Protect Yourself from Common Roofing Scams in Miami
Hiring a great roofing contractor is the most important decision you’ll have to make for any roofing project. Unfortunately, there are a lot of roofing contractors out there who take advantage of homeowners like you. To avoid this happening to you, you need to know how to spot the red flags.
Below are some of the common red flags you should watch out for when selecting a contractor:
1. Exceptionally Low Bid 🚩:
Any roofing contractor who provides a project estimate that’s substantially lower than other contractors is probably too good to be true. A contractor who bids too low at the start of the project tends to raise the price as the project progresses.
It’s smart to get at least three bids on your project to compare prices and speak with each roofer to find out exactly what they plan to replace or repair. To protect yourself from paying too much, you should be given a contract that outlines any possible price fluctuations in advance.
2. Strange or Overstated Damage🚩:
If a roofing contractor overstates the damage or can’t pinpoint exactly what the damage is, your roof might not require the work they’re quoting you. Some roofers have even been known to cause damage to the roof during a free inspection to justify charging more.
Before hiring a roofing contractor in Miami FL, review their online reviews (you can see some of our here) to evaluate the legitimacy of the business. Once an inspection is complete, get precise guidance on what the damage is, what caused it, and the steps needed to fix it.
3. Storm Chasers 🚩:
There are some roofing contractors that have been known to chase storms, which means they watch for severe weather events and visit the affected areas trying to get business. They often contact homeowners to offer them a roof inspection at no charge because they claim to have witnessed roof damage.
In many cases, these storm chasers collect a down payment from the homeowner or do inferior work, and then skip town before they finish the job.
4. Discounted Materials 🚩:
If a roofing contractor offers a price break to use discounted or leftover materials, it should be a red flag. These so-called ‘special deals’ seldom lead to a durable roof that will last for decades. Get project details and quotes from at least three different roofing contractors and research the materials they’ll use to repair or replace your roof.
5. No Contract Provided 🚩:
If a roofing contractor in Miami FL wants to proceed with your roofing project without providing a contract, show them the door. A contract helps protect you from price increases and no-show contractors. It should detail the entire scope of work and agreed-upon payment terms.
6. No License or Insurance 🚩:
In Florida roofing contractors must have a license, so it’s crucial that you research and verify the license they provide. Ask for proof of that license and their liability insurance. A contractor without the proper insurance or license is a contractor you definitely don’t want to hire! And, it’s against the law to knowingly hire an unlicensed contractor!
7. Don’t Supply Permits 🚩:
A roofing contractor should secure any permits that are necessary for the project. So, if they ask you to pull the permits, it may be a sign that they aren’t eligible to get a permit or have previously been turned away at the permit office.
8. Large Down Payment Required 🚩:
A roofing contractor in Miami FL who asks for a large down payment might be trying to scam you by taking your money and disappearing. Instead, look for a contractor who requests a reasonable down payment and outlines future payment terms in your contract. A realistic down payment is usually 20% (or less) of the total project price.
9. Lack of Reviews or Online Presence 🚩:
Homeowners should be able to easily locate information online about their roofing contractors, such as the company’s location and reviews from other homeowners in their area.
10. Insurance Fraud 🚩:
Any roofing contractor who wants you to sign an insurance check over to them or offers to pay the insurance deductible is probably attempting to commit insurance fraud. If a roofer claims that they’ll charge you less for your project, it’s not a risk worth taking. They could accept the larger payment from the insurance company and keep the extra funds, which is insurance fraud.
To prevent this, remain in close contact with your insurance company from beginning to end, so you know what’s being covered and how much your contractor is being paid.
11. Asks for Cash Payment 🚩:
Be suspicious of any roofing contractor who offers you a price break for paying in cash. These are cautionary red flags that they might take your money and leave without doing any work, leaving you with no way to get in touch with them.
12. Time-Sensitive or High-Pressure or Sales 🚩:
Any contractor who demands that you sign a contract or letter of intent should be met with some skepticism (although there are exceptions). Materials prices and availability can change or only be available for a limited time. But you should still get other estimates before signing any binding agreement.
It’s important that you feel confident in both your contractor and their asking price before making an agreement.
Most roofing professionals in Miami FL are ethical and hardworking. But if you meet a contractor who you feel is unethical be sure to leave an online review to warn others and contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. For more information, visit our Instagram page here.
Contact Istueta Roofing today to schedule a professional roof consultation by calling us at (305) 671-9190. You can also schedule online here. We are licensed and insured, so you can have peace of mind when we begin your roofing repair or installation.
For some examples of our work, view our online portfolio.