The Smiths are installing a new roof. As you swing on your patio swing, a pleasant man crosses the street and states he bought too much material and can replace your roof for cash. “Warning, warning, Will Robinson” you are about to be scammed.
How to Avoid Roofing Scams in NJ
Nationally the roofing industry generates about 9.9 million per year, and 14 percent of that is lost in fraud and scams. After a major disaster that damages your roof, you could be feeling understandably upset and vulnerable. Unfortunately, sometimes crooks take advantage of this by portraying themselves as legitimate contractors when in fact they’re just out to scam you.
Some roofing contractors solicit business after severe weather events. These storm chasers knock on the door and report that they can see roof damage and offer a free inspection. These scoundrels collect a down payment, do poor quality work, and skip town before completing the job. The phone number on their contract is disconnected and if you drive by their address, it is a nail salon.
Door-to-door salesmen should be vetted carefully with the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. Professional roofing contractors do not need to knock on doors. After a storm, the first call should be to your homeowner’s insurance to file a claim. The Best Practice is to get a contractor with a proven history, references, and transparent business dealings. A respectable company should have an online presence.
If the bid is extremely low, then the work will be extremely poor. High pressure sales are always an indication for a scam. A contractor who bids low will add on fees and repairs so that the cost of the job will end up much higher. Three bids in writing are the Best Business Practice for ensuring that the estimate will be comprehensive, and the work will be reasonable in cost. Always have everything spelled out on the contract to avoid any murkiness later. It is reasonable to pay 15 percent down and the balance when the work is complete. New Jersey requires a license to conduct a roofing business. Contracts should include:
- Project scope
- Project timeline
- Permits to be obtained by the contractor
- The promise of a lien release from subcontractors and suppliers
- Payment terms and schedule
- Terms for changing orders or canceling the project
- Contractor info, including their license
- Insurance and bonding
Insurance fraud occurs when the contractor wants you to sign over the insurance check directly to them. Always make sure that the roofer isn’t getting paid by the insurance directly and by you. Double payments are insurance fraud and should be reported to the Better Business Bureau. Cash payments are not worth the discount if you can’t prove the installation dates to maintain your roof’s warranty. Make sure the roofer has liability insurance and carries workman’s comprehensive insurance for their workers.
The contractor should pinpoint the damage to the roof. Mystery damage is when the roofer is using a lot of nonspecific jargon and is not taking time to explain the issues and the options so you can make an informed decision. Professional roofers should complete an inspection inside and outside the home, clearly explain the signs of damage, how it occurred, and the steps needed to fix the issue. Professionals care that you understand.
Professional roofers will always get the permits for you. Warranties depend on legal permits. If the scam roofer asks you get the permits, it should set off a warning bell that they are not welcome at the permit office or not eligible to get a permit.
Discounted materials leftover from a previous job or reclaimed are neither green nor have adequate warranties. Discounted materials rarely last the decades of a new roof. Take the time to research the materials that are being used to ensure that the product will hold up in the New Jersey weather.
How to Avoid Roofing Scams in NJ
At NJ Pro Roofing, we promise to answer our phones, return your calls, show up on time, follow up, and provide skilled, customer-oriented professionals. We will share our knowledge and expertise to help you make the right home improvement decisions. We service all areas of New Jersey including, Union County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Hunterdon County, Somerset County, Mercer County, and more. Website at https://njproroofingllc.com/ Address NJ Pro Roofing, LLC, 214 S Lincoln Ave, Washington, NJ 07882