It’s Morning Edition on KRPS; I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. With the warmer weather we’ve had so far this Spring, many of us are looking to make repairs and improvements to our homes. This includes replacing or fixing roofs, which can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000 dollars.
Stephanie Garland of the Better Business Bureau in Springfield warns consumers to be wary of free, unsolicited estimates to fix or repair your roof. “This can be a really big purchase. It can be anywhere from $20 to $30k. This is a huge financial purchase, and it’s really important that you chose somebody whose trustworthy, whose BBB accredited. We’ve check out, verified, make sure that they are good honest people, a good honest company before you spend so much money on perhaps what is the largest asset, financially that you’ll ever have, your home.”
According to Stephanie, like clockwork every Spring, she starts to hear from more homeowners in Southwest Missouri requesting information on roofing companies that use the state, such as Missouri or Kansas, as a part of their name for credibility. She says that’s a red flag. “Better Business Bureau sees a huge increase this time of year, online, in this area for trusted roofers, so we track our data on BBB.org and every time, the Spring the Summer we see a lot of people looking for really awesome people to hire a great trusted roofer.”After the storm in 2011, this area saw an influx of scam construction and roofing companies as residents look to make repairs on their homes.
Stephanie says there is a familiar narrative when talking to a fake roofing company. They’ll tell you that while you don’t need to replace your entire roof, she’s had Southwest Missouri consumers tell her that fake roofing companies have damaged people’s roofs to get work and blame it on wind damage. Or they show you pictures of other damaged roofs and compare them to yours. “So the roofer offers a free inspection. The person came claims that the company is working on neighbors’ homes. Just thought that this might be convenient. But if you ask questions about where the business is located, how the services work, you’re going to get some vague answers, like, ‘Oh, we’re in the Webb City’ or ‘Oh we’re in Nevada’ or ‘were in El Dorado Springs, right across from the high school’. Something that is not super specific.”
It can be challenging to discern somebody who appears to be professional and knows what they’re talking about apart from somebody trying to get you to write a check. If a company’s representative is coming to your door to seek out business, that could be another red flag. “So, don’t hire this company. It can be really, really scary and a big mistake. So we have a free program that we offer, it’s called ‘Get a Quote’. You can go ahead at any time and submit at BBB.org to trustworthy accredited roofers in this area and ask for them to give a free home inspection.” Companies will carry out inspections at no charge for customers to fully understand the repairs that need to be made to their homes and its cost.
The vast majority of us are not roofers, and the majority have never been on one roof, much less to do it for a living, including Stephanie. “Well, I can tell you for sure that I’ve never actually installed a roof with my own hands. Nor will I, I’m not qualified to do so, that’s why for my family, we always BBB.org. It’s just easy to find somebody that’s trustworthy. So I can trust to be around my baby, whose safe to have outside. And these people do a bang-up job, and they are also really fast. So whenever you have a roof that needs help, you can find someone who will do the job right and do it right for the first time.”
Stephanie Garland of the Better Business Bureau in Springfield, Missouri