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    How To Spot A Bad Roofing Contractor: 7 Signs of a Shady Roofer

    Learning how to spot a bad roofing contractor can be difficult for homeowners.

    Thankfully, Roofing Insights CEO Dmitry Lipinskiy is using his experience as a roofing business owner to advise homeowners around North America on how to spot shady contractors.

    “I’m a firm believer that there are more good contractors out there than bad contractors, but every once in a while, you run into someone who is absolutely shady, and you cannot stand them,” – says Lipinskiy.

    “If you have good ethics, you then feel it is your duty to call them out and to educate people because no one should get screwed by a shady roofing contractor.”

    man on roof carrying shingles; how to spot a bad roofing contractor

    How To Spot A Bad Roofing Contractor: 7 Key Signs 

    By revealing his 7 tips for spotting a shady contractor, Lipinskiy is hoping that his past experiences can help homeowners avoid many of the pitfalls that so many unlucky individuals deal with every roofing season.

    1. Not providing written estimates

    This may sound strange, but even today there are many contractors who are not giving homeowners a written estimate outlining the costs of the roofing job.

    As a homeowner, if you encounter this type of contractor, it is best practice to avoid doing business with their company.

    “Legit contractors should be putting a scope of work and leaving you with an estimate that is good for 30 days,”

    says Lipinskiy.

    “If they’re not giving you that type of estimate, they’re probably going to pressure you into the sale or try to build a false sense of urgency to get you to make a decision at that moment. Ask them to provide an estimate in writing if you don’t believe that they’re a good contractor.”

    Business partners contract agreement success: how to spot a bad roofing contractor

    2. Not providing product names

    Beyond not giving homeowners an overview of the job costs, some contractors are also not specifying which brand of shingles they’re using.

    Lipinskiy says this tactic has become more common, especially in the Florida market, as evidenced by the estimates he has been receiving from homeowners in that market.

    “A lot of homeowners have sent us estimates and I’m blown away every time I see it, where there is a price, but you don’t see the products they’re using. It’s absolutely crazy. The contractor should know what shingles they’re installing. There is no reason for not specifying products, not only for shingles but also for accessories and underlayment,”

    he says.

    The reason some contractors leave the brand of shingles off their estimates is typical that they’re choosing a cheaper brand of shingles, and while Lipinskiy would like to install his preferred brand of shingles, such as IKO or Owens Corning, he also recognizes that cheaper isn’t inherently worse.

    Explains Lipinskiy:

    “I’m not saying that cheaper is always worse, but roofers who don’t put in writing what products they’re using are hiding something. I’m okay with providing in writing something that’s cheaper, as long as I show you that my cheaper is better. But if a contractor is using cheaper products and you don’t know about it, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

    3. “Same-day price”

    Homeowners, this one is simple:

    If a contractor offers you a same-day price deal, RUN!

    The same-day price is not complicated. It involves a roofing sales rep initially increasing their price by thousands of dollars, only to later come down on price by thousands of dollars if the homeowner is willing to sign a contract that very same day.

    Please note that this type of sales tactic is a gimmick and that no matter what a roofing sales rep says, prices do not fluctuate by thousands of dollars on a daily basis.

    To avoid dealing with this kind of roofing company, check out Directorii, where every contractor has been vetted for professionalism and work history.

    Plus, every roofing job registered through Directorii is backed up by a $20,000 guarantee, which protects homeowners from things like shoddy workmanship or job abandonment.

    Visit Directorii today to discover how they can help with your next home improvement project!

    contractor shaking hands with woman: how to spot a bad roofing contractor

    4. No online roof reviews

    In today’s market, online reviews are everything.

    Ergo, if a roofing company does not have any online reviews, it either means they are brand new to the market, or they’re trying to avoid having customers leave reviews on their company.

    According to Lipinskiy, any reputable roofing contractor will take pride in their reviews and will actively encourage customers to review their company.

    “A contractor should have online listings and an online reputation because that’s their leverage,”

    he says.

    This is because roofing companies benefit tremendously from positive online reviews, especially because many homeowners today are looking for contractors online.

    “Good contractors care about their reputation, so if you Google the company and nothing comes up, ask yourself what could happen in the case of a dispute,”

    Lipinskiy says before reinforcing the importance of roofing companies having a solid online presence.

    “I have found that contractors are very sensitive to online reviews. If someone gives a one-star review because they had a one-star experience, a good contractor will take them seriously and try to find a resolution. But a shady contractor is trying to hide from the internet and online reviews because they suck. That’s the true reason why they don’t invest their time to create those online platforms.”

    5. Out of state roofing contractors

    In nearly every market, when a hailstorm causes damage to homes in the area, roofing contractors from out of state rush into the area to try to find work.

    Unfortunately, the companies who come in from out of town often are poorly run and have the tendency to leave roofs and homeowners in a state of disarray.

    This is why Lipinskiy warns homeowners to be extremely cautious about which roofing company they hire for their next home improvement project.

    “If you hire an out-of-state contractor you need to understand that in the case of a money dispute or major workmanship issue, what you are going to have is a dispute with a person who lives in another state. It’s hard to sue a contractor in your state, but it’s even harder to sue a contractor if they’re from out of state,”

    says Lipinskiy.

    While hiring an out-of-state roofing company may seem like a terrible idea at this point, Lipinskiy also mentions that there are unique circumstances that could warrant hiring a company from out of town.

    “If you deal with a big company like Apple Roofing in Lincoln, Nebraska, or AVCO Roofing in Texas, they are financially stable and running $40 million operations,”

    he says.

    With those companies, even though they are not local contractors, they possess the infrastructure to serve and handle a vast and far-reaching customer base.

    “They have the capital to deal with complaints or future repairs,”

    assures Lipinskiy.

    “If you are dealing with smaller guys who don’t have enough work in their towns and all they are doing is traveling around the country, they are usually so much worse.”

    “I’ve seen so many guys start new companies every year who ruin local markets because when they come, they destroy everything. They are sales-driven and often they don’t have installers. They are a nightmare to deal with. In the end, local companies do all the repairs.”

    Therefore, no matter which roofing company you hire, it is crucial to make sure you have properly vetted them and their work history.

    Keep reading to learn more about how to spot a shady roofing contractor!

    6. No roof repair service

    “Contractors who don’t do repairs or offer repairs as an option have no business proposing full roof replacements,”

    says Lipinskiy.

    This is because roofing companies that only offer full roof replacements are solely focused on selling large-ticket jobs that yield high profits.

    Consequently, even though your home may only need minor repairs, a roofing company that doesn’t do repairs is apt to suggest that your home needs a full roof replacement.

    To avoid this potential dilemma, Lipinskiy recommends that homeowners seek out roofing companies who do repairs in order to get a proper assessment done on their roof.

    “My advice is to get an opinion from a company who actually does roof repairs,”

    he says.

    “What you will find out is that not every roof needs to be replaced. A lot of roofs have years of life left in them, but the problem is that contractors who only do roof replacements don’t have any other options than to push customers into the sale of a new roof.”

    In addition to finding a roofing company that does repairs, Lipinskiy also advises being diligent in the buying process and getting multiple estimates.

    One reason is that currently, 70% of roofing contractors are not offering roof repairs, which is why so many landfills are packed with shingles.

    “For roofers, full roof replacements are good for business, but they are not good for the environment or the homeowners’ pockets,”

    Lipinskiy adds.

    7. Name not on roofing contract

    The last telltale sign of a shady roofing contractor is if the business owner doesn’t have his name on any of the legal documents pertaining to his company.

    In these instances, typically the business owner has previously declared bankruptcy or has a criminal record that would prevent them from registering for an LLC.

    A good way to check a roofer’s validity is to find out how long their company has been in business. Many roofing contractors will say they have been in business for a long time, but if the paperwork doesn’t match up, it’s likely the roofing contractor you’re dealing with is shady.

    Ultimately, it is important to hire a quality roofing contractor because failing to do so could result in the loss of thousands of dollars.

    “I’ve seen it too many times,”

    Lipinskiy says of homeowners getting scammed.

    “You pay someone $20,000 and then you cannot even find them, or they do a very cheap job, and an inspector tells you that you need a new roof because it was not done to local building codes.”

    Of course, litigation is always an option in any of these cases, but that is a route very few homeowners enjoy taking.

    woman looking on computer for roofing contractor: how to spot a bad roofing contractor

    Looking For A Roofing Contractor In Your Area?

    Hopefully, these 7 tips for spotting a shady homeowner were helpful and will help ensure your next home improvement project goes smoothly.

    And if you’re a homeowner who is looking for a reliable contractor in your area, check out Directorii to see a list of contractors who are all backed up by a $20,000 guarantee!

    Quentin Super
    Senior Copywriter at Roofing Insights, author of the internationally-selling book The Long Road North, founder of quentinsuper.com

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    1. It really helped when you talked about the importance of checking a roofing contractor’s online presence before hiring one. Recently, my parents decided they’d like to replace their house’s roof. My parent’s home’s too old and the roof’s damaged, so I’ll be sure to help them find a professional for the job. Thanks for the advice on roofing contractors and how to identify a reliable one.

    2. If I were to improve my home’s curb appeal, I would make sure to hire a roofer that may fix its cracked roof. Thank you for sharing here as well the importance of hiring a skilled roofer. Aside from this, you are also right that it will be smarter to seek a quotation too.

    3. You made a good point that it’s important to be very careful about the contracts when hiring a roofing contractor. I’d like to hire one soon because I want to get my roof reinforced after the winter. I want my house to be a lot more resilient to snow buildup in the years to come.

    4. Hey there, great insights in this article! As a fellow roofing company, I couldn’t agree more with the points Dmitry shared. Written estimates and clear product details are a must for any trustworthy roofer. It’s all about building trust and transparency with homeowners. And that same-day price thing, oh boy, that’s a red flag for sure! Online reviews are our lifeline these days, and I totally get why Dmitry stresses their importance. Out-of-state contractors can be a real gamble; local presence and accountability matter a lot. And let’s not forget about repairs – they’re often overlooked. Thanks for putting this out there, it’s a helpful guide for both homeowners and us roofers who want to keep the industry honest and reliable.

    5. Thank you for your article, unfortunately I didn’t see it before I hired a roofing company that is like the ones to avoid. I have been dealing with this company for a refund for work not completed, and for an overpayment to cover extra funds for a fence repair. The manager refuses to refund the money. Now I have to deal with attorneys and the court system to get what is owed. Fortunately the roof replacement was up to insurance adjuster standards. Trying to find a attorney willing to help us has been frustrating, not a big enough amount for attorneys to help us. Small claims court is my choice. I want to have this company charged for criminal fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices and Financial abuse. Send them to jail! So investigate and follow your instincts. Bad roofers know the law too.

    6. I found this blog extremely helpful in identifying red flags when hiring a roofing contractor. It’s crucial to ensure the safety and quality of our homes. The tips and warning signs mentioned here are invaluable for homeowners. Thank you for bringing attention to this critical issue!

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