Repairing or even replacing your roof can be one of the largest projects a homeowner will have to consider in the lifetime of a home. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have turned to Better Business Bureau more than 17,000 times per day to research a roofing business. BBB reminds consumers to be proactive in choosing contractors for any home project.
“BBB received nearly six million searches last year, which means that consumers are doing their homework when it comes to searching for a trustworthy roofing company,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said. “It’s important to remember that choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful project and a disaster.”
When looking for a roofing contractor, consider these tips:
Recognize the red flags. Beware of any contractor who uses high pressure sales tactics or requires full payment upfront. Also avoid contractors who require you to get the necessary permits. When looking to make a donation, be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization. In response to the previous natural disasters, there were concerns raised about many Web sites and new organizations that were created overnight allegedly to help victims.
• Wants you to pay with cash upfront before work begins
• Has a bad report with BBB
• Hesitates to provide local references (ask the business for references from recent jobs)
• No liability insurance
• No written contract or contract with blanks
• Wants you to sign contract before hiring
• Uses high pressure sales tactics
• Has no markings on work truck
Do your research. Find businesses you can trust on BBB.org. Check your state or provincial government agency responsible for registering and/or licensing contractors. Get references from friends and relatives.
Contact your insurance company. Ask about your policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts, including those for food, temporary lodging, or other expenses that may be covered under your policy. Your insurance company may also have recommended contractors. Additionally, if you live along the Texas Coast, you might have to buy a policy with the Texas Department of Insurance which requires a certificate of compliance. Learn more about these requirements here.
Make sure everything is in writing. Make sure that the full scope of the work is explained in the contract including cleanup and disposal of waste. All verbal agreements need to be included in the written agreement. Pay close attention to the payment terms, estimated price of materials and labor and any warranties or guarantees.
Confirm building permits. Your contractor must have the correct permits before starting your project. They will usually obtain the permits, but you will probably pay for them. That should be detailed in your contract. Request that all final inspections be completed by the local building official prior to final payment.
Think about future service issues. Make sure you are aware of your warranty coverage and how to deal with service issues.
BBB also reminds consumers that East Texas will residents will likely see their fair share of “Storm Chasers” during what is expected to be an above normal hurricane season. Learn more about "Storm Chasers" at BBB.org/Storm.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB at 903-581-5704 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. There are over 100 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.