A little over ten years ago, if you needed to hire recommended roofing contractors, you would have to open Yellow Pages, and right there, in plain view, you would see plenty of recommended roofing contractors servicing your area. Today, Yellow Pages print editions are almost obsolete. In the past decade, it has lost close to 90% of its print adverts. Other methods of printed adverts, such as in local newspapers, have become the dinosaurs of the modern market place, and are still growing extinct. Today most homeowners looking for recommended roofing contractors turn to the Internet.
Does the ongoing shifts from Print to Digital advertising methods make finding a quality roofing contractor any easier?
At first, it may seem like the Internet has made it much faster and easier for homeowners all over to find a more significant number of roofing contractors. However, it has been noted that conventional online search engines such as Google and Bing have not delivered on the promise of helping homeowners find trusted and reliable roofing pros and differentiate them from fly-by-night scammers. The same is true for most online review sites.
Potential pitfalls when searching recommended roofing contractors on the Internet
Most roofing companies that come up at the first page of search results, often pay for this placement. This means that the top ranking in Google does not necessarily reflect the quality of the roofing contractors. Companies that appear at the top of the search page in a colored box labelled “ads”, are often the ones that paid for these placements in the search.
It is quite natural for recommended roofing contractors to write fake customer reviews on their own websites, or on Google. This means that you should be careful to take all reviews with a grain of salt and be ready to conduct further investigations.
A lot of online scammers, after realizing that their scams have been discovered, can easily close down their current shop, and open up new businesses under different names in the same town, and eventually repurchase their way to the top ranking on the Internet.
With the recent advent of online searches, most reputable roofing companies were not too quick to establish their websites, and a lot of scammers took advantage of this opportunity to buy up similar-sounding domain names and use related logos to pretend to be a well – established company. This practice is still alive today.
Tips to make sure that you get the right company for the job on the Internet
Look for a midsize, locally-owned and operated company. There are a lot of roofing companies pretending to be a locally owned, especially in residential metal roofing industry. These are large companies that are not owner-operated and often outsource contractors to do their work.
These substitutes get paid for performance, not by the hour, which means they will get paid for the number of square feet of roofing they install, so it is in their best interest to get the job done as fast as possible, with quality being a secondary concern to them.
It is therefore advisable to get a small owner-operated contractor since the owner is the best employee and really cares about the quality of the job.
Look for recommended roofing contractors that specialize in particular roofing materials that you are looking to install, and are evidently approved by the manufacturers to install the said products. AVOID the “we specialize in all” type contractors.
On the website of the recommended roofing contractors, look at pictures and the project details of their recent jobs. If you see a lot of photographs and well-detailed explanations of the completed projects, they have most likely been completed by this contractor. Scammers will typically buy one or two photos for their stock or steal one enticing picture from other sites to display as their own work.
Look for specific details on roof repair and installation implemented by the contractor that are related to your roof — for instance, chimney, valley, skylight, and from ceiling to wall flashing details. Scammers or the inexperienced roofers do not bother to go the extra mile to explain these specifics on their sites.
Once you find at least 3 recommended roofing contractors that you feel comfortable working with, contact them and make sure to request as many relevant references for your particular project in your area as they can provide.