Worst Case Scenario: The Tale of a Roofing Scam

Selecting a roofing contractor is not an easy decision. Many homeowners base their decision solely on the price, perhaps using two or three estimates, without considering the roofing contractor’s history of quality workmanship.

So what happens when you’ve selected a roofing contractor with a fair estimate, but they are unable to complete the job at that price? Worse yet, what happens when the roofing contractor disappears for a period of time, only to return asking for more money to complete the job?

A homeowner in Maine recently turned to Reddit for advice when expenses started adding up on a roofing job. The roofing contractor she hired initially raised the price of the job based on the claim that there was asbestos under the roofing materials on a portion of the roof.

After paying the requested increase, the homeowner received a receipt marked “paid in full,” but the project was not completed. Rather, her project was delayed twice due to injuries experienced by the roofing contractor.

The roofing contractor asked for yet another additional payment in order to finish the job without an explanation as to the increase in price. The homeowner is wary of the roofing contractor, believing that she might be the victim of a scam, and is not sure how to proceed.

This is a scenario that happens all too often. Sometimes the reasons for an increase in price or a delay in timeframe are legitimate. But as a homeowner, how are you to know and what do you do if you feel you’re being scammed?

If a similar scenario happens to you, the very first thing to do is not fulfill any requests for additional payment unless the job is completed satisfactorily. If the roofing contractor refuses to complete the job without additional payment, then it’s time to take further action.

Sending a certified letter with a designated timeframe for completion of the roofing job is one step that can be taken. This can be enough to get the roofing contractor back on track, or it can be the first step in taking further legal action against the roofing contractor.

In some cases, it might be best to move on and find a new roofing contractor to complete the job. While this will lead to additional expenses, taking the time to find a new, qualified roofing contractor will mean that the job is finished satisfactorily. Read our blog article, How to Avoid Tales of Roofing Contracts Gone Wrong, to learn how we protect our customers from experiences such as this.

Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertisement for roofing contractors, so letting others know about your experience is another consideration. You can contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint and post reviews on home improvement websites in your area. This will hopefully prevent other homeowners from experiencing the same type of poor workmanship.

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