Roofer Red Flags: Signs Your Contractor Can't Be Trusted
When you're having work done on your home, you'll want to ensure that the contractors you hire are reliable and experienced. While most home improvement specialists will be totally professional, there are always companies out there who aim to take advantage of customers and perform shoddy work to cut corners. There are also shady "contractors" who go door-to-door looking for easy marks. Although properly installed commercial roofing can last two decades or longer (and residential roofing lifespans may be similar), you'll need to ensure that the commercial or residential roofing contractor you hire is trustworthy. That's why if your commercial or residential roofers exhibit any of the following signs, walk away and look for a new contractor immediately.
They're pushy: A good residential roofing contractor will completely understand if you need to obtain quotes from other companies or want to check up on their references or insurance coverage. Any contractor who gives you a hard time about these situations or puts pressure on you to work with them isn't someone you want to hire. In addition, beware of "storm chasers." These so-called contractors may show up on your doorstep following a serious storm. They might try to convince you that you've sustained roof damage that needs to be fixed (by them) right away. Do not take them at their word. Seek out an opinion from a reliable roofing contractor in your area instead.
You haven't seen a contract: Never enter into any kind of agreement or business transaction without a contract. If you're having repairs or total roof replacement performed, you need a definitive written contract in place before anything is done. Not only will this protect you by outlining terms of payment and a timeline, but it will also protect your roofers if something goes awry. If you have gotten a contract but have questions about it, you can ask your contractor and/or a lawyer for further explanation. Do not assume that a contractor's word is good enough.
They want you to pay upfront: A trustworthy residential roofing contractor won't usually require all payment before a job is ever performed. Agreeing to terms like that may leave you without a substantial amount of money and with a roof that stays in disrepair. Many roofers will offer payment plans or will allow you to make a deposit. If a roofer insists on total payment upfront, you should investigate them further (a quick internet search can tell you a lot) or just walk away. Be advised that even if the price seems lower than you'd find elsewhere, you shouldn't pay prior to job completion. That's actually even more of a red flag!
You can't get a-hold of them: While your residential roofing contractor is probably pretty busy, you should still be able to contact them. If the contractor never returns your calls or keeps pushing off the start or end date, don't waste any more of your time. You'll also need to ensure that their communication skills are up to par and that you're both on the same page. If you feel as if your contractor isn't listening to what you want (either intentionally or unintentionally), that's a huge headache waiting to happen. Don't risk having to redo roof repairs or installment because your roofer can't communicate properly. Instead, look for a contractor who really cares about your needs and about making their clients happy.
If any of these signs sound familiar, be sure to seek out a truly reliable contractor in your area. You'll be glad that you didn't take a chance on a company you can't trust.