How Can I Spot A “Disreputable” Company?
Sadly, the biggest complaint for the roofing industry is that it is made up of “less than reputable” companies, fly-by-night companies, and people just trying to make “fast money”. Unfortunately, these perceptions are not wrong with many of the companies that are in business today.
How can you protect yourself and know that you are selecting a qualified contractor to walk you through the process of restoring your property?
Ask the following questions of any company that you are considering doing business with to restore your equity and value in your property.
1.) Are they a local company?
Do they work locally in the area? Do they have a local company office that you can visit? These are all questions for you to ask of any company, as they will help you determine the legitimacy of any contractor.
Praus Construction serves the Dallas / Ft. Worth metroplex from our company headquarters in Grapevine, near DFW Airport.
2.) How long have they been in business?
When a storm comes through the area, it seems like anyone with a truck and a ladder decides to start a “roofing business”. Always ask how long any company has been in business. While there is nothing wrong with starting a new business (and everyone starts somewhere), the amount of time a company has been in business will help determine their ability to provide quality work and to follow through on the warranty they are providing for you. After all, how can they warrant the work that is being completed if they are no longer in business.
Praus Construction has over 10 years of experience in the roofing and storm restoration industry in the Dallas / Ft. Worth Metroplex.
3.) Are they insured?
Surprisingly, general liability insurance is not a requirement for a contractor in the State of Texas. Insurance is expensive, and many companies will opt to save the money rather than protecting their employees and customers. The risk for the homeowner, of course, comes to light if there is an injury or a liability. If there is no company insurance to cover the injury or loss, the homeowner is actually the one that can be held liable for the costs. Don’t assume this risk on yourself. Make sure your contractor is insured by requesting CURRENT copies of the certificate of insurance, like the one that we provide.
Praus Construction carries general liability insurance, protecting our employees and our customers for each project that we perform.
4.) Do they say they are “licensed”?
The State of Texas does not offer a license for roofing. Any “roofer” stating that they are licensed in Texas is already misleading you. There is a difference between being licensed by the State of Texas, and registered within the city that the project will be completed. Most cities do require that a contractor be registered in order to obtain a necessary building permit.
5.) Do they have references from previous local storms?
Any local company that has been in business for any decent amount of time should have been working previous storms that came through the area. As the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex is prone to hail damage, experience restoring damage after these storms is key to understanding the work that a company can do. Ask for references so you can understand how the project went. Were they handed off to another person to manage the project? Were they adequately communicated with? Were there any surprises?
6.) Are they offering to pay (“cover”, “waive”, “eat”) your deductible?
While a common practice in the roofing industry, this is highly ILLEGAL. Any company offering to cover, waive, eat, or pay your deductible is assisting you in committing insurance fraud – which is a felony in the State of Texas. If they are willing to assist you in breaking the law, what other corners are they willing to cut? Can you really trust that they are doing what they say they will do?
7.) Are they offering free upgrades or promises at the door?
Without performing a full assessment of your home, how are they able to promise free upgrades without providing inferior products, sacrificing quality, or not honoring a warranty? The insurance companies are paying a fair market value for the labor and materials that are needed to restore your property. That fair market value does not leave room for a company to offer things that seem “too good to be true”. That “free upgrade” that you received has to come from somewhere, and you will be paying for it in the end, either through poor products, poor quality, or other corners being cut to make up the difference. Do not take this risk.
8.) Are they requiring money down (deposits) up front, before any work begins?
9.) Are they rated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
In order to qualify for an A+ rating with the BBB, a company must be in business for a minimum of three years.