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6 Signs of a Bad Roofing Contractor

One of the biggest fears when hiring a roofing contractor is that they might not be as good as they can seem at first.  Homeowners can end up with big headache and losing savings because of a bad roofing contractor.  The issues these contractors can cause are near endless.

If you see any of these 6 signs with a roofing contractor you’re considering hiring, it would be best to find a different one.

1. The roofing contractor is not licensed, bonded, or insured

This is the most important of them all.  A contractor who isn’t licensed, bonded, or insured is a huge liability to you.  Regulators have gotten so strict these days that if a contractor isn’t licensed, it means they’re probably hiding something.

If something goes wrong on the job, the homeowner could be on the hook.  This could be anything from an injury to the contractor disappearing halfway through.

If you ask the contractor for evidence of being licensed, bonded, and insured, and they say they are but they’re not showing you proof, find a different contractor.

2. The roofing contractor is not manufacturer certified at a specialized level

Roofing shingle manufacturers are certifying a bunch of contractors these days.  While the manufacturers do have some standards and quality control, lower level certifications are sometimes not the most meaningful.

What you want is high level certification.  Go find the best manufacturer certification you can, and search for roofing contractors that have it.

The best in the industry (by a lot) is GAF Master Elite with GAF President’s Club.  Only a handful of roofing contractors have such a spectacular level of certification, and we are the best of them in the south Puget Sound region.

3. The roofing contractor doesn’t offer reliable workmanship warranty

Workmanship or misapplication warranties are of the utmost importance because when a roof is installed wrong, it usually means the problem is systemic and it typically shows up early.  Sometimes the whole roof will need to be replaced; other times repairs can be good enough.

Not having a workmanship warranty puts the homeowner at the mercy of the roofing contractor’s reliability alone.  Instead, the best course of action is to get a manufacturer warranty that covers workmanship or misapplication.

The top roofing shingle manufacturers are huge corporations that service millions of customers countrywide.  They have the infrastructure and reliability to make sure that any warranty they offer will be honored.  While some roofing contractors also are just as dependable, it is much rarer and can be hard to tell because the businesses are much smaller and haven’t been around as long.

The GAF Golden Pledge is the best roofing warranty for misapplication error.  Only GAF Master Elite contractors can provide it.  If you get the Golden Pledge for your new roof, you’ll have the most coverage for misapplication that is available in the industry.

4. The roofing contractor puts pressure on you to sign anything or won’t review the estimate

An unfortunate tendency in the roofing industry is for some bad contractors to try to manipulate homeowners into paying way too much for a new roof.  They do these primarily with high pressure sales and obfuscating their intentions.

This trend has been getting more sophisticated over the years, so it can show up many different ways.  The rule of thumb is to make sure that you don’t hire a roofer who ever seems to pressure you to sign a contract or who doesn’t want to review the details of the estimate.

5. The estimate doesn’t have line items

Every unique set of work the estimator proposed to perform should be specified on the estimate.  Too much detail is unnecessary, but you do want to see each aspect of the scope of work moderately broken down into line items.

When a contractor doesn’t list out line items, it can mean they’re hiding something.  For example, they may be wanting to reuse the existing underlayment on your roof if they think it is “good enough.”  But if they list a line item of removing the old and replacing with new, you then have assurance that is what they intend to do.  And if they don’t do it, you have the paperwork showing they said they would, and it’s hard for them to get away with it in court.

Prices should be attached to each of these unique set of items.  Usually, the roofing system is installed as a whole, so you’ll get a price for that job as a whole even though it has many components.  But if you have an estimate that lists out additional certain work or potential work without prices listed, you could find the final price is much higher than you thought it would be.

6. The roofing contractor has a poor review profile

Reviews are of the utmost importance.  They can tell you so much about the quality and dependability of any contractor you hire, not just roofing.

The best course of action is to find a roofing contractor with a high rating and many passionate reviews.  In that case, you can get a real sense of what kind of contractor they are and how your experience as homeowner will be.

If the contractor’s reviews look like they could be paid for or bots, then they probably are.  If reviews are scant, it’s a big sign the contractor doesn’t want to be reviewed because their customers are not happy.  If ratings are low, it’s an excellent sign that many customers are dissatisfied.

We pride ourselves on how happy our customers are with their new roofs that we install!  Check them out here.  If you live in the south Puget Sound of Washington State and need a roof replacement, please call us at (253) 544-3651 or fill out our quick estimate form.  We’ll make sure you get the best roof!

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