It has been a wet, stormy month in Georgia and with the storms come the scammers. Many estimates we have given have been met with homeowners stating that so called “national” roofing companies have given them too-good-to-be-true estimates with all types of promises and “guarantees” that any reputable company simply can not match without taking a loss on every job.
The truth is most of these contractors are extremely small and even one man operations that simply do not have the capability of servicing multi-state warranties and agreements. They use cheap materials and cut corners to get to as many roofs as possible as cheap as possible. They do their thing and they’re gone. Some will even claim to have an in-state presence to service these “warranties” but all too often it’s either not true at all or they have a couple of friends nearby who may or may not be able to service it when needed. Worse, without any real guarantee, chances are they won’t be there 3, 5, 10 years or more down the road when you need them most.
Atlanta Roofing Specialists has been around for 20 years, we seen many homeowners fall prey to these types and it’s a terrible situation. In many cases, the homeowner is left holding the bag and having to foot the bill for extensive repairs and in other cases an entire replacement. These guys keep coming back for one reason, ignorance. These days it’s easy to print up anything and make it look perfectly official. Making up reviews, referrals, business and insurance documentation, and even warranties and product labels (cheap materials labeled as Name Brands) doesn’t take much skill at all and the instructions and actual documents can be found easily just by running a Google search.
While Google is a scammers friend, it is equally your friend as well. As simply “Googling” the companies name and going through the results (not just the first few) should give you more than enough information to determine if a company is legitimate or not. Being unable to find all the information you need on a company quickly and easily should raise red flags immediately. Investigate any contractor thoroughly, with so many legitimate companies available at your fingertips there is no reason to take a chance with anyone else.
What To Look For
1) The first thing you should do, no matter what the person tells you, is go to their car or truck and look at the tags. If it’s an out-of-state tag, let them go.
2) Ask for references, they should be able to produce hundreds of local, recent references that you can verify randomly or all of them.
3) If they claim they are local, find out where their physical office is and verify it. Many will give addresses of known contractors and claim they represent them or they will fulfill the warranty when needed. If it is a known contractor, contact them and verify the information. If a physical location doesn’t exist or you are given a PO Box or other address, walk away.
4) Use the Internet. Google them. Check out their website. Does it look “thrown together”? Does it list their credentials with links to verify them? How is their BBB Rating? Are they BBB Members? What associations do they belong to? Are they Manufacturer-Certified? How long have they been in business, can you verify it? How are their reviews on Angies List, Kudzu, Google, other websites? Are they even listed?
They are slick. They are convincing. They can be charming and seemingly good people. However, bottom line is, you don’t know them, you don’t know their company and trusting something a critical as your roof to a total stranger is a bad idea with potentially costly consequences should the roof fail. Don’t trust your roof to just anyone “Do Your Homework!” know who you are hiring and be sure that your investment is in the right hands.
If you are in the Metro Atlanta area, make it simple, call Atlanta Roofing Specialists today. Go ahead, Google us, check our reviews, our A+ BBB rating, visit our website and see our verified credentials such as our 2012 Angies List Super Service Award, 2012 Home Reports Best Pick and others. Don’t trust your roof to just anyone, trust the experts.