Things to Look Out for Before Signing a Contract for Roofing in Ottawa
No matter how careful you are, sometimes bad things happen to good people. In the case of roofing, Ottawa homeowners may not even realize that roofing contractors have scammed them until it is too late. Unfortunately, there are people out there posing as roofers or dealing in shady business practices that prey on people who need roofing work done. Of course, not all contractors are trying to scam you – far from it! However, there are things you should look out for to spot a roofing scam.
Say for instance that a big storm has come through and damaged the roofing in Ottawa neighbourhoods. Later, you find a flyer on your door or a salesperson happens to be in your area to “assess the damage.” Then the salesperson uses aggressive sales techniques to rush you into a deposit on a new roof. Consider the following: first, most reputable roofing companies have clients booked up months in advance, and don’t typically canvas for business. Secondly, your roof may not even have damage in the first place (did you check to make sure first?). If the facts don’t add up, then it’s most likely a roofing scam.
The first thing you should do is your own roof inspection – while taking the necessary safety precautions, of course. Check to see if there is roof damage and where the damage has occurred. Then ask around for recommendations of reputable roofing contractors. A friend, neighbour, or family member would not likely refer you to a contractor unless they had faith in them. Doing your own research, including online reviews or roofing Ottawa listings from a Better Business Bureau can also help in your search. Once you have found a high-rated contractor, discuss the work they are going to do and what materials they will use. You should be wary if the contractor asks for payment before work is complete.
The next step is to sign a detailed contract for roofing Ottawa services. Most roofing contractors will tell you an estimated amount as they assess the roof, but ask for a written quote. If the price is too good to be true or the company only accepts cash, then you may want to re-consider. Sometimes jobs will take longer than projected to complete or incur additional charges, so keep a tally of these changes. According to the Consumer Protection Act of Canada, the final price for home renovations or repairs cannot be more than 10 per cent over the original estimate unless you have agreed upon new work or prices beforehand. Trust your instincts when it comes to hiring roofers. If you don’t feel comfortable with something, you are allowed to say no before you sign a contract, or to terminate the contract if it has been breached.