Following this week's damaging hail storms, the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder warns homeowners of unscrupulous contractors and encourages hiring trusted companies. The BBB closed more than 100 complaints against roofers in 2013.
Some of the most serious complaints filed against roofers alleged incomplete work after several thousand dollars paid up front. Other complaints alleged repair issues and warranties not honored.
“The BBB provides a list of many reputable BBB Accredited roofers to hire if you have damage so don’t fall for a high-pressure sales pitch from a storm-chaser knocking on doors,” said Su Hawk, BBB president and CEO.
Anyone who suffered damage from recent hail is advised the following from the BBB:
- Check with the BBB. Get three estimates before making a decision and don't be pushed into signing a contract right away. Contact the BBB and use our free Request-A-Quote service to get bids from BBB Accredited roofers at denver.bbb.org.
- Be wise when making deposits. DO NOT pay for the entire job or make a large down payment up front and do not sign your insurance check over to the roofer. This can make it very difficult to get your money back should the company not show up or do a satisfactory job. Only make a direct, portioned down payment to a reputable, established company that has provided a clear work schedule to you in writing. Schedule payments according the work schedule.
- Know your rights. According to the State of Colorado (senate bill 12-038), a roofer cannot cash any payment until it has delivered materials to the home or has completed the majority of the work. Roofers must provide the homeowner with a detailed, written contract that includes the company's contact information, insurance, scope of work, dates of service and costs. Also, homeowners have the right to cancel their contract within three business days, (this includes Saturdays).
- Deal with your insurance company directly. Avoid letting a roofer file a claim on your behalf. This can cause problems in your relationship with your insurance company and can possibly lead to insurance fraud.
- Read carefully anything you sign. Anything you sign--no matter what you are told--can be considered a binding contract.
- Beware of companies that are not local. Discuss warranties and guarantees offered by out-of-state companies. Question how the services will be honored.
- Know who is responsible. Find out if the company uses their own workers of if they hire individual, third-party subcontractors. It is very important to know exactly who will be working on your roof and who is responsible if something goes wrong.
- Verify applicable permits with your city and county. Make sure the permit is posted before the work begins.