Roofing is one of those jobs that require a lot of trust. You are giving your home over to someone else, and you need to make sure they are going to do the best job possible while also making sure they aren't scamming you. When it comes time to hiring a roofer, there are some questions that should not be answered. It's important for you as a homeowner (and future customer) to understand why these types of questions can be dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
Can I Inspect Your Roof While I'm in the Neighborhood?
This is a slick trick some "door-to-door" roofers pull to try to get more clients. It might instill a sense of trust or familiarity to have a roofer your "neighbor already hired", but oftentimes, there is no neighbor. The roofer is simply telling you what they think will get their foot in the door (metaphorically).
In the neighborhood - Can I inspect your roof?
Roofing Contractors: Can I Get Your Insurance Paperwork?
When a roofer asks for this before even stepping foot on your roof, it's a huge red flag. A roofer who does this is often trying to see how much your insurance will pay out, so they can create their quote around that number–as opposed to creating a quote based on what the work actually entails.
Did Your Insurance Company Already Give You an Estimate?
This is along the same one as the last one, but it all comes down to a roofer wanting to know how much your insurance company is willing to pay out. The price should be based on services rendered, rather than what the roofer can milk from the insurance company.
On the other hand, some roofers will work with your insurance company directly and may even be able to get them to cover more of the costs than they originally planned. This could save you both time and money in the long run.
In short, you should never answer this question until you have spoken to your insurance company and/or roofer that you are familiar with about what is and is not covered. These roofers just want to see what they can do at the price that is covered. Most of the time, if they see that your roof needs repairs more than the budgeted amount, they will just do the menial things, so they can get their profit and leave. The roofing industry is upgrading. Quality roofing materials are getting expensive, they may not want to risk these, and settle for cheaper roofing systems and offer one of the worst roofing services you may think of.
Can I Get You to Sign Today?
Roofing or otherwise, this is a common sales tactic. "If I could do this deal, would you sign today?" It's designed to make you feel like you have limited time to make this deal happen, which is rarely the case.
Some roofers from certain roofing companies will use high-pressure tactics to get you to sign on the dotted line, while others will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge about roofing. Either way, it's important to remember that you should never feel pressured into making a decision about your roof—or anything else!
Can I Examine the Inside of Your Home?
You may be tempted to allow the contractor into your home for a look around. But before you do, consider these questions:
- Why does he want to go inside? This is not about his need for a bathroom break. It's about access to the roof and walls of your home. If you let him inside, he'll be able to see if there are any problems with either one (and it's likely there will be). By letting him into your house first thing, you're giving away information that would otherwise give you an advantage later when negotiating repairs or with insurance claims.
- How will he use this information? A contractor who examined your roof before agreeing on terms could use what he found against you later by claiming that his estimate wasn't high enough due to hidden damage (even if there isn't any). A good contractor won't try this kind of tactic on purpose; however, it can still happen inadvertently when estimating repairs based on limited information.
- What happens if I don’t let him come in? You might end up paying more than necessary for repairs because the contractor doesn’t know all of the issues involved until after work has begun. He also may not want to continue working at all if something major has been missed during initial inspections—which means doing extra work at no charge from someone else!
Do You Have Roof Repairs Insurance?
Many roofers ask this question to determine if your insurance will cover the cost of repairs. The answer is not always as simple as saying yes or no, and you shouldn't feel pressured into answering it either way.
Insurance isn’t a guarantee that you will be covered for all the costs associated with fixing your roof; it only covers certain incidents, like storms or winds. It may also exclude damage caused by things like faulty construction or improper installation practices in the first place. So even if your insurance does cover some of these costs, there are other things that could still lead to additional expenses down the line (and no one wants those).
Do You Want To File Your Insurance Claim Now?
You will be asked this question in a very apologetic tone of voice, but the answer is always "NO." If you have any doubts whatsoever about the roofer or their work, take it up with your insurance company. If they are not willing to pay for repairs because you signed off on them without inspecting them first, find someone who will.
It's important to be aware of the questions that a roofing contractor may ask you, as well as the tactics they may use to get you to sign on the dotted line. However, you should never feel pressured into making a decision about your roof—or anything else! If you have any doubts, take it up with your insurance company or roofer that you are familiar with. Otherwise, roofing scams could end up costing you both time and money. Whether you have metal roofs or a slate roof, using independent contractors may be risky. Talk to family or friends about which professional in the business can deliver the highest quality service in either repairing or providing a new roof for their customers.