From filtering through the thousands of roofers online, not knowing who's best, to getting inconsistent quotes with massive markups. It can be really tough to make the right decision. On top of all this, there are a ton of shady, 'fly-by-night' contractors looking to scam you out of your hard-earned money.
In fact, problems with home renovations are among the top consumer complaints in Ontario:
In 2015, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services received approximately 1,600 complaints and inquiries about home renovation services – 21% were related to roofers.
How Can I Avoid Roofing Scams?
We've compiled a quick checklist to help you avoid these scams and save as much money as possible.
Get written quotes
Make sure the following is in the contract:
The contractor’s business name, address and contact information
- Detailed description of the work to be completed and the materials used
- The total cost, including all applicable taxes, the payment terms as well as the down payment and deposit
- How the property will be protected
- Cleanup details
- Who will cover any damages to your property in case of any accidents
- Detailed warranty on both materials and workmanship
Understand what you are signing for
Ask the following questions:
- How long will the shingles last?
- Is there adequate ventilation?
- Are you putting Ice & Water Shield along the perimeter, valleys, and skylights?
- How much do you charge for plywood replacement?
- Will you pull up the plywood to inspect for mold in the attic?
- Will you magnet the property to pick up any missed nails?
- Will you be using synthetic underlayment to cover the entire roof deck?
- Will you be using drip edge flashings?
Ask your contractor if they have the necessary safety training.
Working at Heights Training is mandatory for any contractor using a ladder or working at any heights.
Avoid any "tax-free" roofing deals or promos
This is extremely important. Not only does this raise many concerns why a business is trying to avoid taxes, but it also voids your warranty completely. If something happens to your roof within the warranty period, the shingle manufacturer will request a receipt for all materials and installation. If the contractor is providing you with a tax-free deal, they are most likely keep everything off the books and nothing will be documented. You will be on the hook for yet another expensive roof replacement.
WSIB and Liability Insurance
Make sure you ask for a recent WSIB Clearance Certificate and Proof of Liability Insurance (Minimum 1M).
Avoid scams: Buyer beware
Unfortunately, buying a new roof can be a bit of a "buyer beware" situation. Look up any companies online if they knock on your door, and always ask for a business card. A reputable roofing company should have a website and/or Facebook page. Never sign a contract the first time you connect with a roofer, and use the tips above to find high quality roofers.
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