This article was crafted with the help of Echols Home Improvements.

Mark Ashe, president of Echols Home Improvements, has a warning for homeowners:

“I do not know one local, professional roofer that sends crews of men out to knock on doors. You do not do business with somebody that solicits you first for anything....The people that knock on your door, even if your roof is new and pristine, they’re going to come off that ladder and tell you, ‘Oh, you’ve got storm damage.’”

Known in the industry as “storm chasers,” these contractors got their name because many actually follow storms across regions of the country, hoping to dupe homeowners into believing their roofs have sustained damage and need repair. They’ll often offer homeowners an evaluation (for free, of course). But don’t be tempted to let them examine your roof, says Ashe. One common ploy used by storm chasers is to actually create holes with a coin or tool while performing their “free inspection.”

Even if your roof is genuinely damaged, you should still be wary of storm chasers. “These people who solicit you and knock on your door are gone in six months,” says Ashe. “When they blow out of town the homeowner is going to have all sorts of leaks to attend to.” In contrast, by choosing an established, professional roofer, you’ll be able to seek recourse if leaks occur.

Ashe also cautions homeowners against employing contractors that require payment up front. “Don’t do business with anybody that has to have your money before they can do the work,” advises Ashe. “Many of the people that get hurt in this trade give somebody money to ‘get materials’ and start the job, but the guy never comes back or he does a lousy job. If somebody needs your money first, that should be a big red flag.” If the job is large enough, however, or if it requires special materials, Ashe adds that sometimes a portion of the cost may be required before work begins.

Finally, the best reason to choose a professional roofer can be found in the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Ashe notes that while most roofers use the same brand-name materials, they don’t all produce the same quality of roof: “Most people approach home improvements as if they’re just shopping on price. They think that since most contractors use the same products made in the same plants, they will all provide the same quality of roof. But they’re not all the same. You can’t treat home improvement projects like a car purchase, where you check with the dealerships and just go with whoever has the cheapest price. The difference is in the quality of the workers, the quality of the supervision, and the commitment of the company to do the right thing.”

With all the stress that a roofing project entails, the last thing homeowners need is to be afraid that their contractor isn’t a professional. Besides the information mentioned above, a good way to discern a professional roofer is to make sure that he or she maintains general liability and workers’ compensation insurance; hiring a roofer without it is very risky.

The quality of a roof is not something homeowners should gamble on. By choosing a professional roofer with a history of customer satisfaction, homeowners can rest easy knowing that their roof will provide years of comfort and value.

This article was crafted with the help of Echols Home Improvements, an Atlanta expert in Roofing. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.

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