Why Do Some Roofers Have a Bad Reputation?

May 16, 2024

The roofing industry is vital for maintaining the safety and integrity of homes and businesses. However, it often faces criticism and a tarnished reputation. This blog explores the historical reasons behind this negative perception of why some roofers have a bad reputation and offers insights into how homeowners can find trustworthy, reliable roofing contractors. Don’t let some bad apples spoil the bunch!

1. Historical Neglect and Lack of Regulation

One of the primary reasons some roofers have a bad reputation is the industry’s historical lack of regulation. In some states (and North Carolina is still one of them unfortunately), virtually anyone with a ladder and some tools could call themselves a roofer. This lack of oversight led to many inexperienced and unqualified individuals entering the field, resulting in poor workmanship and unreliable services.

In North Carolina, no trade specific licensing is required to be a roofer unless the project is greater than $40,000. Therefore, many roofers forgo becoming certified as a licensed contractor or licensed general contractor, and this lack of quality impacts the industry’s reputation.

2. Roofers Have a Bad Reputation – High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Some roofing companies have adopted aggressive sales techniques, often making homeowners feel pressured or uncomfortable. These high-pressure tactics can include insisting on immediate decisions or “one call closing”, offering “limited-time” deals that aren’t actually limited, or using scare tactics to exaggerate the urgency of repairs. Such practices create distrust among customers, leading to a negative perception of roofers in general.

More examples of Roofers Have a Bad Reputation AI generated images. Why are people sitting on the nice roof? Crazy!

3. Inconsistent Quality of Work

The quality of roofing work can vary significantly from one contractor to another. Homeowners may encounter contractors who cut corners, use subpar materials, or fail to complete the job to standard. Inconsistent workmanship can lead to leaks, structural damage, and other costly issues down the line, fostering a sense of mistrust toward the entire profession.

4. Storm Chasers and Fly-by-Night Contractors

The term “fly-by-night” refers to contractors who quickly move from one job to another, often disappearing without completing the work or honoring warranties. “Storm Chasers” are those roofers who send their sales team to knock on doors in neighborhoods hit with recent storms. And many companies send these door knockers across state lines to a state they are not even licensed in!

These transient roofers may offer lower prices to attract customers or appear as insurance experts, but they frequently provide inferior service and often do not perform the roof replacement themselves. And of course when problems arise these contractors are nowhere to be found, leaving homeowners with unresolved issues and a bad taste in their mouths.

5. Insurance Fraud and Scams

Unfortunately, the roofing industry has its share of scams and fraudulent activities. Some unscrupulous roofers have been known to inflate damage claims, manipulate insurance companies, or even fabricate issues to profit from unnecessary repairs. They sometimes even offer to pay for a customer’s insurance deductible, which is insurance fraud and punishable with fines and even jail time. There are almost no lines some of these roofers won’t cross to try to win your business.

Such fraudulent practices not only harm homeowners, but also drive up insurance costs for everyone and contribute to the overall negative perception of roofers. If you see these types of tactics occurring in your neighborhood, you can report the roofing company to the licensing board or mention their unscrupulous tactics on review sites.

6. Poor Customer Service

Customer service is a critical aspect of any business, and roofing is no exception. Homeowners often report dissatisfaction with the communication, punctuality, and professionalism of roofing contractors. Issues like missed appointments, lack of transparency in pricing, and unresponsive behavior can lead to frustration and distrust among clients.

7. Negative Online Reviews

In the digital age, online reviews play a significant role in shaping public perception. A few bad reviews can significantly damage a roofer’s reputation, especially if these reviews highlight common issues such as poor workmanship, high-pressure sales tactics, or unprofessional behavior. Potential customers often rely on these reviews when choosing a contractor, and negative feedback can deter them from hiring a particular roofer.

8. Misleading Advertising

Some roofing companies engage in misleading advertising, promising services or guarantees they cannot deliver. For example, a contractor might advertise a lifetime warranty but fail to explain the conditions and limitations of that warranty. When homeowners later discover these discrepancies, it erodes trust and contributes to a negative perception of roofing contractors.

How to Find a Trustworthy Roofer

Despite these challenges, many reputable and professional roofing contractors are committed to providing excellent service. Here are some tips for finding a trustworthy roofer:

1. Research and Referrals

Start by researching local roofing companies and asking for referrals from friends, family, or neighbors who have had positive experiences. Personal recommendations can provide valuable insights into the reliability and quality of a contractor’s work. Avoid any contractors who are not from your State or at least have a main office near you. You will have little recourse if problems arise after the installation if your roofing company isn’t actually located near you.

2. Check Credentials

Verify the credentials of any roofer you consider. Look for licensing, insurance, and industry certifications. Reputable contractors will have no problem providing proof of these qualifications. Verify their credentials online as well.

In North Carolina and South Carolina, a roofer with a General Contractor license is really the best way to go and you can verify their licenses directly. Try to avoid the “Chuck and a Truck” type roofers who started their companies within the last few years. With such low barriers to entry, many of these types of owners are more often good roofers than good business people and don’t survive past their first few years or any crisis or cash flow issue.

Nothing is worse than trusting such a significant investment as your roof to a company that goes out of business shortly thereafter.

3. Read Reviews

Check online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback to get a balanced view of the contractor’s performance and customer service.

4. Request Multiple Quotes

Obtain quotes from several roofing companies to compare prices, services, and warranties. Be wary of significantly lower bids, as they may indicate subpar materials or workmanship. Reliable, trustworthy roofers should have no problem with you obtaining multiple quotes for your project.

When you make your selection, however, ensure you are taking into account the service, history, quality, workmanship, warranties, and reputation of the roofing contractors – not just price. Price should never dictate picking a contractor if you are focused on quality and a long-term commitment to service.

5. Ask for References

A reliable roofer will be happy to provide references from past clients. Contact these references to ask about their experiences and satisfaction with the contractor’s work.

6. Review Contracts Carefully

Before signing any contract, review it carefully to ensure it includes all agreed-upon terms, such as the scope of work, materials to be used, payment schedule, and warranty details. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification on any points you do not understand. Also, if the contract is short with few details, this is a red flag as the contractor may use the lack of specifics to substitute inferior products or skip critical steps in the roof removal and installation process.

7. Avoid High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Trustworthy roofers will give you time to make an informed decision without resorting to high-pressure sales tactics. If you feel rushed or pressured, consider it a red flag and seek out other options. Also, beware if a roofer knocks on your door unannounced. Roofers that canvas neighborhoods often times are the ones most incentivized and compromised to push insurance related scams and fraudulent business practices.

Also, review the website and online profiles of the roofers you meet with to see how they represent themselves online. If a contractor spends the time and money to have a strong, modern, and professional online presence, they most likely also spend the time and money to provide you with a great service. It’s not always the case, but a basic website often means a basic roof replacement.

8. Look for Industry Involvement

Roofing contractors who are actively involved in industry organizations or continuing education are often more committed to maintaining high standards of quality and professionalism. Look for memberships in organizations like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) or local roofing associations.

Conclusion

While there are definitely some bad apples in the world of roofing contractors, there are many dedicated professionals who provide high-quality service and stand by their work. By conducting thorough research, checking credentials, and being aware of common pitfalls, homeowners can find reliable roofers who will deliver excellent results. Remember, a little diligence goes a long way in ensuring your roofing project is handled by a reputable contractor.


At Elite Roof and Solar, we pride ourselves on serving you in a professional and trustworthy manner.  We bring together a broad, deep team of roofing experts knowledgeable in some of the latest technologies and most innovative products to help you get the most of your current roof, and when it’s time to replace your roof, choose the best products for a long-lasting roof you can count on.  It’s why we have been fortunate to serve over 5,000+ customers since our beginnings back in 2012 and strive to always be the “best roofers near me” for every customer in NC and SC. 

With a passion for customer service and with offices in Charlotte, Boone, Hickory, Winston-Salem, Asheville, and our headquarters in Davidson, NC we always strive to be the best of the “roofing companies near me” and the only one that you will ever needGeneral Contractors License #86649 (NC) and #124124 (SC).