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Avoid Getting Scammed: What To Ask Roofing Contractors Before Signing

When you’re looking for a Central Florida roofing contractor, it’s important to choose the one you can trust.

There are many states throughout the United States where just about anyone can claim to be a roofing contractor. In some places, you don’t even need a license. Luckily, Florida has relatively high standards thanks to the transformation in building codes that followed Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

That said, there are still some people out there who want to take advantage of homeowners.

In Central Florida and throughout the rest of the Sunshine State, fake “roofing contractors” have been known to prey on people in the wake of a major storm. They often go door to door soon after a storm front passes through, offering discount roof work in exchange for a cash payment.

Naturally, this work never gets done, and they disappear with the money. While it’s most common for roofing scams to target the elderly, criminals will take money from anyone. This leaves you in a worse situation when you inevitably need to consult a reputable Central Florida roofer for your roof repairs.

Another common approach to roofing scams is to directly scam your insurance company.

In fact, this is now happening so frequently that it’s at the core of the property insurance crisis here in Florida. In the past, insurance rules have allowed homeowners to sign insurance checks directly over to businesses (and even private individuals). This practice enabled a lot of graft.

Your Number One Defense Against Roofing Contractor Scams in Florida

To avoid scammers and get quality roof work done, you need to get accurate, helpful information.

The best way to do that is to ask the right questions. When you ask good questions, you’ll easily see it when someone is trying to pull one over on you. Con artists often get frustrated or cut off discussion once they realize you won’t agree to everything they have to say. That’s good for you!

Asking sound questions also helps you find the right deal among legitimate Central Florida roofing contractors. Everyone has to start somewhere, but when a new roofer strikes out on their own, it’s imperative that they’re able to give full and satisfying answers to customers like you.

You’ll save yourself time, money, and stress when you follow this process:

  • Develop a short list of potential roofing contractors in Central Florida
  • Call ahead and ask them any questions you have about their services
  • Get free estimates only from the companies that answer you fully

What to Ask Roofing Contractors Before You Accept a Free Estimate

A good written estimate is a critical step toward the right roofing deal for you. But you can also save time by making sure you don’t request an estimate from someone who isn’t really qualified to offer it. That’s where our guide gets rolling – in the initial conversation with a Florida roofing contractor.

Question 1: “Can I see proof of your license and insurance?”

Roofing contractors need a license in order to practice here in Florida. They also need to hold a substantial amount of liability insurance. A roofer’s insurance policy not only protects their own personnel in the event of an accident but also safeguards you and your property.

You can actually access Florida contractor licensing records at any time. The point of asking the question is to make sure whoever you’re talking to is straightforward with their answers. Licensure is essential, and any legitimate roofing contractor will be glad to show you that they’re following the rules.

Question 2: “What is your roof repair or replacement process?”

No matter what kind of Florida roof work you plan to get, your roofer should already have plenty of experience. Experience doesn’t just mean you get the job done fast or even that you do it right. It’s crucial to know how many people are needed on the job and how to handle any issues that arise.

Whether you’re looking for a roof repair or a full roof replacement, anyone you discuss it with should be able to walk you through their process. That includes not only what they do, but why doing it that way yields better results for customers like you.

In particular, if your roofer works with unusual roofing materials like metal roofing or tile roofing, they need to really know their stuff inside and out. Make sure to ask how long they’ve been performing that kind of installation and what makes their approach different from their competitors.

Question 3: “Can I talk to one of your satisfied customers?”

Odds are good that when you started looking for a roofing contractor, you went online.

Any legitimate roofing contractor in Central Florida will have a website. If they’ve been around for more than about a year, that website should have reviews and testimonials. You can check out any roofer on third-party websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and “Angi” (formerly Angie’s List.)

Ideally, every review is left by someone who the business impacted in a beneficial way.

But nothing stops a business from leaving itself fake reviews, just like nothing stops a competitor from creating fake negative ones. With that in mind, good reviews are a positive sign – but should be taken with a grain of salt. You can also ask to connect with a customer who had similar work done.

It might take a few days for a roofing contractor to find someone willing to discuss their experience with a total stranger. Still, if they balk at the request – if they’re not even willing to consider it in order to get your project – it shows they aren’t confident they can turn up evidence of that glowing review.

What to Ask Roofing Contractors Before You Sign a Roofing Contract

Question 1: “What happens if there are cost or timing overruns?”

An estimate is just that – an estimate. A roofer could discover problems when they start the work, such as more serious damage than was known before. But even if the situation changes, it doesn’t mean they just run your credit card and get more money. There should be procedures to clear changes with you.

Question 2: “What do you need from me?”

Roofing experts tend to have all the bases covered and need very little from a homeowner. A roofing job typically begins early in the morning and runs 10-12 hours, with the roofer supplying their own water, trash, power, and bathroom facilities. If anything is needed from you, it should be stated upfront.

Question 3: “How long do I have to decide?”

Once an estimate is complete, the clock is ticking. A roofing contractor can’t lock in your final price until you sign on and they can purchase roofing materials at current costs. Even so, they should not try to push you to decide immediately. You should get at least a few days to respond.

Contact us to get started with a Central Florida roofing contractor you can trust.

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