The roof on your Florida home is one of the most substantial investments you will make throughout your home ownership and one that has a significant impact on its resale value.
We’ve all heard horror stories about contractors, including unsatisfactory work, false warranties, overpromises, and unfinished jobs. But, of all the rip-offs we’ve heard of, two top the list.
Scam #1: A contractor says they won’t charge tax if the homeowner pays in cash.
This type of business will probably go out of business tomorrow. And you’ll be forced to pay for repairs if they’re not around to honor their warranty. An even worst-case scenario is that your project could remain incomplete!
Here are six things you probably didn’t know about paying your Miami roofing contractor in cash.
- The classic botched project scam. Because it’s difficult for an untrained eye to find errors in technical work, homeowners are at a disadvantage. And unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the homeowner will know if a project is up to code before it’s too late.
- You will have to pay to fix that botched project scam. While it’s bad enough when a homeowner hires a contractor who scams them, what’s worse is when a homeowner doesn’t have the resources to fix the mistakes that they made.
- You may risk getting blackmailed. The reality is that a contractor’s business could be at risk when they offer to work for a customer who asks to pay in cash. Property owners should be cautious of a contractor who demands a cash transaction because they may be doing so for illegal reasons.
- You may have to deal with an auditor. Declaring income tax and sales is the responsibility of every small business. Keeping track of taxes and transactions can be difficult for those contractors who choose to work in cash. If a company doesn’t report its taxes, it could be at risk for penalties, fines, and even jail time.
- The contractor may have charged you for tax even if they say they haven’t. While some homeowners insist on paying in cash because they want to avoid paying taxes to save money, this can completely destroy their business and their reputation.
- You may not be able to contact your contractor if something goes wrong. The companies that typically do business in cash do not have any traceable work records. Any Miami roofing contractor you choose should have a work history you can trace, several references, many online reviews, and a contract ready for you to sign after their consultation with you.
Scam #2: The roofing company doesn’t have proper insurance and/or licensing to perform roofing repairs and replacements.
Countless homeowners fall victim to roofing scams every year. Because the roof is one of the most important aspects of your home, you want to be sure it can properly protect you and your family.
Unfortunately, many homeowners who don’t have experience handling roof contractors and roof repairs leave themselves vulnerable to fraud. In Florida, unlicensed roofing contractors are targeting more and more victims, resulting in ever-increasing insurance rates and shoddy roof replacements.
These scammers are becoming shrewder, not only in their first approach but in their execution as well. There are changing levels of scams taking place daily, all costing homeowners wasted time and money.
- Roofing Contractor License Scam: Every county that requires a roofing contractor to be licensed should be able to show you a license with their number on it. You should ask to see it to make sure that the contractor you hire is, in fact, able to pull the required permits in your county.
If a roofing contractor suggests that pull the permits for your re-roof, or that no permit is required, or you see a different name on your permit, these are all red flags. It’s likely that your contractor doesn’t have a license in your county and shouldn’t even be operating a roofing contractor business here.
- Insurance Scam: Workman’s Comp insurance protects the employees working on your property, and general liability insurance covers the property itself. Many Miami roofing contractors don’t have either. Even if they have Workman’s Comp insurance, it doesn’t assist you as a homeowner if the roofer accidentally damages your home. Without the proper insurance, you could be responsible for the cost of repairs.
When it comes to insurance, don’t just take the roofing contractor’s word for it.
Be absolutely certain about the contractor’s credibility by asking them to provide you with proof of their insurance. If they fail to provide it, don’t do business with them. Check with your state or county government to confirm a contractor’s license and ask the contractor for proof of insurance.
Don’t proceed with your project without the contractor’s proof of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Contact the insurance company to verify that their policy is still valid and that the contractor has been endorsed for roofing work.
If you do work with an uninsured, unlicensed individual or company, don’t be deceived into believing that your homeowner’s or personal liability insurance necessarily protects you. In many cases, you may be liable.
The bottom line is that if a Miami roofing contractor you don’t know offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The best way to avoid being conned out of your money is to use an experienced, trusted roofer.
When you choose Istueta Roofing in Miami, FL, you can have peace of mind that we will be here for you over the life of your roof through installation, maintenance, and repair by a company with decades in business. We always deliver what we say we will, and you can enjoy a headache-free experience over the entire life of your roof. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.