1. “I was just in the neighborhood.”
If a roofer greets you with this line, politely decline the pitch immediately. You can give the roofer the benefit of the doubt by asking why a good roofer is patrolling the neighborhood looking for problems. Good roofers stay busy running their businesses and completing quality jobs. The roofer may have some knowledge but may not be licensed. In some cases, the individual may not have roofing experience at all. If you are unfortunate enough to hire such an individual, you end up paying a lot for any of the following:
A shoddy job with no legitimate guarantee.
A roofer who never comes back to complete the work.
Fake, used or broken roofing materials.
Established contractors with verifiable businesses usually provide warranties or a guarantee. They do not use door-to-door soliciting.
2. “There have been some unexpected costs.”
Roofing is always expensive work. You are probably familiar with the basics of bidding if you have compared different roofers. If you accept a bid that is considerably lower than the others, be prepared to hear this phrase. Dishonest roofers know that homeowners are not savvy about the inner workings of bidding, and they offer a low initial bid to get their foot in the door. The roofer usually cites a rise in the cost of materials or damages that were more extensive than previously assessed. In the end, the job winds up costing much more than the estimate. In some cases, roofers remove the roof and threaten to leave it that way unless they are paid.
3. “You have to sign a contract now.”
This is a common phrase used by workers who show up when using door-to-door soliciting. They often show up unannounced or respond to a request for a consultation. The price estimate is usually low, and homeowners are tempted to take the deal on the spot. By signing the contract, they become obligated to pay the individual. In some cases, the roofer leaves with the money and never returns. Some legitimate companies use this high-pressure tactic and still perform quality work. However, high-pressure tactics are typically used to implement higher prices and prevent people from considering competing roofers in the area.
How To Protect Yourself
By exercising caution and knowing how roofing bids work, you can protect yourself. These are some additional tips for avoiding predatory roofers:
Never be quick to accept the lowest roofing bid.
Ask a home insurance agent to recommend reliable roofers.
Check a roofer’s credentials, references and reviews beforehand.
Work with established roofers who have good BBB ratings and sites with real pictures of their work.