Did you know that if you hire a roofing company to do your roof and they don’t pay for the materials that they use to put on your new roof, the Roofing Supplier, where they purchase the materials, can put a lien against your house? This exact thing occurred last week, to someone in the Ridge Meadows area, and it was done by a local roofing company.
Here’s what happened: About 3-4 yrs ago, this “other company” did a roofing job for the customer. That customer’s roof ended up failing way before it’s time, so they called us to come and take a look. You see, the “other guy” had changed his number and refused to warranty the work, ignoring all attempts to fix anything. The customer couldn’t find the receipt either, which didn’t help, although any good company would have a record of the jobs they have completed and fixed it.
Anyway, this customer went to the bank to get the financing for us to now do the job, plus a few other things around his home. When he went into the bank he was told that there was a lien put on the home by the Roofing Supplier because that roofing company didn’t pay their bills! What a nightmare for the customer to go through. Long story short, to get the lien off of his house, he had to pay for all of the materials AGAIN, on top of paying for the new roof that had failed prematurely. My brother and I felt bad and did what we could to help out with the price of our quote but, in reality, this guy just paid for over 2 new roofs in the span of 4 years…
This happens all too often and the brand new companies that pop up with no back ground are usually, but no always, the culprits. We call them the “truck and ladder guys”, because that’s about all they have. The telltale signs of these “truck and ladder guys” are that they have no liability insurance, the price is usually a lot cheaper than the other quotes and they have trucks with no markings of any kind. They may have a decent website as that’s not hard to do. What they lack is a solid history of references and accolades to back them up. I’m not saying that this is always the case, but when we come across this kind of situation, it’s almost always the case.
We usually see 5-10 new “roofing companies” pop up, every year. Sometimes these new roofing companies aren’t new at all. Instead, they’ve gotten into financial trouble, haven’t paid their bills, so they simply change their roofing company’s name. This is especially easy to do if the roofing company you are dealing with isn’t incorporated (LTD.) It literally takes a few days to change your company’s name at the Government Agent Office. They then change the phone number/website and no one is the wiser for it!
Speaking of changing names, this is easiest to do if the company is a proprietorship. These roofing companies can and do avoid paying WCB, as well. Let me explain how… Let’s say Larry, Moe and Curly own the “3 Stooges Roofing Company”. They are all 1/3 owners and therefore, technically not employees. WCB now has no way to force them to pay and they are totally uninsured if something was to happen and they got hurt. WCB can show up to their job site and they can literally tell WCB to go pound sand! To make matters worse and to add insult to injury, they can sue you as the homeowner for their injury’s, should something happen. I know this sounds CRAZY, but it’s 100% true and happens everyday. Whonnock Roofing and Gutters LTD has been around for 41 years and we’ve seen it all and had to compete against it all too.
There is one thing out there to help protect you, as the consumer against any “fly by night” roofing companies and that is something called a stat dec which is short for “statue of declaration”. With this you can legally hold back 10% of the money you owe the contractor for 55 days. Within that time, the roofing contractor has to provide you with a statue of declaration. This piece of paper comes for a notary and it basically proves that the contractor has paid all of his labour and materials on your job. It costs around $30 and is well worth it if you don’t know the company or feel uneasy.
Please make sure that the roofing company you choose has been around for a while, has a great reputation and carries liability insurance, in case something like this arises. Make them PROVE the insurance to you before you sign a contract too.
Some due diligence and knowing what you can do, when collecting your quotes, can go a long way in protecting yourself from potential disaster.