Roofers know exactly when hail storms occur. After the storm they will descend on your neighborhood and do everything they can to get you to sign a contract. They use high-pressure sales tactics to get homeowners to sign a contract that isn’t in the homeowner’s best interest.
So what happens if you signed a roofing contract and now you want out? Perhaps it’s one of these “storm chasers” or you do a little research and discover they have a poor reputation. Either way, you want out. So what do you do?
If you change your mind within 72 hours of signing the contract in your home, just call and cancel. Sure the roofer may remind you that you signed a contract with them, but it is your right to break the deal within 72 hours. Make sure you cover all bases as contractors may not be honest about receiving your cancellation. Send an email because the date and time stamp in the header will offer proof of your cancellation. A certified letter sounds like overkill but may be necessary.
After 72 hours you lose your automatic right of recession and getting out of the contract will require some convincing on your part. Call the roofer and nicely ask to be let out of the contract. If that doesn’t work and the contractor is holding you hostage by threatening you with a cancellation fee or legal action, this is what you should do:
• You should call again and speak to the owner or manager. Ask the manager if he will cancel the deal. If not, tell them that you are going to be the pickiest, most difficult customer ever.
• You should then advise the contractor that you are going to hire an independent roof inspector to inspect their job, and that you will be expecting perfection. If the independent roof inspector finds anything wrong, the contractor will have to fix the problems and have the fee for the independent roof inspector taken out of the contractor’s pay.
• You should advise the contractor that after a long, painful process to get everything right, you are going to take forever to pay.
Normally at this point, even a bad contractor knows when to cut bait and look for an easier target.
If you have given the contractor any money as a down payment, you will have a very difficult time getting that money back. If you have to use the contractor, find a local independent roof inspector (not another roofer) to inspect their completed work. Make sure the roof passes city inspection and all details are fixed before paying the final balance. This way if the roofer won’t finish or fix problems you still have some insurance money remaining to hire someone else to finish the job right.
Above all else, do your research and take your time before you choose your roofing contractor. The insurance company gives you a year to have repairs completed. Don’t be pressured to sign anything! A good deal today will still be a good deal tomorrow.