How to Avoid Roofing Scam Artists in the Wake of Texas Storms: Advice to Consumers from the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA)
April 08, 2015 7:18 AM
With No Licensing, Registration or Insurance Required of Roofers by the State of Texas, It’s “Buyer Beware” and Consumers Need to Arm Themselves with Information
The North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) – a regional association for residential and commercial roofing contractors, distributors, manufacturers and associates who maintain the highest industry standards – offers advice to consumers in the wake of last night’s damaging and devastating storms.
“In Texas, state licensing, registration and insurance are not required for roofers, leaving an open door for scam artists, storm chasers and substandard work,” Karen Vermaire Fox, executive director of NTRCA. “Anyone can ‘hang up a shingle’ and call themselves a roofing company and, unfortunately, it’s ‘buyer beware’ in Texas when it comes to roofing. We want to help consumers ask the right questions in order to determine if they’re hiring a legitimate, experienced roofer who will be around longer than the storm season.”
NTRCA offers extensive advice to homeowners in Texas, in both English and Spanish, on its website at www.ntrca.com, which includes the following:
- Check to make sure that the roofing contractor is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
- Research how many years of experience they have as a roofing contractor in North Texas.
- Find out if they are insured. What type of insurance coverage is it? What (and who) does it cover? Don’t hesitate to ask a roofing contractor for a certificate of insurance and make sure that the coverage is in effect throughout your project. You don’t want to be liable for accidents that occur on your property (and you will be if the contractor is not properly insured).
- Find out where the roofing company is located. Have they just come to town with the storms?
- Get warranty information in writing (for materials and labor). Consider how long your contractor has been in business and where they are located when looking at their labor warranty.
- Do they have credit references? Ask for a list of local suppliers, and call them to ensure that the roofing contractor is in good standing. You don’t want to be left footing the bill for roofing materials.
- Will they give you a detailed, written proposal?
- Are they asking for money upfront? Homeowners should beware of paying before the job is complete. A partial payment for materials, however, after they have been delivered to your project location, is not unusual.
- Is the roofer offering to “take care of” or “eat” your insurance deductible? Talk directly to your insurance company to ensure that any special arrangement is legitimate and not insurance fraud.
- If the roofing contractor’s bid is significantly lower than their competitors, find out why and what materials they are using. Compare apples to apples.
To see a full list of questions that NTRCA recommends asking any roofing contractor, NTRCA advice videos and information about the top 5 roofing scams to avoid, go to www.ntrca.com.