October 19, 2018

Ontario Roofing and What Needs to Change

The Ontario roofing industry is broken. The government of Ontario issued guidelines on protecting yourself from Roofing Scams. Learn more today!

Time to read:
6 Minutes
Written by
Nicholas Capobianco

Dishonest players exist in every industry, including roofing. From delivering substandard work to recommending unneeded repairs, deceitful acts in the Toronto roofing industry have been reported. If you’re considering a home improvement featuring a new roof, be sure to protect yourself from scams. You can do this by completing research, requesting several quotes and checking references. It's also a good idea to look into warranties and know the signs of fraud. Of course when you use Roofr you don't have to worry about any of this, but in case you are curious and know what to look out for, or if you worked with a potentially malicious roofing company in the past - read on.


Fraud in the Hamilton Roofing Industry

In Hamilton, a roofer faced multiple charges after he allegedly operated several fake roof repair and renovation companies. Police contend that the man charged received several large down payments for work that he failed to perform. To deceive people, the con artist arranged for construction materials to be delivered to the homes of his victims. He would then leave the work site without completing the job.

In several cases, the fraudulent roofer worked on a project, but when he did, it was done improperly, forcing the homeowner to hire another contractor to fix and complete the needed repairs. It’s likely that the homeowner’s insurance policy covered the cost of resolving the issue.

Con Artists in the Toronto Roofing Industry

The case involving the fraudulent roofer who failed to complete the work he was paid to do is not the only deceptive one in the roofing industry. Another report about fraud in the Toronto roofing industry recently came up. This one involved a man who was offering to repair roof vents. According to police reports, the man would knock on the door of a homeowner and advise the person that his or her roof vent was damaged. He offered to repair it for $40. Upon receiving the payment, the man left without completing the repairs.

When unqualified people attempt roof repairs, it could turn into a safety problem for you, one that may wind up involving your homeowner’s insurance policy. Before allowing anyone onto your roof, make sure that he or she is properly trained and works for an established company with a stellar reputation.

How to Protect You and Your Home

In Ontario, home renovations are at the top of consumer complaint lists. The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services confirmed that, in 2015, it received 1,600 inquiries and complaints about home renovation services. Of those 1,600 comments, 21 percent were about roof contractors.

If your home needs a new roof or even just a small repair, it’s important for you to know the risks to avoid scams, inferior workmanship and liability claims for a worker who becomes injured while working at your home. Before you agree to have work done on your roof, protect yourself by:

  • Doing your research
  • Asking for quotes
  • Verifying references
  • Confirming how a company keeps its roofers safe
  • Writing up a contract
  • Checking warranties
  • Knowing how to detect a scam

Take Time to Research Toronto Roofing Companies

In Ontario, the government doesn’t license roofing contractors. To research them, you’ll need to read reviews online, as well as ask family members and friends for recommendations. You can search for any charges or complaints that previous customers may have made against a company that you’re considering hiring on the Consumer Beware List. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to check for complaints or consumer alerts. In some cases, just doing a basic internet search will pull up negative information about a company if any exists.

Ask for Several References

Even if you intend to use a roofer that a family member or friend has referred, you should ask to see at least three references. Request references from people who have used the contractor and are familiar with his or her work. The best references will be from a job that he or she has recently completed as well as a past project. This will allow you to catch any problems that he or she may have had with work quality. If a roofer refuses to give you a list of references, do not hire that person.

When a roofer does give you a list of references, ask each person if:

  • They would hire the roofer for another job
  • Their property or home was damaged in any way while the roofer was working on it
  • The worker was careless with his or her materials
  • The roofing project was completed on time and for the amount quoted
  • The worker used safety protection while completing the job

If the answer to any of these questions is negative, ask why. The answer may be acceptable, and it may even give you more confidence in hiring that particular roofer. For instance, if property was damaged but the roofer offered compensation instead of making the person or business file a claim against the company’s liability insurance, you may feel better about hiring him or her.

Check on Safety Practices

When you hire a roofer to come to your home to replace your roof or make repairs, it’s important to ask about the company’s safety and health practices. This will protect you and your insurance company. Make sure that every person who will be doing work on your roof has the training to do so safely. You’ll also want to confirm that those who are on your roof will be using fall protection equipment.

If a contractor is unable to verify whether their workforce has the proper safety training and equipment, don’t hire the company. Roofers must now have a Working at Heights training card. This confirms that they’ve received training to work in elevated spaces safely. According to Ontario law, roofers must:

  • Have comprehensive training to work in high places
  • Wear fall protection gear when they’re working in spaces that are 10 feet above the ground or higher
  • Have received workplace safety hazard training

When you choose Roofr, you can have confidence in knowing that the company only works with trusted installers who have liability insurance as well as WSIB coverage. This not only decreases the effort that you need to put into selecting a roofer, but it is also sure to give you added peace of mind.

Write Up a Detailed Contract

Because Ontario has implemented the Consumer Protection Act, you have access to a number of consumer rights. Under the act, you are protected for home renovations and repairs like roofing, letting you avoid liability for shoddy or incomplete work. To stay protected, write up a detailed contract.

A contract for roof work should include the name, address and contact details for the roofer. It should also feature a detailed description of the project that you’re hiring him or her to complete. Make sure that the document includes a list of the materials that will be used to do the job and a quote for the cost of materials and labor.

Contracts for roof work should feature liability details regarding damage that may occur to your home, property or surrounding property. Before signing the contract, confirm that it includes a clear description of the material and product warranties.

Look Into Warranties

In the Toronto roofing industry, material manufacturers are often not affiliated with the contractor who is using them on your home. For the warranty to apply, some roof materials require certification or roofers who are specially trained to install them. To avoid liability issues, request a copy of material warranties.

Know How to Spot a Con

Depending on your homeowner’s insurance policy, you may have fraud protection, but it’s best to avoid deceitful situations if possible. If a roofer in Ontario informs you that there is damage to your roof, request a photo of the damage. This may include a picture of a hole, missing shingles or broken shingles. Be suspicious of roofers who ask for a large down payment. If your contractor requests one, limit it to 10 percent. Also, don’t pay the full amount until the project is complete. Keep in mind that companies like Roofr vet local contractors, so you’ll know that they’ll send you someone you can trust.

Making an Informed Decision - Choose Roofr

When comparing Ontario roofers, be sure to ask for references, get quotes and use a contract. Make sure that you know the signs of fraud, and check your local news and police blog to see if anyone in your area has reported construction scams. Ask potential roof contractors about their safety practices and about the material warranties. By taking these steps, you’ll be more likely to hire a trustworthy contractor, one who will get the work done on time and within your budget.

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