How Do You Know If a Roofer Is Ripping You Off?

The residential roofing industry is saturated in the Portland Metro and Vancouver areas. Consumers are sure to see many differences in standards and operations while doing their research for a reputable residential roofing company. While you may find good practices replicated by various roofers, you may also find some practices that are ethically wrong.

The roof is your family’s first line of defense against the outdoor elements of the Pacific Northwest. Whether choosing a roofer for larger projects such as full restoration or construction, or smaller jobs like routine maintenance or repair, it is important to have confidence in your contractor. There may be some roofers with questionable reputations or lack of required licensing in the area, costing their customers money, time, and frustration because of their lack of job ethics when performing a job. Do not ignore red flags; instead, avoid bad practices and make your money worth it.

To make sure this does not happen to you, our dedicated team of roofing experts at Clear Vision Construction, LLC, is sharing the warning signs of roofing contractor fraud you should watch out for when seeking a roof repair or replacement.

Photo of a Roof

How Roofers Rip You Off

Here are signs that should alert you to potential roofing contractor fraud as well as the suggested steps you can take to protect yourself from roofing scams.

They go door-to-door to generate business.

Some shady roofers try to trick homeowners into hiring them by knocking on doors, especially right after a storm has hit the area. They might say they have noticed damage to your roofing system from the street and offer to inspect it more closely. But keep in mind that it is impossible for anyone to accurately see roof damage from the ground unless the roof is visibly destroyed.

Moreover, reputable roofing companies do not need to do door-to-door solicitation; they get customers through honest advertising. If an unsolicited roofer comes to your house claiming you need a roof replacement or roof repair, it is best to say “No.”

They have no insurance and no credentials.

A big warning sign of roofing scams is when the roofer cannot show or is hesitant to share their professional license or proof of insurance. Even though in some markets the roofing industry does not require specific permits; if they say they do not need credentials for the roofing work, that might be suspicious. Professional roofers commonly have local, state, and federal roofing industry standards to adhere to, so their work requires some credentials.

If the uninsured, unlicensed roofing contractors get injured while working on your property, you could be held responsible for their medical expenses. Without their insurance, there is no safety net to protect the homeowner from these costs. Without a license and proper certification, there is no guarantee of their skill level or the quality of their work. If any issues come up later with the poorly installed shingles, you will be forced to pay another roofing contractor to fix them.

They are vague about costs or reluctant to give a written estimate.

Every contractor worth their salt provides potential clients with a detailed estimate to clearly break down the costs for materials and labor, showing exactly what you are paying for. This is to help you understand and plan your budget, compare different roofing contractors fairly, and ensure there are no hidden charges.

So if a roofer is being very vague about these details and would not put them in writing, it means they are not committed to the quoted price and might be planning to surprise you with extra fees later. Also, if they only give you a lump sum estimate without breaking down costs, it is hard to know where your money is going.

They pressure you to sign the contract without due diligence.

As a homeowner, you need to spend time going over every part of the roofing contract to fully understand what you are agreeing to. You need to look closely at the details, such as what roofing materials they will use, the timeline for the roof replacements project, and the total cost. Every term and condition in the contract matters, which is why a trustworthy roofer will give you the space to read the contract carefully. They should also be ready to explain everything in it, so you know exactly what is included in their service and what is not.

If they are rushing you to just sign on the dotted line, claiming it is the “standard, boilerplate stuff”, they might be trying to hide some additional charges in the fine print. Exercise due diligence to protect yourself from roofing scams.

They ask for a large deposit upfront.

If a roofing company demands an abnormally large down payment before starting work, this is a red flag. While many roofers might ask for a deposit to buy materials and cover initial costs, asking for an unusually large sum upfront is a red flag, especially if it’s a large percentage. The common standard will ask for a deposit ranging from 30% to 50% which will help companies keep the costs low and cover initial needs for the job to be started.

If you are not sure about the deposit amount a contractor is requesting, reach out to other roofing companies in your area and ask them about their deposit policies. This way you can compare and determine whether it is a reasonable request.

They do not have a physical business location.

It is true that some legitimate contractors work from their home offices, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, not having a physical location where you can visit or see samples of their work may indicate a fly-by-night roofing scam operation.

Choose Our GAF-certified Master Elite Roofers for Reliable Services

If you want your asphalt shingle roofing done right with quality materials and excellent craftsmanship, get in touch with us at Clear Vision Construction LLC today. We are a local, family-run business with more than 10 years of experience in Portland, Beaverton, and surrounding areas. Over 4,000 homeowners have already trusted us, making us a dependable choice for your asphalt roof replacement and roof repair needs. Our reputation for quality work is also backed by our good standing with the Better Business Bureau. To request a no-cost estimate for your new roof, give us a call at (503) 313-2850 or reach us online today.