NTRCA Receives National Recognition for Its Consumer Advocacy Campaign

Earlier this year, the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) received national recognition for our “Who’s On Your Roof?” consumer advocacy campaign when we won a Gold Circle Award honorable mention in the category of community service. The Gold Circle Awards are given annually by the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association).

NTRCA’s “Who’s On Your Roof?” consumer advocacy campaign helps educate North Texas consumers and provides them with information and resources to protect themselves from roofing scam artists and storm chasers.

We are proud of our consumer awareness work and our commitment to consumers in North Texas. With no state licensing, registration or even liability insurance required of roofers in Texas, anyone can call themselves a roofer, regardless of their experience – or lack thereof. It’s “buyer beware” and Texas consumers must protect themselves from storm chasers and scam artists. It is an important part of our organization’s mission to help arm North Texans with consumer tips and information to help them select a reputable roofer.

The NTRCA Who’s On Your Roof? consumer awareness campaign is ongoing and has included: the development of a one-page list of questions that NTRCA recommends consumers ask of any roofing contractor they are considering (available in both English and Spanish on the NTRCA website); a consumer advocacy postcard (in both English and Spanish) with information and an abbreviated list of the NTRCA-recommended questions; media outreach and interviews; communication with municipalities in areas that were hit the hardest by damaging storms;  consumer awareness advertisements in local newspapers; sharing consumer awareness information via social media channels (including Facebook and Twitter); an advice page on the NTRCA website (in both English and Spanish) and two consumer awareness videos – one for homeowners and one for commercial property owners.

NTRCA was honored during NRCA’s annual awards presentation at NRCA’s 126th Annual Convention and International Roofing Expo held earlier this year in San Antonio. Click here to see a full list of winners.

 

 

NTRCA Legal Minute with Karen Ensley of Cutler-Smith, PC -- Texas Legislature Contractor-Related Issues

SO MUCH HOPE - FOR SO LITTLE

The 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature opened with a bang, insofar as contractor-related issues were concerned; Texas trade contractors had quite a bit of legislation being sponsored, which if passed and enacted into law, would have been beneficial to the industry and all of its participants. When the dust settled, though, not a lot got done.

Aw, the Opportunities!

The boldest initiative was lien law reform, legislation which was filed after an off-year interim study into the problems with the current lien law system and with input from a number of industry groups and contractors.  Legislation was filed in both the Senate and the House that, if passed, it would have created a much simplified "no fault" lien scheme, providing plenty of protection for project owners, secured lenders and general contractors, while substantially improving the lien protection given to subcontractors.  However, there was substantial opposition from general contractor interests, as well as some banking title company advocates.  The legislation was ultimately withdrawn by its sponsors; hopes are that inter-session negotiations will lead to a passable compromise bill in the 84th Legislature, 2015.

Another proposal that did not make it through the session was legislation to that would have required notice to contractors in the event a project owner was declared by its lender to be in default, so the construction team could lawfully suspend work and protect itself from greater losses.  Banking interest didn't like this very much and killed the bill.

. . . And the Good News?

The biggest win for the construction industry is House Bill 586, requiring waiver by state entities of their sovereign immunity to suit.  This one is a big deal and a change from the existing law that allowed a state agency to claim sovereign immunity from suit - including suit to collect money for work done under a contract with the agency. Under the new legislation, which applies to construction contracts executed on or after September 1, 2013, contractors have the ability to sue state governmental agencies for breach of contract.  For disputes of $250,000 or more, suit can be filed in District Court, with disputes of less than $250,000 decided by the State's Office of Administrative Hearings ("SOAH"). The legislation isn't perfect - it does not allow for recovery of attorneys' fees by the aggrieved parties, but is still a huge gain for construction teams across the state.

House Bill 2015, signed by Governor Perry on June 14, requires that employers awarded contracts for public work must ensure that those performing work under the contract are properly classified as employees or independent contractors, and provides for a penalty of $200 for each individual misclassified as an independent contractor. This legislation is a response to the growing problem of contractors shifting their workforce to 1099 workers and creating an unfair advantage over those employers properly classifying their full time employees as employees. Other proposals for legislation addressing worker mis-classification had dramatically higher penalty levels, but the passage and signing of HB 2015 is an important step.

 

 

NTRCA Member Featured on CBS in Dallas/Fort Worth for Helping Widow Who Was Victim of Roofing Scam

NTRCA member Outback Roofing's act of kindness was recently featured on CBS News in Dallas/Fort Worth.
 
Back in 2012, 87-year-old Louise, an elderly widow, was scammed by a roofing company after her roof sustained severe damage from a storm. She paid $2,500 up front to someone promising to fix her roof for very little cost, and then she never saw them again.  Several months later, she told a friend from Meals on Wheels about what had happened and they connected her with Christoper Crutcher of Outback Roofing. He and his team fixed her roof at no cost, then hired an attorney to investigate the company that took Louise's money in hopes of getting the money back.

Well done, Christoper!  This is a shining example of the quality and professionalism of members of the NTRCA.

To read or watch the full story, click here

In Texas, unlike other states, ANYONE from anywhere with no insurance or credentials can be a roofer...and it's much easier for scam artists to take advantage of elderly people like Louise. A BIG thank you to NTRCA member Outback Roofing LLC and Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County for coming to the rescue.

CONSUMERS - before you ever sign a contract or hand over a check, please go to www.ntrca.com to check out NTRCA's list of tips and questions to ask of any roofing contractor you may be considering.