As a Florida roofing professional you probably know just how important it is to stay…
There are so many choices in roofing contractors out there today. But how do you know that you are getting an honest contractor? There are a lot of frauds going on everywhere these days. It is sad really and hard to navigate, especially if you don’t know or understand anything about roofing or insurance companies. So, we are going to try to give you some tips that will help you not fall into the trap of a fraudulent roofing company.
Search the Company up Online
This may sound pretty simple and basic, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t do it. Especially if they are approached from the street after a storm from a “roofing company”. Just because they look legit and have a nice car, doesn’t mean they are.
Take a business card and do not let them on your roof without proper research. This will save you a headache in the end, as some people are out there chasing storms.
These companies will get up on your roof and cause more damage to the roof on purpose. This is not someone you’d want working on your roof.
However, that doesn’t mean everyone that stops or walks up to you after noticing the big gaping hole are these storm chasers. The best way to find out is to look up their company name online. They not only should have a website that is functioning and makes sense. But, there should be a social profile such as Facebook or Instagram on there as well.
And, look for pictures of their past jobs. Does the background look like Florida? Quickly going in and changing the address is pretty simple online, which is why it’s up to you to be a bit skeptical. After all, this is a major investment you are looking at doing.
Check their rankings online, if they have them. There are many places people can leave reviews, check them all and see what you find. Remember, that not everyone will always be super happy with every service. This is important to keep in mind when looking for any professional. There are many negative people in the world, more than positive, so if you see a bad review, read it and use your own judgment. And, this is the same for the positive review as well. Check to see if the person reviewing is from the area. If they are, most likely so is your roofing contractor.
We are proud to be from Jacksonville, FL. And, we work with many insurance companies as well as the homeowner’s to ensure you understand the overall process. We are locally owned and operated and are not one of those storm chasers, we will be here long after the storm is gone.
Your roof is not a high-pressure sales kind of item. You should take the time to investigate and understand how much this is going to take. If you are looking at a new roof due to storm damage then, it may not be a huge cost to you, due to the insurance company paying the majority of the bill. However, it is still a very large investment that should be researched. You don’t want just some guy with a truck and hammer. A roof is a complex system that should be only done by a professional.
Handle your own insurance Claim
Sure, we say we will help you with your insurance claim, and we will. But, we don’t handle your insurance claim, that should always be between you and the insurance company. If a contractor states they can handle your insurance claim and all you need to do is “sign here”, run. That is a sure sign of someone that is not on the up and up. Ensure you handle everything through your insurance company.
Ask for their insurance information
If they are a roofing contractor they should have liability insurance and you should have a copy. You can even call the insurance company to verify they are in fact carrying coverage. And, ask about the subcontractors and if there are any, these companies should also carry liability insurance and if they don’t, find someone else. There are three types of insurances that they should carry, personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. This will not only cover them but will cover you as well.
To further protect yourself ask them about their payment options. As a homeowner, you want to make small payments along the way to ensure the work gets done and passes inspections from the building inspector, insurance companies and bank if needed. This will limit the possibility of the contractor taking the money and running.
Ask for references
We don’t mean just a phone number, get the address and do a drive by. Does the roof look new? And, yes, of course, call as well, but remember some of the roofing contractors could just give you anyone’s name and phone number. Getting the address to check out their work shouldn’t be a problem. We aren’t saying to stop in for coffee, but seeing their work is important. And, ask for more pictures of their before and after, they should have this posted on their website or social media as well. This will ensure they know what they are doing. If in doubt of something, ask very detailed questions as well as do some research online for other questions or things you should look for.
Get a written contract
Ensure everything is in this contract as well. Have them explain the contract to ensure you are comparing apples to apples if you are comparing two or more companies. Ensure they have on there what materials are covered, the labor, details such as the color of the material is even important. And be sure you ask questions. Ensure you know the time frame, who is going to clean up the mess, who calls the dumpster, what the payment arrangement is and what is expected of you. Remember, you are hiring them, so ensure you are comfortable with them.
Get all Warranty information
Find out what is under warranty or if they offer a warranty. If you choose to hire them you will need to get all warranty information including who your content should you need them to honor the warranty. This can be manufacturers as well.
Finally, remember to get everything in writing, everything that is spoken is not recorded and if they don’t honor it, you are out of luck.
About Prime Roofing
Mark Young, founder of Prime Roofing, a roofing contractor in Jacksonville, strives to make roof replacement simple, easy and hassle-free for Jacksonville Florida homes. We only work with homeowners, so we have streamlined our roofing company to navigate all of the common challenges a homeowner faces when replacing their roof.