Stormy weather is a common occurrence in the greater Detroit area, and that means two things homeowners potentially have to face — roof damage and storm chasers. Both can be frustrating, but the good news is, there are ways to recognize a skilled, trusted roofing contractor and avoid scammers so you can enjoy reliable, top-notch roof repair or roof replacement.
As a roofing contractor with more than 25 years of experience serving thousands of homeowners, John McCarter Construction believes you deserve a home you love, from contractors you can trust. We’ve put together a list of 6 reasons it’s beneficial to hire a local roofing contractor with a trusted reputation. And we’ve included 9 ways to spot a roofer that is likely to be a storm chaser — a roofer who wants to make some money off a local storm and may fail to give homeowners a well-installed roof replacement.
Why Hire Local?
1. Fast Response
Roofing contractors based out of state tend to take longer to send out crews. They may also be less reliable, trying to make repairs as quickly as possible so they can move on. If your roof needs swift repair or replacement, local roofers can spend the time required to meet your needs efficiently without travel or time concerns getting in the way.
2. Hometown Pride
Local roofing companies love where they live and work because it’s where they’ve invested themselves. They usually take pride in helping other local homeowners enjoy attractive roofs that boost curb appeal. By contrast, non-local crews may only care about getting the job done as fast as possible, willing to take shortcuts because they know they’ll never see you again.
3. Local Knowledge of Building Codes
A roofer from your area understands the local building codes required for your roof replacement. Reliable local roofers help keep your home up to code, ensuring your roof replacement is legal and your home retains its value.
4. Benefit to Your Community
Local contractors are local business owners, living and working alongside you in the community. Hiring a local roofing contractor is the same as shopping locally in other industries. The money they make goes back into the community you love.
5. Trusted Reputation
Local roofers stay in business because of referrals from repeat customers who trust their expertise. Because they’re local, you can meet them in person and check their credentials more easily. You can speak to others in the community who have used them and can speak personally of their reputation as a trusted roofer.
6. Easy Access
If you have a problem arise after the initial roof replacement is completed, a local company will be easier to contact, and it will be easier for them to address the issue. On the other hand, with an out-of-state roofing company, you’re at the mercy of voicemails and long waits.
How Do You Avoid a Storm Chaser?
1. Talk to Local Contractors
When you find yourself needing a new roof after a serious storm, you may feel like finding the first contractor that pops up. Remember, if you have used a local roofer in the past, they’re likely ready to help you now as well. If you haven’t hired a roofer before but have had other work done, such as siding or painting, ask that contractor who they’d recommend.
2. Be a Part of Inspections
Free inspections are a dime a dozen from out-of-town, storm-chasing contractors. Make sure you are present when any inspection is done, especially if you use a non-local business. Unreliable and shady contractors can create damage when the homeowner isn’t watching.
3. Check Licenses
If you are faced with a choice between multiple contractors, check their licenses and insurance documentation. Make sure they are up-to-date and locally applicable. A fly-by-night company is likely not to have the proper paperwork.
4. Demand a Warranty
Don’t do business with a contractor who refuses to include warranties on their work. Local roofing and siding contractors understand the value of offering customers a warranty. They’re proud of their workmanship and willing to guarantee it.
5. Don’t Pay the Full Amount Upfront
Local contractors with fair business practices typically ask for partial payment upfront. But storm-chasing contractors will do everything they can to convince an unwary victim to pay in full before doing any work at all. Too many homeowners have seen such work done shoddily or not at all, without any recompense.
6. Keep Your Insurance Information to Yourself
Contractors who install roofs after a storm usually get paid by the insurance company. Be careful not to communicate too much about your coverage information before getting a quote. Storm chasers always try to get as much of your insurance money as possible.
7. Read Reviews
Websites and social media reviews are a consumer’s friend, and a storm chaser’s worst nightmare. Read reviews and find out more information about the level of work the roofing contractor has given other customers. If you don’t find any reviews about the contractor, that’s not a good sign.
8. Request a Visual Inspection
Storm damage is typically very hard to spot by the untrained eye. Ask your contractor to provide a visual inspection of your roof through video and photos. A quality local roofer will find signs of storm damage that an unqualified person cannot, and can explain it through a visual inspection.
9. Review Your Insurance Policy
After reviewing your policy yourself, call your insurance agent to ask any additional questions you may have. Local roofing contractors are familiar with insurance company agents and are happy to work with them to address real storm damage that needs to be addressed.
Work with a Roofing Contractor that Values Your Home
Your home is a major investment, and it’s the place that gives you shelter, peace, and joy. Any contractor you hire should appreciate that and value it. Our professional team of local roofers is here when you need us. In the meantime, check out our reviews to see how other local homeowners have enjoyed our work.