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Roofing Scams and How to Spot Them

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 27 Jun 2020 | 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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Please do not use Northern Roofing Group,run by Ashley Hamilton (also known as Richard Ashley Hamilton) - he talks the talk but does not deliver on good workmanship.Nothing but problems trying to fix the problems of a botched job at substantial cost.He claims to have ceased trading now - but beware he will set up again and ruin your property, with bad workmanship.Use a Safe Trader site to avoid a living nightmare.
TAKE NOTE TO AVOID A - 27-Jun-20 @ 11:18 AM
Beware - please go on line and look up scams.We were quoted a reasonable price of £1,200 which we agreed to, this escalated in to a figure of £12,000 ("worse case sinario".)Then dropped to £8,500 (not as bad as previously thought), they wanted £4,000 up front which I STUPIDLY paid (I will beat myself up for this for the rest of my days.)Then more good news, I only had to pay a further £1,400 on top of the £4,000. After a really heated conversation, this was dropped. There is no way we have had £4,000 worth of work done on our roof.We have comprehensive notes.(I am happy to provide/share) We also have another tradesman/roofer who is prepared to submit a report with contradictory evidence, proving false initial info and guidance.(Rotten wood in the top of your roof? Drone footage?Is the 'guage' incorrect? Therefore the whole roof needs attention.) I know people in the trade who are really 'concerned' with the work that was carried out.We only needed a few tiles sorted out. BEYOND ANGRY!
Angry - 26-May-20 @ 2:37 AM
Beware - please go on line and look up scams.We were quoted a reasonable price of £1,200 which we agreed to, this escalated in to a figure of £12,000 ("worse case sinario".)Then dropped to £8,500 (not as bad as previously thought), they wanted £4,000 up front which I STUPIDLY paid (I will beat myself up for this for the rest of my days.)Then more good news, I only had to pay a further £1,400 on top of the £4,000. After a really heated conversation, this was dropped. There is no way we have had £4,000 worth of work done on our roof.We have comprehensive notes.(I am happy to provide/share) We also have another tradesman/roofer who is prepared to submit a report with contradictory evidence, proving false initial info and guidance.(Rotten wood in the top of your roof? Drone footage?Is the 'guage' incorrect? Therefore the whole roof needs attention.) I know people in the trade who are really 'concerned' with the work that was carried out.We only needed a few tiles sorted out. BEYOND ANGRY!
Angry - 26-May-20 @ 2:35 AM
Call a roofer today said 400 all in. I agreed as it was a good price. He then text me 1 hour later asking for payment via bank transfer! His website says pay after work, point this out to him and he said upfront payment, I said NO! DO NOT pay upfront as you don't know who they are. SCAM
Jb - 18-Feb-20 @ 12:23 AM
Feel so Stupid !! Got caught in the traditional way by two guys knocking on my door saying they could see a couple of tiles missing form my roof and they could easily fix it. Then went up to the roof and said it was in a terrible state.Actually it wasn't but I fell for it. Many thousands of pounds later and a complete new roof' the saidjob done'..I borrowed money to cover the cost of the work. Within 3 months they had to come back to fix it. A couple of years later the rain is coming in hard from the roof and they have come back6 times and still not fixed it!!I am not sure what to do...sue them? Get another roofer to take it on and make the original ones pay for it ? get them to fix it yet again? All on a brand newroof !!!
Susan Castillejo - 16-Feb-20 @ 9:07 AM
got also calledroofer checked on checker trade he cancelled night befor said-he could doit ina month-orturned up 7amclaimeded hed lost phone no meant to be a two day job wel worked in-total 5to6hoursemailed the bill on day two only thier half hour comeback lunch to clear uphetook rubbishbut still clearing up he alsomanageded to smash two plant potsthen proceeded to-phone my husband all day every hour orso nxt day day after this he turned up front door demanding his money cause he got to pay his-boy stillbilled for the full amount he bosteded itwas much easier and didnt have todo-so much workhe will be asking check a-trade to alter his rating
gullable - 24-Nov-19 @ 3:23 AM
I got a roofer to do some work on my flat roof he requested money for materials which i paid to his bank account. He is now saying his van has broken down and can not got to me i suggested that he hire a van but he avoiding this also offered to pick him up and material to get job done he avoiding this. Not sure what i need to do. Spoke to by bank for advice. See if i get any protection to fraud.
Richard Patel - 4-Nov-19 @ 10:39 AM
i had a full re roof done as i had a leak but also needed a new roof 8 wks later i still have the same leak and the roofer has been back 6 times and blamed everything but his work he has put flashing on that looks like sticky tape blamed the next door houses chimney stack now he is blaming the extension on the house next door i am at my wits end here and need some advice on how to proceed with this i think the roofer thinks oh single woman and she will be thick and not have a clue i have asked him to put lead flashing on to no avail
lindools - 24-Jun-19 @ 6:46 PM
I. THINK WE SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR OUR NEIHGBORS MORE LIKE BACK IN. DAYS. THAT WILL HELP
Paddy - 8-Jun-19 @ 3:50 PM
@GlP - never pay for work up front. Sorry to hear this. Gives the trade a bad name. The only thing your uncle can do is go through the police
Double D - 8-Jun-19 @ 3:48 PM
My elderly uncle just paid almost 30 grand to a supposed roofer up front who has since disappeared without a trace and left him with a hole in his ceiling that he made while inspecting the roof and put his foot through. :( Fraud teams at bank and police have been informed but no sure what they can do if anything.
Helen - 8-Jun-19 @ 3:46 PM
I manage 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
Dave - 8-Jun-19 @ 3:45 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.
Bri - 8-Jun-19 @ 3:42 PM
My mum (80) had arranged for a roofing company to come around and clean moss. £550 plus VAT. Whilst they were there they said her batons were rotten and felt too ...and would remove the roof ...make repairs and reinstate the roof. £8,500 plus VAT and could start immediately. She had the foresight to call me and I put a halt to it. I said I wanted a formal quote and they could just complete the moss removal. They were quite forceful about carrying out the work and nearly persuaded my mum to do it. They sent a quote plus a series of photos that looked like a flat roof which my mum doesn’t. They then added £800 for scaffolding too. I got a Checkatrade roofer to come around today and check what needed doing. He said the roof was fine but would benefit from extraction to remove the humid moisture in the loft. So something that would have cost my mum £10,400 didn’t need doing and she was lucky I was available to help as other more vulnerable people would have paid. What action can be taken against the initial company who stated the work needed carrying out when clearly, from today’s visit, it does not. Thanks...and relieved to have noticed the red warning flags of this type of business.
Cookie - 6-Apr-19 @ 9:09 PM
. The problem is that you don't find the fraud until they wont answer.
helen - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:52 AM
@GlP - never pay for work up front. Sorry to hear this. Gives the trade a bad name. The only thing your uncle can do is go through the police.
ERs - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:50 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:48 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:47 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:46 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:44 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:43 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:42 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:41 AM
Watch out for storm chasers. Knocking doors with tiles blown off frightening people into having new roof at extortionate rates
Loz - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:41 AM
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?
rose - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:33 AM
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
Walshy - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:32 AM
Does anyone recommend checkatrade of the tv. I need a roofer for refixing and resetting coping tiles
sha - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:31 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:30 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:29 AM
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 - 3-Jan-19 @ 11:29 AM
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