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Cutting Costs: Hidden Risks of Hiring Cheap Roofing Companies

April 5, 2024 | 3 min. read

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You’ve received the news that you need a new roof. Let’s be realistic: purchasing a new roof is probably the last home improvement project anyone wants to tackle.

Roof replacements tend to be expensive. Depending on the materials you choose, they can range anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $24,000.

When there are things like family vacations, tuition, and hospital bills, no one really wants to splurge on a new roof. So you may want to cut some corners by choosing a cheaper contractor. However, if the price seems too good to be true – it probably is. 

Rescue My Roof has been serving the greater Milwaukee area for over a decade. Unfortunately, we’ve worked with many clients who go through the roofing process a second time after receiving a poor-quality roof. 

If you’re struggling with the idea of spending a ton of money on a roof, here is a list of reasons why you might want to consider not going with the cheapest option immediately. By the end of this article, you will know the best practices for proceeding with the right roofing contractor for the right price.

What Happens if You Work With A Cheap Contractor?

No one deserves the headache of poor workmanship on their roof. That is why Rescue My Roof is here to help you avoid contractors who won’t provide the quality you need to keep your home and family safe. Our goal is not to promote our roofing services – it is to provide the best education possible so that you get the best roof for your home. 

Here are some of the risks you should watch out for when hiring the cheapest roofing contractor:

1. Compromised Quality of Materials

Buckling asphalt shingles.

One of the first corners that low-cost roofing companies often cut is the quality of materials. Cheaper materials may not meet industry standards or may be less durable, leading to a shorter lifespan and increased susceptibility to damage from weather conditions like wind, rain, and snow.

Always ask what types of materials will be used for your roofing project and research their longevity and performance. Requesting samples or specifications can also provide insight into what you’re actually paying for.

2. Inadequate Workmanship

Shingles incorrectly installed in a roof valley.

Skill and experience come at a price. Roofing companies that offer significantly lower quotes often do so at the expense of skilled labor. This can result in poor installation, which might not only lead to leaks and structural damage but can also void material warranties.

Check the credentials and past work of the roofing company. Ask for references or case studies, and don’t hesitate to visit some of their completed projects. Also, ensure they provide a warranty on their workmanship.

3. Lack of Proper Licensing and Insurance

Another significant risk when hiring a less expensive roofing company is that they may not be properly licensed or insured. This poses a serious risk: without proper licensing, the quality and regulatory compliance of the work are not guaranteed, and without insurance, homeowners could be liable for any accidents or damage that occur during the project.

Verify the company’s licensing with your local or state licensing board and ask for proof of insurance, including liability and workers’ compensation. Additionally, you can ask for the company to provide copies of their certificates. This protects you in case of damage or injuries.

4. Unexpected Costs

Lower initial quotes can often be misleading. Unreliable companies might offer a low bid to secure the contract only to pile on additional charges as the work progresses, citing unforeseen complications or the need for additional materials.

Request a detailed quote or a contract that outlines all costs and potential additional fees. A fixed-price contract can offer more security, ensuring the final costs don’t exceed the initial quote without just cause.

5. Shortcuts and Non-Compliance

Cheap roofing might ignore local building codes or industry standards to cut costs, potentially leading to serious legal issues or fines later. Additionally, these shortcuts can jeopardize the safety and integrity of your roofing system.

Understand the roofing codes and standards applicable in your area. Ensure the roofing company pulls the necessary permits and requests inspection sign-offs, which can help ensure compliance with local regulations.

6. Poor Customer Service and Follow-Up

Low-cost roofing companies might not invest in quality customer service, which can be frustrating if issues arise post-installation. The lack of follow-up support or difficulty in claiming warranties can result in higher expenses and unaddressed roofing problems.

Look for companies that prioritize customer service, as evident from reviews or testimonials. A reputable company should be responsive and willing to address any post-installation concerns.

Weighing the True Cost of Cutting Corners on Roofing

While the allure of saving money is strong, the roof is not an area to skimp on. The risks associated with hiring a cheap roofing company—ranging from poor quality materials and workmanship to potential legal and financial liabilities—can convert what seems like an initial saving into a costly ordeal.

Investing in a reputable, reasonably priced roofing company is not only a wise financial decision but also an investment in your home’s future and safety. Choose wisely to protect your sanctuary for years to come.

Learn more about investing in a roof replacement with “10 Qualities to Look For In A Roofing Contractor” and “6 Most Common Roofing Problems (& How to Handle Them).”
Are you looking for roof replacement or repairs in southeastern Wisconsin? Rescue My Roof is a platinum-level certified Atlas Shingle installer. You can contact us today to get a free estimate.