Need Roof Work? 5 Tips to Avoid Scams
Replacing or repairing a roof is a costly undertaking - one that for many homeowners has been marred by disreputable roofing contractors. To avoid roofing scams, follow these tips, courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Home and Business Safety (IBHS):
1. Research roofing contractors diligently before hiring one. Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and search for reviews and ratings online. Avoid contractors who have generated complaints, lawsuits, etc.
2. Confirm all credentials before hiring a contractor. A reputable roofing professional will be licensed, insured and bonded, and will be able to provide locally-based references. Request to review their license number, federal tax identification number, and certificate of insurance - a qualified professional will provide them. Fact-check this information with the appropriate authorities.
3. Get detailed estimates (in writing!) from contractors you're considering hiring - more than one is best.
4. Do not enter into an agreement with a roofing contractor who solicits business at your doorstep, particularly after a storm. This could be a sign of an imposter.
5. Exercise caution when dealing with contracts. Be sure to read and re-read all documents, or have a third party review them with you, before signing them. Do not sign a contract with missing information - a fraudster may fill these blanks with inaccurate information. Do not feel pressured to sign a contract on the spot.
Most importantly, never pay upfront in full for roofing work. Scammers will make off with the money, never to be seen again.