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Has your roofer sold out?

When your area is affected by a major hail or wind storm it seems like roofers start coming from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. You want to keep the work and the warranty local, so you look to your local phone book or Better Business Bureau and find a local company to look at your damaged roof.

To your surprise, a truck from this local company pulls up with temporary magnetic company signs and out of state license plates, or if the contractor has local license plates, you can simply tell he is not from around here.

What you don’t know: Ironically, the companies pushing the hardest for you to shop local, are not local anymore. The day after the hail storm an out of town storm chasing company used the same phone book and BBB listing to find that same contractor. This national storm chasing company has either bought into the local company, or completely bought it out. For the out of town contractor, this helps circumvent local licensing laws and builds instant credibility.

The management, the sales people, and the crews are all from out of state, and are using the local company’s name, advertising, and previous references. These storm chasers are extremely good at appearing local, but they rarely know the local code and permit laws. They will also dodge state revenue taxes by funneling the revenue out of state. When work slows down or a new storm hits elsewhere, the storm chasers will leave the local company with more problems than they can handle, or shut the company down completely.
How do you insure your local contractor is genuine? Ask for a letter of assurance from the people who actually registered the company with your Secretary of State. Make sure they have not sold their business, and are not receiving any compensation for leasing out their name or licenses. Have them put it in writing.

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