV and radio who contract out the installation. Your installation is ONLY as good as the crew who puts it on.
2. Can they provide a list of their installations? Can they tell you where their latest installations are? How long have they been in business? Go look at the quality of their work.
3. Presentations that end with a price that is good tonight only. RUN!!
4. Can they provide a list of phone numbers and names you can talk to? If a roof leaks it will usually come from a penetration on the roof. Who comes out to fix it?
5. Where does the material actually come from? Has it been sitting in a yard for years waiting for a storm? The dye lots on asphalt roofs may not match. Do you want several colors on your house?
6. Have you really read the manufacturer's warranty? Most roofing warranties are prorated. That means over time you dont get compensated if the roof fails.
7. You won't be covered for labor on an Asphalt roof! Buying a 30 year roof won't help if the warranty only has full replacement coverage for 5 years. Is that what you reallty want?
One warranty I read actually has this wording in it. "A roof leak does not constitute a roof failure."
The number one way a roof manufacturer weasels out of paying homeowners? It wasn't installed correctly.
8. Can you get a lien waiver for materials and labor?
Remember if your house has a lien put on it you may not know it till the sale of your house.
9. Is the company a member of the Better Business Bureau?
10. Is the company required to have a license? A permit? A sure sign they don't have one is they insist on installing your roof on a weekend. Many permit areas are there for your protection.
11. Do they have an insurance certificate providing liability and workmen's compensation coverage? If they do you should call the provider and verify the policy is in force!
12. Picking a color for your home. Be extremely careful about color. Nothing is worse that a bad looking roof that was picked from a small sample only to realize that once it's up on the roof it doesn't look the same. Never pick a roof color from a brochure. The printing process will not duplicate the actual color.
Drive around and look at roofs all day long. Asphalt roofs will fade in time. So be sure when it fades it will still look good. The very best way to see a color? On a sunny day look at it on a roof. You don't want to say after a few storms, What was I thinking??
13. If any company asks for 50% or more for a deposit, they are in financial trouble. RUN!
Roofing scams only work when you fall for them. When your roof needs repair or replacement, all you have to do is search the online (Google search) ads, for roofing professionals.
The phone book is now obsolete for picking a roof company! The Yellow page Ad cost to a roofing company is a huge overhead. Remember ads are expensive to pay for. If you see a company name everywhere expect to pay more. Lots of Ads means a bigger price.
Really good contractors rely on their best asset. Their reputation. They will brag about their work and satisfied customers. They usually will have plenty of customer pictures.
Home shows where the booth is manned by name takers and not employees are a huge red flag. I call them burn em and churn em. Because all they do is gather names for a call list and see who is willing to pay the highest price.
Real companies will have real knowledgeable people explaining their products. Factory reps are there to help with questions. They look forward to personal contact with you.
Unfortunately, every year hundreds of homeowners are duped by the same kinds of con artists that plague every sector of our lives. Why do people succumb to roofing scams?
Fear of unseen damage
A false sense of urgency
A naive hope to save money
The belief that they will be reimbursed for repairs
They don't know what questions to ask.
States that have bad storms damage from high winds and hailstorms can indeed destroy asphalt roofs. Scams follow the storms seeking victims. They travel from hundreds of miles away for a big storm. They live in hotels or motor homes. They are after easy prey!
A doorknob hanger tells the homeowner that recent catastrophic hail and windstorms struck the area and the home may have severe damage from the storms. The hanger goes on to report insurance companies are compensating. Also, most homeowners are unaware of the storm damage on their roof. Heres the kicker: The roofer or construction company offers a free roof inspection and property inspection for storm damage and insurance compensation.
There's a toll-free number to call today for your free roof inspection.
Avoid this scam by:
Never answering a doorknob flier directly. Legitimate roofing companies will supply full contact information. If hail or winds have been strong enough to damage your roof, you'll see similar damage in your yard and driveway.
When I go into a storm area I expect to be thoroughly examined. I'm prepared to give my 5000 Homeowner list. I will tell the homeowner please look hard at my reputation. The harder you look the better my company looks. My goal is to be a consultant even if he doesn't pick a metal roof. Even if you don't choose me as your roofer call me and I will try to answer any questions on roofing.
Similar to storm chasers, but for areas with no storm activity. The salesman might explain that he was working in the neighborhood and has some left-over materials. He'll offer a free inspection, provide little in the way of ID, and quote highly-discounted prices. Cash only, of course.
Avoid this scam by: Refusing to be sucked into a high-pressure sales pitch. Professional roofers will inspect your roof free or for a modest charge. They won't offer discounts for cash, either. They will not pressure you!
Roofing is a tough business. Even contractors who appear to be legit may be operating on the fringe. Roofing companies with no crews of their own means they can't keep them busy so they sub contract their work. Please check them out! Ask the right questions and you will know quickly who the real deal is.
I have seen metal roof installers reading an installation manual while sitting on the roof. I have had homeowners call me when the installers have been on the roof for weeks on jobs that should have taken 2 days. I have had a company call me to finish their job because they don't know how to install a metal roof. Unfortunately I have seen roofs so badly installed that the only way to correct the metal roof is to tear it off. Yes we have done just that.
One metal roof company bragged about being a Christian Company (implication is they must be good), their workmanship was awful. They never had lien waivers. They owed money to their installers and suppliers. I had homeowners call me later and ask what could be done to fix the leaks. My opinion is if you have to use God to build trust.....RUN!?
I have seen roofs installed that were supposed to get a full batten counter batten system. The installer skipped it to be cheaper. They ruined the effective ability to save you big money on energy cost.
Marc Rummel, one of our owners, has even been subpoenaed to appear in court with his opinion of a badly installed metal roof.?
How do trustworthy Contractors operate?
In the metal roof business I rely on my key asset, my reputation. Reputation will speak volumes. Do you really want know how good we are? Ask one of our homeowners! I want to be there when the roof is completed; I want the homeowner to feel really good about letting me serve him. I am not ashamed to ask them for referrals and I pay a referral fee to the homeowner for sending me futures sales.
When we did Mckendree University Library in Lebanon IL the maintenance superintendent asked about our leak policy. I said its very simple. We dont have any leaks. (They had dozens at the time.) He looked at me in amazement. I handed him my list of 5000 installations. You find someone in this list who has a leak. One year later they had a 160 mph wind storm. My roof was the only roof on Campus untouched by the storm. Today if you look at the library then look right you will see our roof on the dorms also.
Most really good companies are NOT the lowest price. They don't take shortcuts to save money. They don't hide details about their installations. Their expertise is what you are really paying for. If you go into a hospital do want the cheapest Doctor?
I sincerely doubt it. Don't ever buy any roof solely on price alone. I watched a nursing home buy a low ball priced roof. The next storm pieces were out in the grass....big pieces.
With each of our roof quotes we give out a list of questions for the homeowner to ask any other roof company. The answers will separate the good from the ugly quickly.
I hope I helped you make good decisions!