What Is a Fly-by-Night Roofer?
When particularly bad weather rolls through town, certain roofing professionals make it their job to take advantage of vulnerable and unsuspecting homeowners in their time of need. These “professionals” are known as fly-by-night roofers, and they’re definitely people you’ll need to watch for if your roof ever sustains storm-related damage.
Below, the team at Alpine Roofing Construction shares what you need to know about fly-by-night roofers so you can protect yourself from getting taken advantage of.
How Do Fly-By-Night Roofers Work?
Have you ever experienced a bad storm that caused significant damage to the homes in your area? You may have gotten a few knocks on your front door in the days immediately after the storm. Who was knocking? Unethical and uninsured salesmen for untrustworthy home contractors — fly-by-night roofers.
Because dozens or even hundreds of homes in the area require roof repairs or replacements after the storm, reputable roofing companies book up incredibly fast. And when homeowners desperately need their roofs fixed, fly-by-night roofers see a major opportunity for the taking.
These guys pitch roof repairs and replacements to homeowners whose roofs suffered moderate to severe damage caused by wind, hail, and other weather events. They typically make claims about the superiority and affordability of their services to make unsuspecting and desperate homeowners think they’re getting a fantastic deal on getting their roofs fixed.
In reality, though, fly-by-night roofers are nothing more than a giant scam dressed up in professional-looking garb. They usually ask for a substantial up-front deposit before they begin the job and do one of two things after they get the money: perform extremely poor-quality work that carries no warranty whatsoever or disappear altogether.
Either way, the homeowner always gets the raw end of the deal. That’s why it’s so important to know how to recognize these dishonest scammers. You don’t want to become a victim.
How to Recognize a Fly-By-Night Roofing Scam
Understanding that fly-by-night roofers usually come out of the woodwork after severe storms is the first step toward recognizing these dishonest crooks. But how do you tell whether you might be dealing with a scammer if someone comes knocking at your door? Keep an eye out for the following red flags:
A Request for a Huge Down Payment Before Work Begins
Even if a fly-by-night roofer offers you an incredible deal, they’ll usually ask for a huge chunk of the project cost upfront. That’s a major red flag. Usually, when a roofer wants a large down payment relative to the total cost of the job, they’re looking to take your money and run.
Even if they’re not planning to disappear, they might be so inept at their own business that they actually need that money to get the project off the ground. Either way, it’s probably best to stay away.
A Project Price That Sounds Too Good to Be True
A fly-by-night roofer might present you with a roof repair or replacement price that seems like an incredible deal. And while the price might sound amazing, the workmanship (if they even complete the job) will be anything but. Reputable roofing companies charge based on the quality of the materials and workmanship they deliver, which means their service isn’t cheap.
Minimal or No Online Presence
Most fly-by-night roofers won’t have a dedicated website where they advertise their services because they don’t want any proof they ever existed. But these days, when you can set up your own basic website in just a few minutes, some scammers will create a bare-bones pop-up website in an attempt to make themselves appear reputable.
It’s pretty easy to spot a professional website from one that took only minutes to create. If you do find a website for a roofer that came knocking on your door, browse it with a very discerning eye.
No Customer Testimonials
If a roofing company has no testimonials, think twice before you move forward with a contract, and keep digging for more information about the company. While brand-new roofing companies might lack testimonials (even if they’re reputable), they should have other trust signals you can find. Fly-by-night roofers usually don’t have any proof of previous projects they’ve completed.
A Lack of Trust Signals
Most trustworthy roofing are willing to share trust signals with prospective clients to demonstrate their quality of service and reputation. Look for a listing with the Better Business Bureau and any other trust signals you can find. If you don’t find any proof of their workmanship or client service, be very wary about working with them.
No Proof of Insurance
Any reputable roofing company requires their contractors to hold insurance. If the roofers can’t show proof of insurance, don’t hire them.
Beating Around the Bush
Reputable roofers will tell you anything you want to know about the work they’re about to perform, why it’s required, and the project quote they give you. They’re also more than willing to divulge information about the company. If you encounter roofers who try to beat around the bush when you ask questions, don’t trust them with your roof.
Looking for a Roofing Company in Dallas?
If your Dallas home or commercial building requires roof repairs or a complete roof replacement, get in touch with our team at Alpine Roofing Construction. For over 20 years, we’ve proudly served the roofing needs of homeowners and commercial building owners throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth metro area. When you need quality products, superior workmanship, and excellent customer service, we’re here for you. Check out our testimonials and project gallery to see what we can do! To get started or learn more about our services, give us a call today at 214-272-2679 (Dallas) or 817-873-6111 (Fort Worth), or contact us online for more information.