1. Avoid pushy door to door salesman
Described as “drifter companies” these companies rush into disaster affected areas where damage has recently occurred and deploy their sales team. A quick Google Search will help you determine whether they are a local and trusted company.
2. Make sure you are at your home during any property inspections
Never let anyone inspect your home without you being there. Described as “crooked contractors” these roofing contractors are known to fake home damage with golf balls or hammers. If you don’t know the contractor, do not trust them, or have yet to do a quick internet search on them, do not allow them access to your property.
3. Get multiple estimates
Never rush into a contract or make an initial down payment. Even in worst case scenario we recommend at least 3 estimates.
4. Remember - You Are In Charge
When dealing with an insurance claim, avoid telling bidding contractors how much your policy will cover. In some cases, companies will estimate the cost of repairs to near or exactly that amount. It’s suggested to get a scope of work that outlines materials and work needed, without prices, by a trusted contractor or public adjuster.
5. Know the contract details
In many areas, you have a legal right to cancel a contract within three business days after the contractors visit to your home. Local or state officials may extend that time frame after natural disasters. Never sign a contract with blank spaces. Make sure you get an original copy with both party’s signatures.
6. Cover all your bases
At the same time you make a payment for materials and work-get lien waivers from the contractor or sub-contractor. A lien waiver is equivalent to proof of payment and protects you if the sub-contractor fails to receive payment from the general contractor.
7. Avoid a large down payment
A contractor may ask for a down payment-which most of the time is okay, but it’s a red flag if they want a large deposit or cash payment that’s more than 1/3 of the jobs total cost. Its best practice to withhold at minimum 10 percent until the job is completed.
8. Verify Insurance and Bonding
It may be a little tedious but its best practice to contact the company’s insurance and bonding companies to determine whether their worker’s compensation and liability policies are large enough to cover your job.
9. Don’t sign away your settlement
Never sign over your homeowner’s insurance settlement upfront. Avoid a company that offers to pay or help you with your deductible. Deductible help is considered insurance fraud in some states.
10. Pull Permits
Be sure your roofing company pulls the necessary building permits before beginning work. Verify the name on the permit matches the company name.