It's the time of year when homeowners are getting their roofs replaced. Many people don't know this, but it is actually illegal for roofing companies to ask for money upfront in the state of Colorado! In this blog post, we will discuss why you should never pay a roofer upfront, and what you can do to protect yourself from being scammed.
Don’t Give A Roofer Money Upfront
What's the absolute biggest mistake homeowners make when working with roofing contractors? Giving a roofing contractor money before you have materials delivered to your property. This mistake has cost so many homeowners so much money that Colorado passed a law in 2012 governing this aspect of how a roofer may interact with a homeowner.
In Colorado, "...a roofing contractor shall hold in trust any payment from the property owner until the roofing contractor has delivered roofing materials at the residential property site or has performed a majority of the roofing work on the residential property."
This law was put in place to protect consumers from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous roofing contractors. Unfortunately, there are still many people who are not aware of this law and end up being scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Hail-Storms and Scammers
Many con artists show up after a big storm, knowing homeowners are in need of emergency repairs or a new roof. The way that most Colorado homeowners are scammed by unethical roofers is by giving them deposit money before the work has started or they have materials at their property. If you give roofers a check before any of that has occurred, you have no guarantee that the roofer will return to do the work.
Con artists posing as a professional business will claim that they require a down payment so that way they can afford to go buy the roofing materials. That is incorrect, a reputable contractor will have the means to go buy the materials needed for roof repairs or roof replacement without you having to pay in advance. In the state of Colorado, law SB 38, allows a roofing contractor to collect a deposit, but only once the material has arrived at the property. Anyone asking for money beforehand is a big red flag.
What Should You Do?
So, how can you protect yourself from being scammed by a roofing contractor? The best solution is to educate yourself on the law and make sure you understand your rights as a consumer before starting your next roofing project.
If a roofing contractor asks you for money upfront, politely decline and explain that it is against the law. If they continue to pressure you or try to convince you to give them money, it is best to walk away and find another roofing contractor.
For instance, you can simply remind him of Colorado SB 38, which states that a roofing contractor should not be collecting a deposit until materials are delivered to the roof and if a deposit is collected, that money has to be held in trust and cannot be deposited into the contractor's accounts.
If the contractor still asks for money upfront, you can report him to the Colorado Attorney General's Office.
There are plenty of reputable roofing contractors out there who will not ask for money upfront, so don’t let yourself be taken advantage of by a few bad apples. Protect yourself and your hard-earned money by being informed and knowing your rights!
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
When hiring any type of contractor, it is important to do your research so that you can avoid being scammed. A good place to start is by asking for referrals from friends or family members who have recently had work done on their homes. You can also read reviews on online sites to see what others have said about the contractor you are considering hiring.
Now that you know you should never pay a roofer up front, what are some other things you should keep in mind when hiring a roofing company?
First, interview a few roofers and then choose the one that you feel the most comfortable with. Don’t worry about the cost, because your insurance company will cover the cost. Your only cost is your deductible.
If your job is an out-of-pocket job, be sure to ask each one of them for a written estimate. This estimate should include a detailed description of the work that will be performed, as well as the materials that will be used. It should also list the estimated cost of labor and any other fees associated with the project.
When you receive the estimates, take some time to compare them side by side. This will help you narrow down your choices and choose the contractor that is best for your needs and budget.
Second, make sure you find a properly insured and licensed contractor. This is important because it protects you from being liable if something goes wrong during the job and helps make sure you're working with a reputable contractor.
Third, get everything in writing! This includes the estimate, the scope of work, and the warranty. Having everything in writing will help avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements down the road.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you have a positive experience hiring a roofing company and avoid falling victim to roofing scams.
If you have any questions about hiring a roofing contractor, feel free to contact us here at Homestead Roofing. We are a Colorado Springs roofing company and we'd be happy to help!