Throughout the nation, and certainly here in Milwaukee, a strong and well built roof is a mandatory part of a well built and maintained home. In fact, it’s one of the most important elements of a house. Shoddy roof jobs can deteriorate your home quickly, thanks to leaks and other faults. The Milwaukee movers want to warn you of shady roofing company practices that may be trying to take advantage of you and your money. Unfortunately, companies and not always as honest as they claim and a few pointers on red flags should help you avoid a bad situation.
Scam #1: Down payment scams. Some companies say that a down payment is required to purchase materials for the job. Any company should be able to front the cost of supplies for your roof, unless you have extensive damage that requires specific parts and additional labor, in which case they may ask for a deposit. This scam happens, unfortunately, all the time. As a personal rule, you should never pay a down payment for a job until materials have been delivered.
Scam #2: The door to door salesman scam. Door to door salesmen who show up on your doorstep offering things that are too good to be true (such as, ahem, a free roof) are scammers looking to take advantage of people who are perhaps too busy to schedule maintenance appointments or too naïve to realize they are being targeted and taken advantage of. These people will do free inspections and fabricate damage to entice homeowners to enlist their service. They will either rough up the roof on their own to prove the existing damage, or show you pictures of another deteriorated roof to convince you a new one is needed.
Scam #3: Out of town storm specialists. When an area is on the news as having hail or wind damage, scam artist roofers hit that area and pass out flyers to unsuspecting homeowners. They are highly publicized as scams, yet many still fall for their tricks as they are in the right place at the right time. If they perform the work, it is shoddy at best and before you realize you’ve been wronged they have already left town. Protect yourself by obtaining proof of insurance and verify their roofing status. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
Scam #4: Pressuring sales people. When sales people show up unscheduled and refuse to take no for an answer, they aren’t just good salespeople—they are likely con artists. Promotional deals, limited time specials and other tactics used to hook you into biting are common. High pressure sales tactics should be avoided, because they don’t allow you time to price shop. You could end up paying much more simply because you can’t say no.
Scam #5: Unsteady bidding. When an initial bid is much lower than competitors, you must read the fine print thoroughly. Often, extra low opening costs will be to hook a homeowner, then the prices will skyrocket as the project continues—leaving you, the homeowner, with a growing bill and few to no options. Be sure you can lock in a final estimate that will also prepare you for a “worst-case scenario” ballpark range of total expenses.