Contractor Q&A with J

Q: I like a roofing contractor and I’m considering using him but he’s asking for a down payment. What should I do?
A: Don’t do it! As soon as you hand over any money to the roofing contractor, you lose your greatest bargaining chip. The roofer and the crew want to get paid, and they should! But they should be paid once the job is finished and you are satisfied.

Let’s say your roof needs replaced and your insurance company issued a check for $10,000 to replace your roof. The roofing contractor says he will replace your roof for $9000 and cover your deductible but only if you pay up front. But to do that, he will create a phony ‘invoice’ for $10,000 just for your insurance company. Not only is this illegal but now you have to give up-front cash to somebody you know to be dishonest. If the roofer is willing to cheat your insurance company, he is certainly willing to cheat you too.

Q: But he is insisting on a down payment to cover the costs of materials?
A:If the roofing contractor asks for any money up front, you should hear sirens and see flashing warning signs. What they are really asking is, ‘Can you pay for the completion of one of my other roofing projects?”. All the reputable roofing companies have a line of credit to use at supply houses. If the roofer needs money up front for your job then it should really call into question the roofer’s credibility.

Never give a roofer any money until the job is finished and you are satisfied.


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