Ask the right questions, avoid the risks
At Empire Exteriors we believe it’s important to protect yourself and your home before starting a roof repair, roof replacement or other roofing services.
According to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, in 2015 of the 1,600 complaints about home renovation services, 21% were about roofing companies.
When you need to hire a roofing company, asking the right questions will help you avoid things like scams, poor workmanship and legal liability for an injured worker. Protect yourself as a homeowner, before any work on the roof is started.
Do your research
Roofing contractors are not licensed by the government but, with a little research, you can find a reliable roofing contractor. Start by:
- always prefer local businesses, so that it is easier to verify references
- you can also check the Consumer Beware List for any complaints and charges against the roofing contractor
- also a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau for alerts or complaints made against the company (no record is good, means no complaints)
Get a quote
Ask for a quote. A quote is a written estimate that should include:
- a clear and complete description of the work to be done
- an itemized list of the cost for materials and labour
Something very important is to watch the quoting process. If the roofing contractor does quotes without even looking at your roof, that is a bad signal. Never hire someone who gives you a quote without a proper inspection, you are bound to get surprises when they are working.
As a homeowner and consumer, you can and should ask the roofing contractor about the business’s health and safety practices. You want to make sure that each person that will be up on your roof is trained to work safely and will be wearing proper protection equipment.
Do not hire a contractor who cannot confirm whether they WSIB registered or not. Since April 1, 2017 all roofing contractors must have a working at heights training card, which proves they’ve been trained to work safely at heights. Ask your contractor about it.
Currently, roofing workers must be:
- trained to work safely at heights
- trained in workplace-safety hazards
- protected at all times when working more than three metres (10 feet) above ground
Have a contract
You have rights under Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act. It covers home renovations and repairs, including roofing.
Ask about the manufacturer's warranty
At Empire Exteriors our manufacturer's warranty is backed by our suppliers and us. We stand behind our work. Improper installation affects the validity of your warranty. This is why we follow all procedures strictly and to the letter to ensure that your roof is long-lasting and protected with warranty if needed.
How to spot a scam
Here’s what you should watch out for and do to protect yourself:
- a professional contractor who says your roof is damaged and needs repair, always takes pictures and can show you the damage when asked. So, ask for the pictures.
- a professional contractor pays taxes. If a contractor offers tax-free deals, ask if he/she is giving you a receipt of payment or an invoice. These documents are your proof of payment for your materials and the work.
- your roofing contractor drops a quote in your mailbox without ever looking at your roof and talking to you.