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Common Mistakes Homeowners Make & How To Avoid Them

Posted February 29, 2016 by Jerry Becker
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Here are a few common mistakes homeowners make…

1. Cutting Corners

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is cutting corners when it comes to their roofs. This could be as simple as price-hunting for the lowest bidder, or as serious as allowing a contractor from a different line of work (window cleaner, landscaper, etc), without a roofing license, do you a “favor” by offering to blow the debris off your roof or make a small repair. Such a mistake could, and often does, cause long-term damage, shorten the life of your roof, and even put you and your family in financial peril.

Don’t misunderstand us; we’re not trying to be doomsday prophets. We just want you to learn from some of the pitfalls we’ve seen in our almost 40 years in the business.

Let’s start with the example of going with the lowest bidder for your roofing project. As a homeowner, many of the problems can be fixed simply and without major repercussion if you find a great deal. Washer/dryer old and broken? You shop the sales and get a new pair to last you the full life of the machine. Need new carpet? There are flooring liquidators with great prices, and you can be the judge of quality depending on how much wear and tear your family performs on the floors of your home. You have a roof leak? There is a neighbor down the street who installed his own roof last summer, and he can probably fix it for a deal. PAUSE HERE. Many of you are thinking, that doesn’t sound so bad. Why would that be a problem? This is where your roof becomes our roof.

2. Not Asking for Prior Work History

We’ve discussed it before- not all roofers are created equal. Quotes for a project can vary greatly depending on the quality of the materials the company uses, the amount of time they will spend on the project, and the length of time the repair or new roof will actually last once completed. Since a roof is not something the average homeowner knows a lot about or deals with on a daily basis, there is a lot of room for error. Ask questions of the contractor, do your research, ask them for references of homes they’ve worked on previously, and most importantly remember that you will get what you pay for.

The second question is “why do I need to have a licensed contractor do work on my roof”? This comes up way more often than we’d like. Homeowners don’t see the harm in allowing a contractor who is cleaning their gutters and windows to “cut them a deal” and just hop up on the roof to fix that one loose shingle or sweep out that valley debris while they’re already up on the ladder.

If that contractor is not licensed for roof work, it means plain and simply: they don’t know what they’re doing. They could cause way more harm than good. Broken tiles, holes in the roof, bad repairs that cause more leaks and damage to the inside of your home, and the even greater risk to both of you should that person fall or get injured without a license or insurance. That “favor” could cost you your home and livelihood should that person take you to court. The injured person and his family will almost always sue you for long term care and medical. We know firsthand, because it happened last year to a client of ours. He lost his $970K in court because he allowed his gardener to get up on his roof to blow leave off and fell.

Instead of asking a company, “what does your service cost”? Ask yourself instead, “what will the long term cost be to me if this doesn’t work out”?

3. Not Doing Research

If you ever have a question about a particular contractor, simply go the the Oregon State Contractors Board and search for a license number. The number should be well displayed on a vehicle, invoice, business card, etc. The search will also produce any other numbers that company was ever associated with. So even if they changed their number after a dispute, the truth is available to you. Try it with ours! CCB# 125208.

We care about our clients and their wellbeing. We are striving for long-last relationships with them, and even longer lasting roofs. Just another example of how your roof becomes our roof.

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