Find A Reputable Contractor
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How do you find a reputable roofing contractor?
Texas is like the wild wild west for roofing contractors. There is no government regulated licensing requirements for roofers or general contractors. This leads to a substantial amount of unqualified, unprofessional, and many potentially unethical “roofing contractors” chasing insurance dollars. A lot of these “companies” are operated out of a garage instead of an office and frequently change names in order to get out of warranty work from substandard installs and to sidestep lawsuits. Most people in north Texas have seen the many news reports covering contractors accused of committing insurance fraud or taking a client’s money and disappearing.
We would like to offer a few tips on how to avoid these kinds of shady contractors and select a reputable contractor to assist with your home repairs.
Choose Lumen Construction Roofing as Your Residential Roofing Company
If you meet a contractor for the first time and one of the very first conversations you have with this individual is how he plans to waive your deductible, you need to understand that this is a massive red flag! We know that saving money sounds like a great idea on the surface, but you should think about it in much simpler terms…
How can you trust an individual who is now conspiring with you to commit insurance fraud only moments after introducing themselves?
Think about the kind of person willing to conspire to commit a crime so openly. They are indicating to you that they are highly unethical right off the bat!
- Do you think this person/company actually has general liability insurance?
- Do you think this type of person/company is likely to cut corners on your installation?
- Do you think this kind of person/company is going to spend the extra money for quality installers?
- Do you think that this person/company is going to honor their warranties?
- Do you think this individual honestly has you and your family’s best interest at heart?
There are many subtle ways that contractors use to try to justify covering deductibles. One example is to give a “marketing credit” for allowing them to place signs or leave reviews. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has addressed these tactics thoroughly, and have outright stated that this is fraudulent and illegal.
Most importantly you should remember, shopping for a cheaper contractor WILL NOT save you on your deductible! You are still required to prove payment of your deductible in order to collect your final insurance payment. Now you’ve received a cheaper roofing system from a likely sub-par roofing contractor and are still obligated to prove deductible payment. Trust an expert and get it done right the first time.
Lack of a repair department
Many half baked roofing companies aren’t real contractors at all. They’re merely salesmen with a few months of sales training in the roofing industry. They realize that there are very few requirements in the state of Texas to owning a roofing company and go out and start their own business. They have minimal knowledge of installation and code requirements and rely completely on what their labor sub-contractors tell them is needed. These types of contractors are unable to properly diagnose and correct leaks and deficiencies. A solid indicator that you’re dealing with this type of contractor is the lack of an internal repair department or system for completing non-insurance related repairs. These guys are only looking for full replacement insurance claims because that’s all they’ve been trained to do. The only industry skillset that they’ve been taught is how to convince you to sign on the dotted line. Avoid these types of contractors at all costs.
Lumen Construction Roofing handles all of your roofing repair needs. We also do cash bids and offer full financing for any non-insurance related roof project.
Do they have an office location?
Lumen Construction Roofing is not a “fly by night” or garage run company. Our office is located in Plano, TX. We also have satellite storage locations for roofing materials, trailers and other construction equipment across north DFW in the cities of Plano, Lewisville, and Anna.
Are they a locally based company?
(AVOIDING STORM CHASERS)
You’ll want to do some research to ensure that the company you’re considering working with is actually from your general area. A serious hazard to avoid are the “storm chasers.” These are companies that travel from city to city and state to state chasing severe weather (storms with damaging wind & hail). Their only focus is to sign up as many potential insurance claims as possible as their primary expertise is in training high pressure salesman who typically know very little about roofing. They’re given scripts on how to overcome common objections, which makes them sound like they have more roofing and insurance related knowledge than they actually do.
The most unscrupulous of these kinds of contractors will take your money and disappear. If they actually complete the work in your scope of loss, then you often end up with an inexperienced project manager and the cheapest local labor that these guys can find last minute. They don’t have vetted sub-contractors to pull from because their company is actually located in another state.
Without any roots in the local community, these types of contractors aren’t worried about their reputation or repeat business. The salesmen are paid purely on commission and in charge of their entire job. They are notorious for using the cheapest materials and labor that they can find in order to improve their commission.
These storm chasing contractors often offer warranties that seem too good to be true! Usually, because they are. Once this company has completed the work from the storm, they leave town and end up soliciting a storm in another state, never to be heard from again. Since the work is performed by the cheapest sub-contractor that company could find, they often receive many calls requesting warranty work from leaks due to shoddy craftsmanship. How is a homeowner supposed to get warranty work completed by a company that no longer exists in their city or state?
Be cautious and do your research! These companies have carefully implemented tactics designed to deceive you and make them appear like a legitimate local company.
- Purchase a local phone number for their office.
- Rent a PO box or temporary office space to have a local physical address.
- Get prepaid cell phones for all of their sales people with local numbers assigned,
Red flags to watch out for:
- Out of state license plates on the majority of their trucks.
- Their local Google or BBB listing is brand new and has very few reviews. Often they will boost their listing with a large number of fake reviews, giving them the appearance of a good reputation and longevity in your area.
- They may have NO google or BBB listing at all.
- High pressure sales tactics focused on a false sense of urgency.
- The promise to fraudulently cover your deductible in order to convince you to sign paperwork immediately.
ALWAYS check the Better Business Bureau for the rating and reviews of a roofing contractor before doing business with them. Look for complaints (either open or closed) and assess how the business communicates with customers that have issues or grievances that need to be addressed.
Lumen Construction is an accredited A+ rated business with the BBB and has zero complaints.
Google therefor (typically) has the most reviews that you can use to reliably determine the reputation of a company that you intend to work with.
A number of red flags to look out for are:
- Do the majority of the reviews come from individuals who have only ever left ONE review? Sometimes companies will set up fake accounts and leave themselves a single review, and then never log into that fake account again.
- Does the company interact with the customers that leave them reviews? If they do, how do they treat customers that have had complaints? If it’s with excuses and/ or hostility then be prepared for similar treatment if your install doesn’t go smoothly.
- Does the company have a large number of 5 star reviews all posted on the same day or within a couple of days? This can indicate a large number of false reviews posted all at the same time in order to bury a negative review, or quickly boost a company’s reputation. Look for a company that primarily has their reviews spread out over the years that they’ve been in business.
- Does the company have an unusually high number of 5-star reviews? Have you noticed a company that has only been around for a short period of time, yet still has more 5-star reviews than local competitors that have been in business for over 20 years? There are many fraudulent review generation companies out there that will boost a company’s negative (or non-existent) reputation with a ton of fake 5-star reviews. However, some newer companies are more consistent at requesting reviews than the less tech savvy older companies. We consider ourselves to be one of those companies that recognizes the important role that reviews play in assisting potential customers in choosing the right contractor.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references.
Never be afraid to ask for references from past clients. A great company and reliable rep should always be building strong relationships with their customers. They should have no issues easily providing you with a list of past clients that you can reach out to for referrals and to share their experiences. Be wary of any rep that’s unable to provide you with satisfied former customers.
Are they certified through their shingle or roofing material manufacturer?
Lumen Construction Roofing is a certified ShingleMaster through CertainTeed. This allows us to offer 10-year SureStart advanced warranties on all of our CertainTeed product installations. This is on top of the lifetime shingle material warranties backed by the manufacturer.
How long have they been in business?
Since the salesman has very little technical/ installation experience, he relies entirely on the skill and experience of his installer. Many installers will cut corners in order to get the job done as quickly as possible. At a bare minimum your “salesman” should be on-site to supervise the crew and ensure that all work is performed to local code requirements, all underlayment removed, water damaged sheathing is replaced, and no corners are cut on your project.
Relying on your salesman’s minimal installation knowledge can still result in a sub-par installation. Best case scenario is that the company you selected has a true production department with a production manager that has at least 5-10 years of true installation and project supervision experience.
At Lumen Construction Roofing, our production manager has a decade of installation experience at two other multimillion dollar roofing companies. He also has the added benefit of being mildly OCD and is typically on-site all day. You can rest assured that your home is in good hands.
Do they have ALL DAY on-site crew/ installation supervision?
Something to consider when selecting a newer contractor is how stable is their new business and will they be around for the number of years that they are warrantying their work? A 10 year workmanship warranty is fantastic! However, it doesn’t mean anything if the company is no longer in business next year. Many contractors will offer too good to be true “lifetime” warranties, knowing in advance that they won’t be around for the lifetime of your roofing system.
A common tactic of shady contractors is to shut down their LLC and open up a new one every few years in order to avoid any liability from faulty previous installations and extended warranties offered on projects. It also wipes the slate clean if their company has developed a negative reputation. They simply start a new LLC and keep on working as usual. This is one of the biggest hazards in the construction industry to avoid.
Why You Should Hire a Licensed Roofing Contractor
(Description direct from RCAT)
Did you know that the state of Texas does not have any licensing or regulation of the roofing industry? Anyone can claim to be a “roofer” in Texas. During a storm situation especially, there is a large rise in the number of roofing contractors in the area. Unfortunately, we also have a high rate of scams and insurance fraud from “fly-by-night” contractors due to lack of state regulation. The consumers ultimately pay for this with enormous out of pocket expenses including higher insurance premiums and deductibles.
It’s hard to know who you can trust! Let RCAT help.
The RCAT Licensed Roofing Contractor program was developed to increase consumer protection and secure public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor’s knowledge, skills and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation. RCAT takes the pressure off of you by verifying that a contractor has met the standards of a true professional roofing contractor. To become a voluntarily Licensed Roofing Contractor, the applicant must be a principal in a roofing company that has been domiciled in the state of Texas for at least three continuous years AND carry insurance. After a thorough credit and background check, the individual must pass a business and safety knowledge exam plus a residential and/or commercial roofing exam, PLUS maintain eight hours of continuing education each year!
Lumen Construction Roofing is one of a select few RCAT licensed roofing contractors in the state of Texas. Our company has completed an extensive amount of supplementary training pertaining to roofing knowledge, business ethics and professionalism.
In need of residential roofing services? We’re here to help! Contact Lumen Construction Roofing today to schedule your free consultation with one of our trusted residential roofing specialists.
Lumen Construction, The Light In The Storm.