You can only learn so much about a gutter contractor by reading their reviews online; talking with them, even if it’s a quick chat, can help you gauge their level of competence and allow you to make an informed decision.
Did you know that many unreliable roofing contractors prey on unsuspecting homeowners in storm areas?
We’ve been seeing more and more of this disturbing trend, especially after major storms that leave homeowners with costly roof damage in need of repair. These contractors, known as “storm chasers” often do not carry insurance policies, product warranties, or construction license numbers. Their goal is to make a quick buck by exploiting homeowners without regard to the safety and quality requirements of the industry. Most are not local and travel to the area looking for homeowners who have been affected by hail or wind damage, never to be seen again until the next major storm happens.
Homeowners should be cautious before hiring the first installer that knocks on the door. Some tell-tale signs of a storm chaser include:
- Promises of no insurance deductible (aka insurance fraud)
- Requires cash up-front
- Requires homeowner to obtain the building permit
- Asks for authorization to be the sole contact with homeowner’s insurance company
Storm chasers have no reason or incentive for producing high-quality work and are long gone before any problems arise. The best way to avoid this roofing scam is to do your own research before hiring a contractor. Educating yourself on the qualities of a licensed, reliable contractor will benefit you greatly the next time you are in need of immediate repairs.
Check out these blog posts to help guide you the next time you’re ready to hire a contractor:
- 3 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Contractor
- The Benefits of Hiring a GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor
Exterior Source is a locally owned and operated company that has served the Richmond and Tidewater areas since 1993. As a GAF Factory-Certified Master Elite Contractor, we are licensed by our state, trained to install quality roofs, required to maintain insurance, and established in the local community. We are experienced in insurance claims and can help homeowners with storm-damaged roofs, gutters, siding or windows.
Home projects – whether interior or exterior – can be a big undertaking. You’ve got a vision to bring to life and, in most cases, it all comes down to choosing the right contractor. A contractor can make or break a project. They determine the quality and timeliness of the work, as well as your peace of mind. Before hiring any home contractor, make sure you ask these three very important questions.
- Are you licensed?
Every state has different rules and regulations about contractor licensure, so you’ll need to check what is required in your area before hiring. You can check this list to find out if a contractor needs to be licensed or registered to operate in your state. In most cases, unlicensed contractors are not held accountable by any organization, meaning they don’t have to obtain the proper paperwork for a project or protect their crews through worker’s compensation insurance. This often leads to lower quotes since they are not paying a licensing fee or obtaining a bond to protect their work, but it also means less protection for you if any kind of dispute arises. Hiring a licensed professional is the best way to ensure you and your assets will be protected during the course of a project.
- Will you provide a list of references?
This is a great way to learn whether a contractor has relevant experience to your project, as well as their work ethic and quality of work. Most professional contractors can provide you with a few past clients who had projects similar in scope to your own. Don’t be shy about calling other homeowners and asking their opinion of the contractor. You can also check out their ratings with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
- How long have you been doing business in this town?
A contractor who has been doing business in the same area for several years will have an established reputation and network of suppliers. Beware of scam contractors who are coming into town to drum up business, especially in the wake of a recent storm or hurricane. Check that their business card or website includes a nearby office address.