With the severe storms that have blown through the Denver and Front Range areas of Colorado, you may be in the unenviable position of looking to restoration services for repairs in the next few months. Whether you need a new roof installed or you have water damage that may require more immediate and extensive repairs thanks to the hail, snow, and ice moving through the area, it may be tempting to give in to the door-to-door salesmen pitching quick fixes for all of your storm-related problems. Unfortunately, some of the services being pitched are nothing more than false promises from low-budget contractors just looking to make a quick buck. In times like this, it pays to go with well-established professionals like All Phase Restoration. How, then, do you differentiate the legitimate professionals from those just looking to make some quick easy money?
In this two-part series, we wanted to break down some of the biggest red flags you should be on the lookout for in order to help you to tell who you can trust should disaster ever visit you. Part one of this series goes into depth about how to ensure that the contractor you choose to work with is legitimate and can provide the services you require of them. Part two examines some of the scams that even some legitimate businesses will take part in to get more money out of you than you agree to.
Part one of this series provides details on how to tell that the contractor you are hiring is capable of handling your business. Here are a few signs to look out for to ensure that the contractor you trust with your business is on the up-and-up:
Check Whether The Business is Legitimate
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not the contractor even provides a legitimate service. It isn’t hard for someone to impersonate a professional contractor if they show up with a few fancy brochures and look like a handyman. Anyone can show up at a house with a truck full of tools, materials and a ladder, so how do you know that they’re truly qualified to offer the services they provide? A common scam that seems to happen in neighborhoods with high numbers of senior citizens is for these fake contractors go door-to-door and offer a speech about how your home is in imminent danger and that they can get started on repairing the damage right away once you sign a few forms and put down a deposit. A few days pass by, the check is cashed, and you don’t hear from them ever again. How can you make sure that you aren’t the next victim of this sort of scam?
The first thing you should do is ensure that the company has the correct licenses and paperwork your local town or city government may require. At the very least, ensure that the contractor has a legitimate business license. If you aren’t sure how to find that sort of information, finding out whether a business is legitimate or a scam has become much easier thanks to the internet and creation of a variety of websites dedicated solely to company service reviews and scam alerts. If someone trying to offer you a new roof is representing a company that has fliers that don’t give you any contact information and you can’t find any mention of them online, it’s likely they’re not a legitimate contractor.
Another good rule of thumb is to stay away from any contractor using a P.O. box in place of a brick-and-mortar location. The most practical reason for this is that it ensures continuous customer service if something goes wrong with the project; a business with only a mailbox and no physical location may not be around if anything goes wrong.
Beware of “Storm Chasers”
Storm chasers are typically roofing contractors that travel in the wake of tragedies offering restoration solutions for problems that a disaster of some sort has caused your house. Traditionally these companies have focused on roofing repairs for homes that have undergone hail damage, but you may see similar companies pop up in areas that have undergone fires, earthquakes, severe flooding, or any other type of disaster. These companies will often offer their services for well below what established contractors in the area will charge, and often use very high-pressure sales tactics in their door-to-door sweeps to get you to commit to a contract then and there. The goal here is for you to put as much money as they can get out of you on the table as quickly as possible so they can perform work that is often well below the quality that they have promised before moving on to the next house.While not every storm chaser that provides restoration services in areas that have been affected by storms is a scammer, enough are that you should know what to look for to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off. Research the company thoroughly before signing anything to ensure that they are 1.) again, a legitimate business and 2.) that they are as qualified and talented as they claim to be.
Be Wary About Companies That Do Not Give You Time to Properly Assess Your Options
While this tip can help you to avoid scams that are trying to con you out of money with high-pressure sales pitches, it can also help you to deal with legitimate businesses with overly aggressive sales teams and serves as a nice bridge between parts one and two of this series. If you are confronted by someone at your door or on the phone trying to pressure you into anything — from a house inspection to a full contract for a roof repair — the best option at your disposal is to say you will get back in touch at a later date to give yourself some space to think.
Salesmen are great at keeping the ball rolling. Even something as innocent as letting them take a look at your roof to assess potential damage can from there snowball into a high-pressure sales pitch for repairs or a full replacement. Creating distance can help give you the moment you need to make the best decision for you.
If you tell a representative that you would like to hold off on making any decisions until you can get multiple quotes from different companies in the area and you are pushed to commit then and there, it may be because they know that they are not offering the best deal around, or because you are being pushed into paying for restorative work that your home does not need. Just like any other salesman, don’t allow yourself to get pushed into making a knee-jerk decision before you’ve had the chance to weigh other options.
How Do I Know Who I Should Trust?
Over almost two decades of service, All Phase Restoration has treated our customers with the utmost care and respect they deserve as they navigate some of the toughest situations of their lives — and they love us for it. Whether your needs are as common as roof repair after a hailstorm or as intense as restoring fire- and water-damaged homes back to their original condition, we encourage you to give us a call for an evaluation. You won’t be sorry for coming to the professionals. Contact us today!