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Roofing Scams and How to Spot Them

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 5 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Roofing Scams Roofing Scammers Scam

As with most scam artists, roofing scammers will do all they can to get what they want without doing much work. The trick for any homeowner is to learn how to spot roofing scammers and avoid them before they have conned you. Roofing scammers tend to target the elderly, single women at home and homes that they believe can afford to hand over cash to have a 'problem' fixed on their roof. They will come prepared with a multitude of stories to tell you about how they are your dream come true, but don't be fooled - they're more than likely just out for themselves.

The Problem-Reaction-Solution Scam

One of the most common scams that roofers will use is the 'problem-reaction-solution' scam. They will often appear at your door unannounced and tell you that they were driving past and noticed that you had a problem with your roof. If you live in an area that is prone to seasonal weather, they'll be more likely to appear during the wet season as they know this is when most people are concerned about leaks in their roof. The scammer will offer you a free appraisal of your roof and will disappear to inspect it themselves. After a closer look at your roof, they'll tell you that there are some serious issues and will await your reaction to the problem. If you don't seem to be overly concerned, they'll extend the truth further and make the situation seem as dire as possible. When they finally get a reaction, they'll have an immediate solution to help you out.

The Great Discount Scam

When the scam roofer has your attention and sees that you're concerned with the condition of your roof, they'll offer you a one-off special deal to 'help you out'. The roofer will often state that they can do you a cheap deal if you sign there and then and if you pay cash. The cash of course is their way of avoiding tax and the money is likely to go straight into their own pockets. Some may even offer you a discount for cash there and then and needless to say when you hand over the money, they're likely to disappear without any work being carried out. Even in some better case scenarios, the work may get finished, but be of a poor standard and the materials may not be of a good quality.

Avoiding the Scam Roofers

It's very easy to avoid rogue roofers who are out to make money without carrying out any work. Firstly, don't let any roofer carry out a 'free inspection' on the spot without knowing they're reputable and their credentials have been checked out. Always ask to see a roofers company details and get their office details and landline number.

You should also ask if they have any details of previous customers so you can contact them to enquire about the standard of their work.

You should never do a deal with a roofer who can't provide you with a full contract that has clauses in it that allow you to withhold payment until the work has been checked and is considered satisfactory to your own standards.

Never believe a roofer who states he has left-over material from another job. More often than not this is just a scam to make you think you're getting a good deal and in some cases it may even be stolen. If you're dealing with a reputable roofer, he will expect you to ask security questions and to look for assurance from past work they've conducted. If you truly think you have some kind of an issue with your roof, be proactive and contact reliable roofers that you know are vetted by a trade association.

NB - If you are leaving a comment, please do not mention names of companies where it could be viewed legally as defamatory. These comments will be removed.

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I run a small roofing company and am able to do the same job as bigger companies for less because I do not have all the overheads so Lee that could be your answer. Some want a bigger more established company and some want to save a few quid. Get 3 or 4 quotes either from smaller, medium or bigger companies then compare. Decide the size of the company and benefits either way first
Cal - 10-Mar-17 @ 5:33 PM
Advice: get at least 3 quotes. Compare prices. If one is much higher or even much lower than the other's ask yourself why or better still ask them why.
Lee - 10-Mar-17 @ 5:30 PM
One of the most common scams that roofers will use is the 'problem-reaction-solution' scam. They will often appear at your door unannounced and tell you that they were driving past and noticed that you had a problem with your roof. If you live in an area that is prone to seasonal weather, they'll be more likely to appear during the wet season as they know this is when most people are concerned about leaks in their roof. The scammer will offer you a free appraisal of your roof and will disappear to inspect it themselves. After a closer look at your roof, they'll tell you that there are some serious issues and will await your reaction to the problem. If you don't seem to be overly concerned, they'll extend the truth further and make the situation seem as dire as possible. When they finally get a reaction, they'll have an immediate solution to help you out.
roberta - 10-Mar-17 @ 1:37 PM
All these review sites that claim to have reliable tradesmen based on reviews left by previous customers appear to sound like the best way to hire a trade, however when you look a little deeper the likes of rated people, check a trade, my hammer etc are actually businesses making massive profit acting as a middle man that by the way takes no responsibility should you have a problem with a trade. They advertise on tv, online, everywhere you can imagine, have wonderful looking web sites and sell themselves to the customer as though it would be highly unlikely to get your fingers burnt if hiring a trade through them. So the customer fills out a form to get a small number of free quotes. The customer is far from aware that anyone can sign up as a trader to use their service so long as you have a few basic things in place such as public liability, proof of ID etc. The company then sell the customer job details to tradesmen who will call up to quote. Then the customer can view previous "reviews" on these companies and decide on one to hire. The problem is it is very easy for tradesmen to post fake jobs, purchase details and write themselves reviews and worse still when someone writes a negative review the tradesmen can complain and have them removed. Please dig a little deeper and you will read the horror stories on some of these review companies.
Mr Hart - 10-Mar-17 @ 1:30 PM
I've been in construction all my life. The reason roofers and other specialist trades have such a bad name is down to a minority of con artists but largely because of misunderstood customers. Construction is not straight forward, things can be unearthed in the process of a job resulting in more cost. No one can predict what lies beneath..
Brooky - 10-Mar-17 @ 1:12 PM
Lol Insurance companies love it when there's a storm. They told me it was wear and tear but wanted to quote me £1000 to send their roofer. No chance got it fixed for £450.. fuming!
Herbs - 10-Mar-17 @ 1:06 PM
I read a story about a couple who were taken for 9k for work that should have cost under 1000 but is it illegal to give such a price and if customer agreed where would the customer stand? I say always get at least 3-5 estimates
Jim - 10-Mar-17 @ 1:03 PM
I used checkatrade but later found out my insurance would of taken care of it under my cover. The roofer told me.... AFTERWARDS!!! LOL Roofers have nearly as bad a reputation as mechanics.. that's a story for another forum
JJ - 10-Mar-17 @ 1:00 PM
Watch out for storm chasers. Knocking doors with tiles blown off frightening people into having new roof at extortionate rates
Loz - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:56 PM
Hi all, my insurance company were happy to pay for storm damage on my roof however they said the quickest way would be if I got 3 quotes for them which I did then they decided the company I should use, again I did, I played and Insurance company sent me a cheque less the excess. All seemed well until my roof started to leak, another roofer has said my previous repair was of such poor standard it now leaks. I can not get hold of the previous company, they are ignoring me and Insurance just tell me to contact the roofing company. Now I am left having to pay another roofer. Should insurance take some responsibility?
Roseanne - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:52 PM
Insurance company waste of time for storm damage on your roof, you pay the excess which they use to pay the repair guys then they put your premium up as you've now made a claim. Only use Insurance for serious costly problem then go get a new quote
Ryan - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:45 PM
Does anyone recommend checkatrade of the tv. I need a roofer for refixing and resetting coping tiles
Sha - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:39 PM
I was one of the many people to have a few roof slates blow off my roof during storm Doris!! I called my insurance company who sent out a surveyor to my surprise he said it was wear and tear and tiles had slipped out before wind blew them out of place. I just could not believe how that could be the case as the rest of the roof looks in great shape which my roofer agreed with. The property is only 20 years of age and the roofer said it would be at least another 20 plus years before that could be the case. I've changed Insurance company as a result but I hear they are all up to the same tricks. When there is a bad storm they are over run with problems so they just fob everyone off and only take care of the ones who persist with complaints. I did not want to waste my time as my excess cost of £275 plus a bit more covered the repair. Waste of time really Insurance companies.
Hailey - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:34 PM
you should always check with insurance company first as they come out to ours and said it was wear and tear and not cover on policy
kell - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:25 PM
Hi all, my mum had a guy knock the door and told her ridge tile blew down the roof and said they can fix in emergency for £500 and that we would claim on insurance for money back but it turns out it was a duff receipt so have no idea where to turn, has anyone ever had this problem
ace - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:22 PM
You gotta laugh at this site's advice. It's point is be careful you don't get ripped off, pay too much and all the rest of it. It says you should never hire a builder without things such as a written contract. Well I can tell you now if you're a home owner and your gonna want a contract and all the other things to protect you expect to pay through the nose because there are no companies that will provide all that but do you the price that makes you smile. An example let's say repaint a chimney, off a cat ladder hiring one guy you might pay 300-500 For an average chimney but if you want scaffolding, a project manager, building inspected, contracts written up etc that job becomes a £3000 job. Fair enough if you are running a bigger project and spending 50k but reading the reviews and advice on here it's all aimed towards people with much smaller projects. You can't have it both ways. I know from experience home owners for smaller projects such as maintenance work are upset from the start because they're spending dead money. It won't give them any satisfaction so if in any complication they were expected to pay a bit more it's the same old threats, "Your a conman" They then come on here an bad mouth companies and because they are unhappy they completely twist the story because they want to disrupt the company. There's no doubt there are cowboys about but most accusations are based on anger.
Al - 24-Feb-17 @ 7:28 AM
All these review sites that claim to have reliable tradesmen based on reviews left by previous customers appear to sound like the best way to hire a trade, however when you look a little deeper the likes of rated people, check a trade, my hammer etc are actually businesses making massive profit acting as a middle man that by the way takes no responsibility should you have a problem with a trade. They advertise on tv, online, everywhere you can imagine, have wonderful looking web sites and sell themselves to the customer as though it would be highly unlikely to get your fingers burnt if hiring a trade through them. So the customer fills out a form to get a small number of free quotes. The customer is far from aware that anyone can sign up as a trader to use their service so long as you have a few basic things in place such as public liability, proof of ID etc. The company then sell the customer job details to tradesmen who will call up to quote. Then the customer can view previous "reviews" on these companies and decide on one to hire. The problem is it is very easy for tradesmen to post fake jobs, purchase details and write themselves reviews and worse still when someone writes a negative review the tradesmen can complain and have them removed. Please dig a little deeper and you will read the horror stories on some of these review companies.
kate - 22-Feb-17 @ 1:35 PM
Hello,this site is open to anyone saying anything they want without it being verified. it has no clear means to complain about bad reviews as expected according to government regulation that could be written by competitor or a customer unhappy exaggerating a situation. just because someone said they had a bad experience does not mean it is true and this site is operating to make money off its display ads not in the interest of anything else. Shame on this site posing as a reputable review company.
mr west - 22-Feb-17 @ 10:51 AM
TRADERSCAMS IS A SCAM IT SELF.. BREAKS ITS OWN GUIDLINES AND VERIFIES NO REVIEWS GOOD OR BAD
jp - 22-Feb-17 @ 10:34 AM
Hi, The credibility of the reviews on this site is zero as there is no option to challenge a review good or bad.. anyone can write anything they wish.. I personally messaged this company traderscams about site reviews and was ignored completely.. They are a company based on driving traffic to their site in order to generate clicks on their display ads which they make a profit from.. the more reviews the more they will rank on google so they do not want anything to be verified as it will ultimately lose them money £££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££
bs - 22-Feb-17 @ 8:56 AM
Search Home>Typical Scams Roofing Scams and How to Spot Them By: Tracy Whitelaw (22 Feb 17) Roofing Scams Roofing Scammers Scam As with most scam artists, roofing scammers will do all they can to get what they want without doing much work. The trick for any homeowner is to learn how to spot roofing scammers and avoid them before they have conned you. Roofing scammers tend to target the elderly, single women at home and homes that they believe can afford to hand over cash to have a 'problem' fixed on their roof. They will come prepared with a multitude of stories to tell you about how they are your dream come true, but don't be fooled - they're more than likely just out for themselves. The Problem-Reaction-Solution Scam One of the most common scams that roofers will use is the 'problem-reaction-solution' scam. They will often appear at your door unannounced and tell you that they were driving past and noticed that you had a problem with your roof. If you live in an area that is prone to seasonal weather, they'll be more likely to appear during the wet season as they know this is when most people are concerned about leaks in their roof. The scammer will offer you a free appraisal of your roof and will disappear to inspect it themselves. After a closer look at your roof, they'll tell you that there are some serious issues and will await your reaction to the problem. If you don't seem to be overly concerned, they'll extend the truth further and make the situation seem as dire as possible. When they finally get a reaction, they'll have an immediate solution to help you out. The Great Discount Scam When the scam roofer has your attention and sees that you're concerned with the condition of your roof, they'll offer you a one-off special deal to 'help you out'. The roofer will often state that they can do you a cheap deal if you sign there and then and if you pay cash. The cash of course is their way of avoiding tax and the money is likely to go straight into their own pockets. Some may even offer you a discount for cash there and then and needless to say when you hand over the money, they're likely to disappear without any work being carried out. Even in some better case scenarios, the work may get finished, but be of a poor standard and the materials may not be of a good quality. Avoiding the Scam Roofers It's very easy to avoid rogue roofers who are out to make money without carrying out any work. Firstly, don't let any roofer carry out a 'free inspection' on the spot without knowing they're reputable and their credentials have been checked out. Always ask to see a roofers company details and get their office details and landline number. You should also ask if they have any details of previous customers so you can contact them to enquire about the standard of their work. You should never do a deal with a roofer who can't provide you with a full contract that has clauses in it that allow you to
Ann - 22-Feb-17 @ 8:31 AM
Find your local Which? Trusted traders Trader, service or keyword* Town or postcode Search Why use Which? Trusted traders? Which? has been testing products and services for nearly 60 years. Now Which? is assessing and endorsing local tradesmen and tradeswomen. Checked and assessed by Which? Operate in your area Reviewed by you Become a Which? Trusted trader Join Which? Trusted Traders Log in to edit your profile Get endorsed by the UK's largest independent consumer organisation Stand out from the crowd Endorsed by Which? Recommended by someone like you The Hampstead & Highgate Heating & Plumbing Co 97 reviews Best I have ever used. The work was carried out quickly and efficiently and he explained in detail what he was doing and why. He also showed and explained how to use the system economically to our comfort zone. Highly recommended! Gerald, London Tony Simpson Ltd 7 reviews Tony Simpson diagnosed the fault correctly, with a complete cost rundown. Picked my vehicle up, repaired the vehicle and returned it the same day with no hidden costs. Exemplary service and a credit to his trade. His garage should be an example to all. Craig, North Yorkshire Smart Group (Scotland) Ltd 3 reviews Fitted a new roof, guttering and solar panels. All brilliant. I chose them because Jim and George are such honest guys. They took everything away i.e skips on time and I have no complaints. Pete, Prestwick
h - 22-Feb-17 @ 7:05 AM
As with most scam artists, roofing scammers will do all they can to get what they want without doing much work. The trick for any homeowner is to learn how to spot roofing scammers and avoid them before they have conned you. Roofing scammers tend to target the elderly, single women at home and homes that they believe can afford to hand over cash to have a 'problem' fixed on their roof. They will come prepared with a multitude of stories to tell you about how they are your dream come true, but don't be fooled - they're more than likely just out for themselves. The Problem-Reaction-Solution Scam One of the most common scams that roofers will use is the 'problem-reaction-solution' scam. They will often appear at your door unannounced and tell you that they were driving past and noticed that you had a problem with your roof. If you live in an area that is prone to seasonal weather, they'll be more likely to appear during the wet season as they know this is when most people are concerned about leaks in their roof. The scammer will offer you a free appraisal of your roof and will disappear to inspect it themselves. After a closer look at your roof, they'll tell you that there are some serious issues and will await your reaction to the problem. If you don't seem to be overly concerned, they'll extend the truth further and make the situation seem as dire as possible. When they finally get a reaction, they'll have an immediate solution to help you out. The Great Discount Scam When the scam roofer has your attention and sees that you're concerned with the condition of your roof, they'll offer you a one-off special deal to 'help you out'. The roofer will often state that they can do you a cheap deal if you sign there and then and if you pay cash. The cash of course is their way of avoiding tax and the money is likely to go straight into their own pockets. Some may even offer you a discount for cash there and then and needless to say when you hand over the money, they're likely to disappear without any work being carried out. Even in some better case scenarios, the work may get finished, but be of a poor standard and the materials may not be of a good quality. Avoiding the Scam Roofers It's very easy to avoid rogue roofers who are out to make money without carrying out any work. Firstly, don't let any roofer carry out a 'free inspection' on the spot without knowing they're reputable and their credentials have been checked out. Always ask to see a roofers company details and get their office details and landline number. You should also ask if they have any details of previous customers so you can contact them to enquire about the standard of their work. You should never do a deal with a roofer who can't provide you with a full contract that has clauses in it that allow you to withhold payment until the work has been checked and is considered satisfactory to your own standards. Never believe a roofer who states h
naomi - 22-Feb-17 @ 7:01 AM
wakefields123 - Your Question:
We recently got passed our message from our neighbour saying that them and the house next door had agreed to get some work done on their roofs (they are semi detached, joined). Apparently the roofer accidently repaired our roof and next doors, rather than the other house and he is now asking for £100 for the work. He claims to have photos to prove we needed the work. We feel we shouldn't have to pay as we never asked for the work to be done or agreed to it, and we only bought the house recently, the survey showed no problems with the roof. Any ideas where we would stand from a legal point of view? Initially we laughed at the idea he was expecting payment for a job he had 'accidently' created for himself, and we have googled him and his contact details and found nothing online. Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks

Our Response:
There is nothing the roofer can do to make you pay this money. It's the roofer's fault and he should bear the cost.
TraderScams - 16-Dec-16 @ 12:51 PM
We recently got passed our message from our neighbour saying that them and the house next door had agreed to get some work done on their roofs (they are semi detached, joined). Apparently the roofer accidently repaired our roof and next doors, rather than the other house and he is now asking for £100 for the work. He claims to have photos to prove we needed the work. We feel we shouldn't have to pay as we never asked for the work to be done or agreed to it, and we only bought the house recently, the survey showed no problems with the roof. Any ideas where we would stand from a legal point of view? Initially we laughed at the idea he was expecting payment for a job he had 'accidently' created for himself, and we have googled him and his contact details and found nothing online. Any advice would be very welcome. Thanks
wakefields123 - 16-Dec-16 @ 12:03 AM
We used a roofer recommended to us by a very good friend who had a great experience with the guy like a one man type job handyman but he couldn't seem to fix our leak, 3 visits now, paid 1st and 2nd!! He took a look the 3rd time and said we need a new roof, gave us a quote and said he would knock off original payments but it comes in at £3750 still, we spent £650 already so that totals £4400 is that right??? Please help!!
Mel - 10-Nov-16 @ 5:36 PM
Hi all. Obviously every complaint is individual however I would like to say after being in the trade running a national roof repair company for about 20 year's it is shocking how unreasonable and unrealistic customers can be. When a small section of a roof is repaired you become responsible for that small section, let's say 1 percent of the roof. When a customer has a problem they hope that it is the 1 percent of the now renewed part of the roof that has failed rather than the other 99 percent of the 50 year old roof because let's be honest who wants to spend money on a roof, there is no satisfaction in it, it's not like buying a new tv that you love on the living room wall. When it turns out the problem is elsewhere other than the 1 percent of renewed roof the nicest of people will throw all kinds of abuse at you. Gonna get rogue traders, take you to court, heard it all. There are the odd occasions that we would be at fault but as any reasonable person would understand there was a reason the initial repair was required. Your roof is old so at some point, might be 1 day, 1 month, a year or even 10 years you will have another problem, it's called maintenance. There's usually a reason you opted for a repair over a new roof, finances!! So the thought of shelling out more dead money 1 year later is not what anyone needs so this is the very reason certain trades are untrusted because of complaints which are mostly nothing more than people annoyed at spending money. All complex trades have the same untrusted reputation, car garages!! Car sales!! Because of the amount of potential problems you can have on an old car at any point, same with an old roof. Please be reasonable and I'm sure your tradesmen will be.
Guy - 3-Nov-16 @ 4:30 PM
Hi,my mum and dad are both elderly and a roofing company came to them and told them that the roof needed replaced,mum agreed. One weeks work turned into four weeks as the company always disappeared for days on end or went golfing! The company didn't stick to agreement and still charged £5000. The roof is leeking and unfinished work,have contacted company but they avoid. They got cash off my parents . Any advice ?
sam - 15-Mar-16 @ 7:55 PM
There's a big roofing company near me (which I won't name) that do domestic and commercial work, large jobs and small. Been around for years. I was checking them out while looking for someone to fix my roof but they have no reviews online, good or bad. Not one. No mention in any forums either. I took this as a good sign. Pro Build however get several glowing reviews on this page alone... and it's not even a review site! This certainly isn't the place I'd head to if I wanted to leave feedback on a builder. Hmmm.... is that a rat I smell?? Remember that the best builders rely on word of mouth. The ones that resort to shady tactics are best kept at the end of a very long bargepole.
nforne - 24-Feb-16 @ 7:36 PM
That guy should never have been allowed to just start ripping roof apart Tash? surely the idea is to come out check but not carry out any work until an agreement can be met? Surely That alan co roofing can be taken to court for that
drew - 9-Feb-16 @ 1:47 PM
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