Hiring a roofer

July 07, 2014
 Hire a roofer who can finish the job

Replacing the roof on your home is hard enough when everything goes smoothly. But when a homeowner chooses a roofing contractor that can't be trusted to do the job right, it can be a nightmare. Several homeowners who hired Daniel Steiner, the owner of a roofing company in Wisconsin, are learning that lesson the hard way. According to several of his clients, he began work on their roofs but then suddenly stopped coming and couldn't be reached by phone. Many homeowners were left with a partially completed roofing project.

Working with the Better Business Bureau in Wisconsin, an investigator with the Department of Justice was able to track down Steiner who then acknowledged that his company was going bankruptcy and he didn't have the money to purchase the needed materials to complete the projects he was working on. While Steiner is facing charges for failing to complete roofing projects, it's unlikely that his clients will be getting back any of the money they paid him. Unfortunately, situations like these are all too common. There are ways that consumers can protect themselves from dishonest roofers.

What to look for

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hiring a roofer to replace or repair your roof:

  • Don't pay up front. A reputable roofing company will be able to pay for materials themselves without needing an up front payment from the homeowner. If a roofing company can't pay for their materials in advance, it's not a roofing company you want to hire

  • Hire local. Reputable, local roofers can be hard to come by especially after a big storm when roofers are in high demand. However, it's always best to hire local if at all possible. Local roofers with an established company in your area aren't going to be able to skip town like a storm chasing roofer can

  • Ask around. There are many resources you can look to when determining whether a roofer is trustworthy or not. The Better Business Bureau or your local Chamber of Commerce are great places to start. You can also check with local building suppliers as they will have a pretty good knowledge if which contractors can be trusted

  • Get three bids. Don't settle for the first roofer that offers a bid. Try to get at least three and then choose the one you feel the best about

  • Pay attention to the details. Finally, there are details you can pay attention to that might tip you off if something doesn't seem right. For example, does a roofer have a company vehicle with a logo. Does the roofer have a uniform with the company logo? You can also visit the company's brick and mortar location. If it's a small rental unit, that's probably a bad sign

Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof.com

Source: host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/contractor-accused-of-roofing-swindles/article_829f9707-d3e0-5122-8be5-29299786e1e3.html


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