Roofing Contractor Red Flags: How to Avoid Shady Dealers

When it’s time to replace or repair your roof, finding a qualified and reputable roofing contractor is critical. As a homeowner, you want the job done properly to avoid leaks, structural damage, and costly repairs down the road. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous roofers prey on unsuspecting customers, leaving behind shoddy workmanship and unfulfilled promises. Before hiring a contractor, do your research to avoid becoming the victim of a shady dealer. Spot some common red flags early on to save yourself a lot of headaches and heartache. Your home is one of your biggest investments, so take the time to find an experienced professional you can trust to protect it. With some diligence, you can have confidence in your choice and peace of mind that your new roof will last for years to come.

Research a Roofing Contractor’s Reputation and Credentials

When hiring a roofing contractor, thoroughly researching their reputation and credentials is crucial. You want a company that will do high-quality work and stand behind it.

Check online reviews from sources like the Better Business Bureau, HomeAdvisor, and the company’s Google reviews. Look for contractors with mostly positive reviews mentioning good workmanship, fair pricing, and resolving any issues. Be wary of companies with many bad reviews or no reviews at all.

Verify the contractor’s licensing and insurance. Roofing companies need to be properly licensed in your state and carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Ask for copies of their licenses and insurance certificates. Unlicensed or uninsured contractors could leave you vulnerable to legal issues or extra costs.

Get multiple detailed written estimates. Estimates should include specifics on the materials, warranty, timeline, and total cost. Be cautious of estimates that seem too good to be true. Meet with contractors in person and ask plenty of questions.

Look for manufacturer designations. The best roofers often receive training and certifications from major roofing manufacturers like GAF, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed. These designations indicate a higher level of skill and knowledge.

Once you’ve evaluated reputation, credentials, estimates, and designations, you’ll find a trustworthy roofing contractor to properly handle your important roofing project. With some diligent research, you can avoid risky contractors and feel confident in your selection.

Beware of Roofers Who Lack Proper Licensing and Insurance

When hiring a roofing contractor, you need to ensure they have the proper licensing and insurance to perform work in your area. Unlicensed or uninsured roofers may cut corners to save money, leaving you with subpar work or damages without recourse.

  • Check if your state requires roofing contractors to be licensed or certified. If so, verify the roofer’s credentials and that their license is current.
  • Ask to see proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects you in case of accidents or damages. Worker’s comp insurance means you won’t be liable if a worker is injured on the job.
  • Get references from past clients and check reviews online. Look for a well-established company with a solid reputation.
  • Get a detailed written contract that specifies the work plan, timeline, and total cost. Never pay the full amount upfront. Stagger payments so the final payment isn’t made until you’ve inspected the finished work.
  • Supervise the work and do a final walk-through when the job is done. Ensure all work was completed properly and debris was cleaned up before making the final payment.

Take the necessary precautions to choose a reputable, insured roofing contractor so you’ll gain peace of mind knowing the work was done right the first time. Protecting your investment is worth doing your homework. Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, so don’t cut corners when it’s time for replacement or repairs.

Watch Out for Scam Tactics

When choosing a roofing contractor, be wary of dishonest companies employing scam tactics to take advantage of homeowners. Some shady dealers use high-pressure sales techniques to force you into a quick decision, often before you’ve obtained multiple estimates or checked references. They may insist you sign a contract right away to get a “special deal” or claim the offer is only good for that day. Reputable contractors will allow you adequate time to make an informed choice.

Tactics they employ:

  1. Watch out for demands of a large down payment or full payment upfront before work begins. Legitimate roofers typically require a 20-50% deposit to start a job, with the balance due upon completion. Those insisting on complete upfront payment may take the money and run without doing the work or use inferior materials to increase their profit margin. Always get a detailed written contract specifying the total cost, materials, timeline, and payment schedule before providing any money upfront.
  2. Be wary of door-to-door salespeople, flyers, ads, or cold calls claiming you need a “free roof inspection”. Some crooked companies use these tactics to pressure homeowners into unnecessary or overpriced roof replacements. Only consider companies you contact yourself based on referrals from family, friends, or trusted online review sites.
  3. Reputable roofing contractors should be properly insured for liability and workers’ compensation. Ask for proof of insurance to ensure you won’t be liable for any injuries or damages that occur on the job. You should also check if the company is registered and licensed in your area, with a permanent business address and office staff available during regular hours.

Be an informed consumer by checking references, and obtaining multiple estimates on your own timeline, you can confidently choose an ethical roofing contractor. Avoiding shady dealers using scammy tactics will help ensure you receive a high-quality roof installation at a fair price from a company that will stand behind your work.


When selecting a roofing contractor, be vigilant and trust your instincts. Do not rush into a contract with the first person who knocks on your door after a storm. Take the time to research local companies, check their credentials, and get multiple estimates based on the same scope of work. Reputable contractors will not ask for full payment upfront or pressure you into signing a contract on the spot. They will provide a detailed contract specifying the work timeline, materials, crew size, permits required, and total cost with no hidden fees. Choosing a contractor with a proven track record of quality work and happy customers will give you peace of mind that your roof is in good hands. With due diligence, you can avoid shady dealers and find a contractor you can trust for years to come.

Looking for a reputable roofing contractor? Roofing Recovery is one of the outstanding roofing contractors in South Florida with superb quality, customer service, and extensive experience. Call 954-799-4069 to request a quote today!

Recovery TeamRoofing Contractor Red Flags: How to Avoid Shady Dealers