In March of 2013, Texas Senator John Carona R-Dallas, sponsored a bill protecting homeowners from bad roofing practices. The proposed bill was in response to a litany of calls and reports to the senator’s office about poor roofing practices. According to Karen Fox, executive director of North Texas Roofing Contractors Association, the scams tend to be very similar in most cases. Usually, individuals from out of state, sweep through areas hit by storms, pretending to be Houston roofers.
Houston Roofer Scam
NBC Houston originally reported on one homeowner, Marley Heggen was approached by two men claiming to be Houston roofers, offering to clear her gutters. While clearing the gutters they claimed a much bigger issue and charged over $3,200 for the repair. Fortunately, Amy Davis consumer expert associated with NBC Houston was able to retrieve the money by tracing the check Heggen wrote.
Dallas Morning News has also reported similar stories where roofers target homes hit by hail. Again the individuals pose as actual roofing contractors and knock on your door unannounced. Large areas like Houston are often targeted because they are centers of normal hail storms, taking advantage of homeowners in need.
Mark Hanna with the Insurance Council of Texas stated that the problem with many individuals claiming to be Houston roofers is that they can just hang a sign on their truck. Their result, according to Hanna, is often bad work and outright insurance fraud. Others are known to not fully pay for materials, leaving the homeowner hanging in the wind.
Senator Carona also stated that it is difficult for legitimate firms to compete in the market with companies that cut corners and fail to meet building codes. Karen Fox also noted that these individuals cost the State of Texas valuable sales tax revenue.
Senator Carona, joined by Senator Sheets, are proposing dual legislation; HB 888 for the House and SB 311 for the Senate. The bill’s supporters argue that the bill is aimed at wide problems identified in the roofing industry, from bad workmanship to fraud, mainly by out-of-state individuals. The bills would require Houston roofers to:
- Be licensed by the Texas Department of Insurance
- Require standard form contracts for work
- Require disclosure of roofer insurance
- Prohibit roofing contractors from covering insurance deductibles
- Creating a website database for consumers to compare roofers
- Conduct background checks for roofers
Houston Roofer Reactions
David Schulte, President of Schulte Roofing, the “Home of the Bulletproof Roof™ Guarantee”, states that most professional Houston roofing contractors are already in line will the proposed legislation. David Schulte believes that background testing, drug screening, insurance verification, and honest pricing are standard in professional business practices.
In fact one of the best ways you can protect yourself, according to David Schulte, is to verify their insurance, make sure they are local, ask for references, visit them at their location, ask for warranty details, and ask your neighbors.
Schulte Roofing is a local Houston roofer with over 100 years of combined roofing experience and is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. For more information on Houston roofers, contact Schulte Roofing.