AVOIDING CONTRACTOR RIP-OFFS

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 - Post by Betsy Pond

As a result of the treacherous weather we continue to be pounded with, many homeowners are facing roofing and/or other exterior damage to their home.

Reputable contractors have been flooded with calls, and probably have a substantial wait period before they can get the work done for you.  Wait for the known area professionals:  there is a possibility that they could make a temporary repair to tide you over until the problem can be fixed properly.

In recent years, both the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List have reported that one out of three homeowners has had a bad experience with roofing contractors.  Those issues include shoddy work, contractors who take the money and run, and cases where problems showed up after the work had been done, and the contractors were no where to be found.  Essentially you end up paying for the same job twice.

If you wait for the reputable contractors, you will have an avenue to process any complaints you may have:  the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and your local consumer protection agency are sources that may be able to assist you in mediating a resolution. If the contractor cannot be located, you have no resource available to help you.

Don’t be tempted to go with anyone who can do the work immediately. To help prevent getting scammed, get several bids, and compare the proposals.  Every contractor essentially pays the same for shingles and labor, so if you get bids that are very low or very high, that should send up a red flag.  All bids should line up about the same; if something appears abnormal, move on.   (See attached Checklist to assist you in comparing bids.)

To sum it up, use the Contractor Checklist, and make sure you have covered the basic fundamentals that a worthy contractor should provide:

  • Copy of License;
  • Workers Comp Certificate;
  • Check contractor out with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to verify its existence and to review prior complaints;
  • Always have a contract, and make sure it covers the work to be done, the price to be paid, and a workmanship warranty;
  • If additional work is needed, make sure you have scope of the additional work in writing.

 

Do not deviate from the checklist.  Make sure you always hire local professional contractors for all your needs whether it be for roofing, siding, windows, or doors.  If you hire an unrated, unknown contractor and something goes wrong,  a warranty means nothing if you cannot locate the contractor.  Hire Smartly from the get go.

 




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