Roofing rip-offs: Beware of scams, shoddy contractors

You can protect yourself from shoddy contractors by following-up with references, running credit checks and having proper paperwork in order before any work begins. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Grant H. of Salem, Ore.)

You can protect yourself from shoddy contractors by following-up with references, running credit checks and having proper paperwork in order before any work begins. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Grant H. of Salem, Ore.)

Evangelina DePaz knew the roof of her Flossmoor, Ill., home needed an overhaul so she hired Chuck's Construction to tear off and replace it. But a week after the $11,600 job was completed, she says she noticed water running down the chimney inside and into her basement.

"I didn't have water in my basement before," says DePaz, who says she discovered the company had tacked new roofing over three old layers and used inferior materials.

Owner Chuck Petreikis denies giving DePaz the short shrift, saying she later changed her mind about the roofing materials she wanted and the leaks she developed were due to rotting soffit and fascia boards, which he was not responsible for fixing. "Everything was done according to the contract," he says.

DePaz says she paid another $23,000 for a new roof to avoid losing her homeowners insurance. She gave Chuck's Construction a low rating on Angie's List, its only report as of press time, and tried to get a refund through the List's Complaint Resolution Process; however, her case ended in a stalemate.

Petreikis says his company replaced flashing at no additional cost to her and had an independent mechanical engineer review the roofing job. "Every so often, you get a customer you can't satisfy," Petreikis says.

Shoddy work a major complaint

Problems with roofers plague consumers across the country. One in three Angie's List members who took an online poll and had roofing work done say they had a problem with their contractor or developed an issue down the line. Of those who detailed their problems, 68 percent mentioned shoddy work as a problem. Others cited trouble with roofing contractors who overcharged them, lacked a license, or took their money and ran.

News reports and attorneys general also warn consumers to be wary of roofing fraud and scam artists. In Jefferson Parish outside New Orleans, for example, a father and son were recently jailed on more than 50 fraud and theft charges for an alleged roofing scam targeting senior citizens.

The Texas Department of Insurance warned Houston-area homeowners earlier this year about roofing contractors who were intentionally wrecking roofs to mimic storm damage to convince residents they needed repairs.

The Ohio attorney general issued a default judgment in May against a Dayton-based roofer, ordering nearly $140,000 in civil penalties and restitution for shoddy work, failure to provide refunds and bad estimates.

When Julie Adams and her husband bought their dream home in the country outside of Warrensburg, Mo., they knew a new roof was among the many needed repairs. R & B Roofing and Building was already doing a project for the couple in town, so they hired the company last August to also do extensive work on the farmhouse, which included rebuilding and replacing the entire roof.

"When they started on the projects, they seemed to be showing up, doing the work," Adams says.

But things soon went south after she noticed the roof trusses weren't lining up and company owner Brian McCormick had double-charged them for labor, according to Adam.

She says McCormick became angry when she questioned the quality of the roofing work. When he demanded a $5,000 check on top of the thousands she says she'd already paid, it was the last straw.

"I'm looking up and there's still sky," Adams says.

In total, she says they spent nearly $48,000 and their Warrensburg home now needs repairs while their country home remains uninhabitable.

McCormick says he took care of any billing discrepancies and never had a contract to install the roof, though contracts provided by Adams include references to roof materials and labor.

"She's a professional scam artist," says McCormick, who alleges Adams was hostile to his crew and was looking for a cheaper deal by firing his company.

Adams lodged a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General's Office, which says it's working on mediation to resolve Adams' and another consumer's complaints about R & B Roofing.

Tips to prevent rotten roofing work

There are many things you can do to prevent a roofing contractor catastrophe. As with any project, it's wise to get multiple bids.

"Everybody gets the shingles for the same cost and the labor is about the same cost, so if somebody is real low, they're probably risky," says Doug Moncure, owner of highly rated M & M Roofing & Siding based in Houston.

Asking for references from suppliers or running a credit check can also help you determine if a roofing company is solvent.

Bill Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, says you should ask contractors for proof of workers' compensation and liability insurance.

"They should have certificates to prove it and should be happy homeowners asked, because a lot of fly-by-night contractors don't," he says. "If a contractor doesn't have insurance, the homeowner is taking some of the liability if a worker becomes injured on the job site."

Charles Nance, owner of highly rated CHN Inspections in Wildwood, Mo., says you can also help protect yourself with paperwork.

"If you don't have paid material receipts and lien waivers, you're going to end up paying for your roof twice," he says.

It's important to get a detailed contract in advance that includes any provisions for extras or changes.

Be wary of storm chasers, or contractors who flock to an area that's been hit by bad weather. After storms pummeled northeastern Ohio in May, Chris Kamis, co-owner of the highly rated Absolute Roofing and Construction in Cleveland, says he was approached by several out-of-town contractors who wanted to work under his company's name, including one who offered $100,000 plus $4 for every 100 square feet of roof installed.

"I've been in business for 24 years and there's no way I'm going to put my name on the line like that," says Kamis, whose company would've been responsible for covering the warranties. He says other area roofing contractors did sign contracts with the storm chasers.

"What they are doing is completely misrepresenting themselves," Kamis says.

Some legitimate out-of-town companies and workers will come to an area after stormy weather, but be cautious and make sure they're operating under appropriate local licensing and permitting laws. If you prefer a local contractor, but demand is high, many roofers will perform provisional repairs to tide you over.

Doing it right the first time

Lining up a good contractor to properly install a roof reduces the need for future repairs. Nance says improper ventilation can cause roofing shingles to become brittle and curl.

"You can cut the roof life expectancy by 20 or 30 percent with a poorly ventilated attic space," he says.

Incorrectly installed shingles can also cost you. When Kath Mullholand was preparing to sell her Greenland, N.H., home six years after installing a new roof, she was surprised to find that the shingles weren't layered per the manufacturer's instructions.

"Once you knew what to look for, it was obvious they weren't applied correctly," says Mullholand, who ended up eating the cost of a new $13,000 roof.

Several Angie's List members interviewed for this story tried to recover money when a roofing job went awry and some received favorable judgments in court, but were unable to collect the money. In 2007, the Pennsylvania attorney general ordered roofer Raymond Colagrande to pay nearly $18,000 for violating the state's consumer protection law with 12 customers, including Lisa Sunderland.

Sunderland hired Colagrande's company Raylin Roofing in Pittsburgh after seeing an ad in the PennySaver. She gave him a $2,500 deposit and Nov. 3 start date, but he didn't show.

"The holidays came and went and we didn't hear from him," says Sunderland, who later joined Angie's List. Despite the attorney general order to refund her deposit, she says she hasn't seen a dime.

Messages left for Colagrande were not returned. His company has two lowly rated reports on Angie's List and an F with the BBB for another company, R & L Roofing.

"He's a crook – he should be behind bars," Sunderland says.


Comments

I recently helped my son purchase his first home in Portland, OR. The home inspector suggested we get a roofing contractor to evaluate the roof. I live in Iowa, so I asked our realtor to set up a roofing inspection. The proposal that was returned stated the roof had 8-10 years of life, proposed a list of relatively minor fixes like sealing around the chimney, and stated if the work was performed, they would certify the roof for at least 3 years. Well, we accepted the proposal, the work was supposedly done, and the first rain brought the realization that neither the work done nor the certification was actually warranted in any way. Their "certification" was merely an opinion with no warranties of any kind. This was no more than a slick partnership between real estate agents and roofing contractors to push homes through the lending process, leaving the home buyer holding the (wet) bag.

Well, I wish we would have found this sooner - we signed a contract with a storm chaser in area to do work after a storm months ago. 1/3-1/2 of the development had signs springing up everywhere for this company. Our neighbor came across the street and told of us the "new free roof" they got because of Hail Damage. Now, we did have a small roof repair over summer for water leaking into master bedroom - flashing problem (fixed by a local roofer) but never did he mention Hail Damage. Today, I find out from a neighbor that another adjuster visited the house down street (her friend). He not only denied the damage claim for a new roof (settle for small damage) but also warned against these "Fly by nights" showing up and then disappearing and at times, leaving homeowners' with "liens" from subcontractors. How do you find out information on a company in area that is new? Should I be worried that a company with same name in another state doesn't have a legitimate number anymore and when I called the number the lovely lady on the other end told me she gets daily "debt collector" calls for this number (its newly issued to her)? I think it smells fishy - am I being paranoid?

The algae that commonly causes black streaks or stains on a roof is Gloeocapso magma (G. magma). G. magma produces a dark pigment to protect itself from ultraviolet rays, which leads to a streaked, dirty-looking roof. These algae feed on inorganic material such as asphalt shingle filler (calcium carbonate). The algae tends to flourish on areas that are shady or slow to dry, which typically means the problem starts on the roof's north side or under overhanging tree limbs. Removing the stains can be difficult and dangerous for the homeowner. A solution for a new roof is to install algae-resistant shingles. These shingles are imbedded with copper or zinc and are called algae-resistant shingles. They help to prevent algae for a certain period, which was 10 years when I had a new roof installed. Another solution, one which I wish I had used instead, is to insert copper or zinc strips partially under the uppermost row of new shingles. They extend onto the next row of shingles, and the rain carries away the G. magma. My experience was that roofers seldom volunteer this information, so it is best to research roofing yourself on your computer. Then you will be armed with full information.

Are there any good roofing contractors for southern Tennessee (Chattanooga) or northern Georgia (Rossville)? Which roof is best for the southern climates? Which type of roof gets the biggest bang for the buck?

I've been in the contracting business for over 20 years and I've seen a lot of fly by nights come in and under cut our prices for doing roof repairs or rebuilds all the time. All in all the people that hire them and do not check them out first get what they deserve and pay for. People are gullible by nature and they just want the cheaper price and listen to the best sales pitch. I live in an area that is that way and we fight it all the time with our local contractors. I have tried to talk to these contractors to get them all to at least give people a fare quote like we do and explain to them that being reputable is the key factor. But when people want the cheapest price then I come back and say you get what you pay for. When people get the insurance companies involved they also have to realize the insurance adjusters are looking out for the companies best interest and not you the owner. They want the cheapest one to and want you to bear the brunt of the worse case scenario. What is the best is for the customer to call out the insurance company with a lawyer standing in for them and get what is deserved to the customer. The insurance companies will sometimes give in and get you more. So the best advise is do your research on everything you can including a review of your insurance policy to be perfectly clear on every detail.

If anybody needs a good roofer in San Diego, Choose me. I put all my own roofs on, low overhead, I've maintained an A+ rating with the bbb for years, and have been roofing my entire life. One more tip: I lose so many jobs to better salesmen who will never set foot on your roof.

Friends and neighbors are by far the best way to find a qualified, competent contractor. As for pricing should be close to the same or you are dealing with a scam artist...How do you people have the audacity to slander thousands of honest, hard working contractors as myself? I would put my own home on the line the I will provide a higer quality roof for less money then most of you suggesting I am a sham for charging less. You see, I work on the roof myself. I don't run the company from behind my desk, soaking up a.c. This allows a few things. It ensures there will NEVER be short cuts, the home owner only has to step out their door for questions or concerns, and helps to keep overhead down, ie. me soaking up a.c. Not all of us roofers need to finance our vipers and vacation homes thru our clients. I provide a FREE proposal. I line item every item I will be using to complete the job. Yes, my time is money. Should I also charge the homeowner my gas for driving out there? How about the drinks I stopped to get along the way? or is that all figured into the "prepared proposal" ? If it take sme 1 minute or 1 day, my proposals will remain free. As for accreditations. I am state and locally licensed and insured. Myself and everyone who works for me has taken and passed all free accreditations. I refuse to pay any manufacturer additional money on top of their out of control shingle prices for the pleasure and honor of using their crap shingles...perfect example GAF. I also do not advertise. Every job I've done is from word of mouth, and yes, I stay busy.

This summer we had a roof installed in the Dover DE area. There is limited info on contractors on Angie's List for the area. Plus we live 100 mi away from the home involved, only having a relative there for "supervision" during estimates. I did find one Angie's listing.My husband and his sister were ultimately in charge of the whole process. Having worked with construction contracts professionally and reading articles and GREAT advice from Angie's list, I tried guiding my husband, but I didn't take charge. He too has worked professionally with contracts, but I always hire our home contractors. After 4 estimates he did hire the Angie's List contractor. While lower DE is a "small town" area and the roofer was in business for 30 years, I still would have preferred seeing a more detailed contract. The work seemed to be done well but no one seems to know what materials were used, what the warranty is, etc. I know the contractor's insurance, license, etc, were not checked. I was silently ripping my hair out at how my family handled this. I HOPE all will be fine. My point is that YOU DO have to be responsible for educating yourself, investigating your contractors and asking every question you can think of, and get it in writing. Some contractors have gotten annoyed with my "nitpicking", but the honest ones were fine answering and putting it in the contract. If you need additional work during the job, find out labor rates ahead of time and exactly why more work is needed and get the price in writing! Angie's List reviews and articles as well as internet research and then checking references should really help you get the job you need at a fair price. You are paying, so you are the boss. BTW, you can do all this while still showing human respect to the contractors you are talking to. I did leave a review then on Angie's List.

To Angie's List: (My apologies if this post shows up twice). We will be taking bids soon and intend to do all research before signing a contract. I need to know how one goes about getting a credit check on a company. Is there a charge (I don't mind considering the cost of a roof - I just need to know). Do the reporting companies offer this service? - Never done one before so I appreciate any tips. Thanks for an excellent article.

We're going to replace a shake roof with composition. We have sofits/eve vents but have been advised to also add eyebrow vents or O'Hagin vents. Which are better? Also what about putting in a ridge vent? Seems like they're made of plastic and how long will that last? Also recommended was a radiant barrier - sounds good, but apparently must be installed correctly - must build up a space between the barrier and the strets as it needs a substrate. Anyone know about this?

Fact: According to the NRCA, 4 out of 5 roofing contractors are out of business in the first 5 years. Look for a company with longevity and do not put any money down, or only a minimal amount. A financially sound company does not need your down payment to buy materials. Call the roofing distributor to verify account standing and pay your bill only after you have a paid invoice for materials. Check with the shingle manufacturers and only higher their top-tier contractors, not just "approved applicators". These companies have proven installation excellence and will be around to back up their warranty. Above all- never higher a handyman or general contractor that says "we do roofs too!" Roofing is more than nailing down shingles, it is a specialty trade that takes knowledge and experience in both design criteria and installation.

I have a roof repair and reconditioning business in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I do not,however, install complete roof systems. When a client needs a new roof and asks me for a recommendation, I tell them to contact a realtor if they know one, or a property management company. These people typically hire roofers on a regular basis. Since they give these contractors repeat business, the contractors will make an effort to do a better job. Also, don't forget to tell the roofer where you got his name. James Mokres Santa Fe, New Mexico

Due to all the recent bad weather, many lives have been taken and changed many others lives. So many communities, have been terribly affected by damages that are beyond human control. I pray for strength, that everyone as a whole will help one another, being kind to thy neighbor. I had damages to my roof, unsure what to do, I wasnt sure I would be able to find the money for the necessary repairs to my home, that next afternoon a young lady knocked on my door and spoke with me about hail, wind, and storm damage, she showed me options and choices I had, where my agent had denied my claim. She contacted my insurance company on my behalf and best interest at heart. She set up the appointment to meet the adjuster at my home, instead of them coming by and no-one being home. The adjuster acknowledged the wind and hail damage to my roof, though he only wanted to patch those places. If it Hadn't been for Ms. Davia Martin from All American Roofing, I would have had to come up with the money out of my pocket and I'm not sure I could have for quite sometime. If there are damages to your home, business, I am listing her number and email below. Thank You, Barbara Davia E. Martin dmartin.aarc@gmail.com (205)807-9371

Great info that is very helpful for any home owner looking to get their roof done. I am amazed at how much time roofing contractors took to answer this post. That is a sign of caring people.

Thank you! I need to get a new roof within the next year so this is really helpful

If you have a roofer come by and say he will take whatever the insurance company agrees to pay, that is OK. He is likely shortchanging himself because most of the time insurance adjusters are just the eyes of the check writer at the insurance company. They have no clue of construction and some are even afraid of climbing roofs. 99% of the time the measurement the adjuster uses and reasoning is likely wrong and they should take enough responsibility to take accurate measurements and make sure the insurance company has actually seen all the damage, that could also include, patio covers, mailboxes, garden furniture, quality of material in the scope, pitch, grades and other damage, many things could be wrong, and you could lose out. FYI responsible and established contractors and insurance companies use a pricing standard called Exactimate, this costs a lot of money to use and have, if the contractor and the insurance company agree on counts, measurements and the entire scope of damages to be the same, then prices should match to be almost the same, if not the same. Have the contractor review the list of materials and make sure they cover and replace the same things. When the material arrives make sure it is all there also, the supplier could have short changed the material or the material could have been obtained by other means. If you need other information please contact me I would be willing to help you out at agapestormcoathotmail.com

We recently had hail damage in our area and there are many roofing companies going all over our neighborhood. They don't give a quote but say they take what ever insurance pays to have it replaced. How do you know what their actual price would be if they don't give a bid at all? Do we just assume that the insurance price is fair and leave it at that? I only had one roofer that was willing to give me a bid before he even knew what the insurance co would pay me.

Ask for a Certificate of Liability Insurance. THIS CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE PROVIDED DIRECTLY TO CONSUMER FROM THE ISSUING INSURER - DO NOT ACCEPT A COPY HANDED TO YOU DIRECTLY FROM THE CONTRACTOR. Although it is not an absolute protection, at least having insurance shows some responsibility. Further, in our area, legitimate roofers own a roofing license. Ask for it.

Why would Ms. DePaz and the roofing company be at a stalemate? A competent roofing company (in Michigan anyway) would NEVER install a fourth layer, or for that matter a third layer of shingles, even at the homeowners request – Code allows only two layers. That alone breaks the contract with Chuck for a tear off and new roof installation – mechanical engineer or not. Additionally, a homeowner should always have “in writing” exactly what roofing product is being used and the warranty information on the contract before the installation. Why didn’t Chuck let her know her fascia and and soffit were rotted and needed replacing? Also, the discrepancy between the $11,600 for a tear off and new install from Chuck, and the $23,000 for a new roof from another company, leaves one wanting to see the contracts from both companies.

Great article, as a roofer this sort of discussion and information is a breath of fresh air, I can't tell you how many times myself and two other roofers will be right around each other on bid price, then one guy will come in at half the price of the rest of us and wreck the person's property. "To good to be true" is a real factor in construction, unless you are talking about your experience resulting in finding out the contractor is very honest and dependable.

George, The nails used were wrong. The roof should have been installed with stainless steel nails. More costly but not as costly as replacing the whole roof, which is what you will have to do soon. Sorry for the bad news. BTW I sold cedar for a supplier for many years and have installed cedar for 20 plus years. Good luck.

Even the best of roofers who have years of experience, all the accolades a company may have, responsible crews and crew bosses, still have problems. In over 300+ roofs I have fixed one created problems the day of the job, and it was fixed. When noting you need a new roof, first, call your insurance company to have an adjuster meet with your roofing contractor, the contractor should have experience in finding storm damage, ie. hail, wind, or other perils. If the contractor knows what damage is all about, you will not need "estimates". With insurance claims you do not need estimates. Very much so that this is just a delay tactic by the insurance industry, to pay on lower price. Very much so that we all have a certain cost of doing business, unless we are making Ferrari payments, our costs are about the same. On insurance claims it is better to have a higher price than a lower one. I explain, when you have a claim, you need to know that there is a certian cost of material, labor, disposal, insurance, and overhead one needs to deal with. The only discrepancy we might see comes from a variation in measurements. Where the insurance company says its size is Y and the contractor says it is X then it can be measured. Its like going into the store to buy soda pop, the price will be the same for all of us. Right? So estimates are useless, it is insurance money that you have paid. Also your premiums will go up not because of you but because of your zip code.

George, The nails used were wrong. The roof should have been installed with stainless steel nails. More costly but not as costly as replacing the whole roof, which is what you will have to do soon. Sorry for the bad news. BTW I sold cedar for a supplier for many years and have installed cedar for 20 plus years. Good luck.

Job estimates SHOULD be close to the same price, plus or minus overhead cost for properly prepared proposals. This is a good way of knowing you have proper bids or not. The difference should not be more than 10% difference if so, chances are you have one who is not going to provide the same as the others. Sleazy companies will also find going prices for properly done jobs & charge close to the same prices, so this is not always a good way to feel comfortable in selecting contractors. I do not believe one can get a properly prepared proposal for FREE, (there are a few exceptions, but, I still bet one will pay for the proposal one way or another). Proper proposals take time to build, time is money to a contractor. Homeowners looking for least expensive price or freebies, are a magnet for less than qualified contractors. Sad to say, but people are who they are, regardless if a Contractor or a Homeowner. Looking for a contractor? Speak to friends & neighbors in your area. Once you find one or two contractors, take a few minutes to speak with them, make sure they do the type of work you are seeking to have done! References: never ask for a list of references, ask for the last 3 jobs performed & if one of the last 3 does not include the type of work you are looking to have done, ask for a reference that is. Then make a point to speak with these Homeowners, visit their homes, look at the work & quality of work to ensure it meets your standards, ask questions, and typically, you will end up being a satisfied Homeowner. I have over 35 years experience in upper end residential construction. Even in this economy I am more busy than I would like to be.

I have been selling and doing home improvement projects since i was 15, i have remodeled 12 houses to date. I am amazed at how gullible people are. You can teach a monkey to hammer a nail but a roofing system has to be designed from the sheathing up. Never go over an existing roof, start with a clean dry roof surface that can and will hold the fastener correctly, use top quality products, nail according to mfrs requirements, and always check to see if ventilation is 3% of total sf of attic space. a well designed properly installed roof should last 30 years with a wind rating of up to 110 MPH

Good info, thanks

I am having a problem with a cedar shingle roof where the shingles are falling off after seven years. The shingles are fireproofed and I have been told that there is a problem whereby the nails are eaten away by the fireproofing material but I have also heard that in some cases the galvinized process on on the nails was at fault. My question is has anyone else experienced a similar problem?

Never hire storm chasers. One, Graceco Construction, has been traveling from city to city, throwing up some quick roofs and is no longer around when the problems start showing through. In the last 1 1/2 years, Jason Parmeley has taken his company to about 10 cities and is running fast with the cash. Beware of this and other roofers like this!

In northern virginia, we had hail storm in May. We got several companies (MAC, Kozy home, DreamHomes) knocking on the doors. Any good or bad experience?

Sadly, you cannot even trust a high BBB rating! I began working for a roofing company in El Paso that claimed to have an 'A' rating with the BBB - IT'S A LIE!! What this company did was to find a defunct roofing company name in the Yellow pages and purchase the rights to the name - thus inheriting the former companies' BBB rating. End result? This company (who shal remain nameless pending action from the Texas Attorney General's office) ripped off many customers, failed to honor warranties, and also failed to pay their sales staff (I am still owed over 20k in commissions and lost my home over trusting these thieves!). Do NOT use stormchasers!

Big difference it makes when you have a roofer that know HOW to install shingles correctly. It matters for looks and durability.

Saying that labor costs are about the same demonstrates a lack of knowledge about shingle installation. If you don't care that the shingles are placed straight, or that the nails are properly placed, not protruding, not set too deep, not improperly spaced, not nailed to high nor too low on the shingle you can cut your labor time dramatically... Resulting in a leaky roof that will not last! Installing shingles correctly takes longer and costs more, but makes a huge difference!

Hail is the chief cause of noise complaints from standing seam metal roofs. If noise is a concern you can always install a rigid insulation board first to dampen it. The norm is 1.5” or 2” polyiso. You may want to do standing seam or mechanical seamed metal.

For Amy We had a metal roof installed here in PA about 4 years ago. It is not noisy at all that was the old tin roofs that were noisy when it rained etc. They all so look real nice we actually are having people stop & ring the bell to inquire about it. Just check out the roofer carefully.

I am interested in hearing of any experiences with a metal roof... We like the look of the corrugated metal, but it seems like it would be noisy... What are the pros and cons?

roof estimate

AMEN! I was ripped off by a "roofer" who worked for Andy on Call. It's a long, ugly story, but suffice it to say after my porch roof started leaking again I was told that the guy installed it incorrectly. It has cost me thousands.

In response to your comment, "Chiefhowie": Our Tampa chapter of Angie's List includes dozens of roofers in the Clearwater area — plus, several are highly rated by homeowners who have used their services. Log in to your account and search under the category "roofing."

I need my roof done over again. can't find a good roofer here in Clearwater, FL

It is very important to also make sure the company you hire is factory certified and proves it to you. Make sure you're contract shows in detail all products being used and when it shows up at your home, you look it over to make sure it's what you paid for. If you're contract reads "install 30 yr shingle" then you will get whatever is on sale that week.

One of the most important items, ridge vents, was omitted from the article. After replacing our roof a few years ago and adding the vents has greatly cooled down the upstairs.

I was surprised that Mr. Moncure suggested that labor is the same cost. As a company w/ a legal payroll, providing some employee benefits and workmens compensation for the homeowners protection, our labor costs are much higher than the 1099 tax cheats who subscribe to "going rate" bidding war. Rather than it being one "cheaper" price as Mr. Moncure suggests, in my experience, it is one High Price and several 1099 cheats with their prices all about the same.

You might want to check with the codes dept., too. Here in Nashville, it's against codes to have more than 2 layers of shingles on now.

Ben, Thanks for your question! Angie's List is a source of unbiased reviews of service experiences. In that mix, we get what we call "the good, the bad and the ugly" -- a potpourri of experiences that help give you a full picture of a company's work history and ethic from the consumers' perspective. Sometimes it's outstanding; sometimes is downright dreadful. It's good for you to know about all of this when considering who to hire. The List's A to F grading scale helps you get a sense of where the performance of a company stands overall in the eyes of the people who have used its services.

we had a metal roof put on our home 3 years ago. In less then a year the company went out of business.

Why do you even let companies with reports of shoddy work remain on the list?

A good reason to leave poorly rated contractors on list; It puts their name out there where we can see it. If they weren't on list they could claim they had never been associated with Angies List, so did not have a rating on list. Something else to keep in mind; Have material delivered to you, and pay for it. Any contractor who cannot even start the job, without money up-front, is working on a shoestring, and may either not be able to finish job, or rush it trying top get paid. Don't pay anything till job is, in your opinion, half way complete, then pay 50%. Hold final payment till 100% of job is complete and, if possible, pay final payment, or entire job if possible, with a credit card. I do private security work and if I am unable to pay my sub-contractors, without harassing client for money, I won't take the job. It would help a lot if, when making comments on contractors, you would give location of work. Oak Grove, Michigan

I sent out several "requests for bid" to local roofers. I was surprised that a large, established commercial roofing co. had not only the best price, but did the job quickly, cleanly, and professionally. A couple of the smaller locals didn't even bother bidding. Don't be afraid to try a big established co, they need work between their big commercial jobs, too.

i have roofed every day except for rain and have been out of work one time in 21 years just because the roofer has ins bonded etc does not mean you are going to get a good job i have seen some of the worst work from some of these so called legal companys i have no ads or im i listed in the yellow pages all my work is by word of mouth i only hire drug and alchole free worhers and i stay on the job and work with them i pay them good and they know what i expect as for price the same no im not risking my life on the steep roofs for nothing and i will not use nail guns i can count on my hands the leaks i have had and some of them was not even the roof one ladies ice maker was leaking she throught it was the roof another the siding was allowing water to come in where the clauking had come lose on the window joints and some people will allow there gutters to get full and run back into the house and they think its the roof ill fix it for the and tell them what it was useully not charge them i tey to use the material that i would use on my house if the owner can afford it i treat their house as if it was my own you reap what you sow be honest with people threat them like you want to be treated and you will never run out of work i havent

I am a roofing contractor in Portland OR. We suggest the homeowner always check the company out on Angie's List, Google, the Builders or Construction Board, and call several local roofing distributors to see if the roofer is current on his account. If the answer is anything other than "Yes!" then beware. The BBB has numerous businesses listed in our area that perform substandard work but have 'A' ratings. In our area 98% of the roofs are being installed without the required amount of ventilation and therefore the 30, 40, 50 and lifetime shingles only carry a 10 year material warranty. What a bummer to have your lifetime roof fail at 12 years and find out there is no recourse.

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