Buyer Beware: Bad Roofers

By Ken Kalthoff and NBCDFW.com
|  Thursday, Jun 23, 2011  |  Updated 6:56 PM CDT
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More than 300,000 North Texas homes suffered roof damage after spring hail storms, and the Better Business Bureau says homeowners should beware of bad contractors.

Ken Kalthoff, NBCDFW.com

More than 300,000 North Texas homes suffered roof damage after spring hail storms, and the Better Business Bureau says homeowners should beware of bad contractors.

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Spring storms have cause tremendous roof damage in North Texas this year.

More than 300,000 North Texas homes were struck with hail 1-3/4 inches or larger in May according to the Insurance Council of Texas.

Inquiries about roofing contractors in April and May were up 150 percent compared to the same time last year at The Dallas Better Business Bureau.
 
“It’s an expensive repair. You want it done right. There’s a lot of companies vying for your business,” said Dallas BBB spokesperson Jeanette Kopko.

Seventeen North Texas roofers are listed with a failing “F” grade from the BBB for unanswered complaints and other consumer problems.

“In Texas there’s not a competency license required for roofers so anyone can start up a roofing business,” said Kopko.

Carrollton homeowner Bob Fishburn hired one of those contractors for a $950 patio roof repair last year.

“When it rained and it was still leaking I called them back five times. They set up three different appointments, never showed up.”

He said he heard about the contractor through his church and paid for the work before he checked the company out.

“That’s what I wish I would have done. Now I’ve learned my lesson,” said Fishburn.

One of the hardest hit areas of North Texas is Irving where resident Melvin Malone said many contractors have been knocking on his door to replace his roof.

“Yeah, every day, every day. And when you didn’t see them, you had mail on the door,” said Malone.

His roof was replaced Thursday by Levi Contractors, which has no complaints listed with the BBB.

Company owner Roger Kapp said he told Malone not to pay unless he is satisfied with the work.

“I ask him for nothing down, no money. When I finish the job, if he’s not satisfied, he can just tell me, Roger I want you to finish this area or this area,” said Kapp.

After crawling into his attic, Malone did find weak roof decking already covered with new shingles, which Kapp agreed to replace.

“I think my customer service would actually win out on some of the other competition that we have,” said Kapp.

Here are some tips from the BBB for consumers:

  • Get more than one bid to compare contractors
  • Check references on past work
  • Make sure you understand the contract


Be cautious about:

  • High pressure tactics
  • Out of town contractors
  • Promises to do work with no deductible.


Kopko said roofing deals to avoiding paying insurance deductibles could be insurance fraud.

Customers can research and file complaints against contractors at bbb.org.

Consumers can also file complaints against contractors with the Texas Attorney General by clicking
oag.state.tx.us/consumer/index.shtml.

The agency Thursday announced a lawsuit against a Houston roofing contractor that also operates in North Texas.

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