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When Selecting a Roofer, BBB Rating May Not Be Enough

Picture this scenario: You need a roof repair in a hurry, but knowing the potential consequences of hiring a roofer without checking out his credentials first, you go straight to your Better Business Bureau and select a roofing contractor with an A + rating with the BBB. Then you sit back and trust that the roofing job will be performed to the level of that perfect clean slate.

Not so fast! As residents in El Paso, Texas recently discovered, a flawless Better Business Bureau rating does not guarantee you will not be scammed by a roofer. There, a company operating by the name of Diamond Roofing has recently been accused of "doing sloppy work and taking too long on the job despite having an A + rating with the BBB," KFox News reported. The multiple complaints ran the gamut of leaks springing in the roofs after the roofing company claimed to have fixed it to Diamond Roofing jobs failing city inspections.

How has El Paso responded to this unexpected failure in the BBB ranking system? KFox News reported that it "has placed a hold on any further permits for the [roofing] contractor, which means it's not allowed to work on any projects" … for the time being anyway. A city official pointed out, however, that "residents could avoid many issues with [roofing] contractors by becoming more involved in the project."

Checking out the roofer's Better Business Bureau track record is just one phase in that overall involvement. El Paso's development services deputy director also recommended that homeowners should investigate to see if the roofing company is registered in the city in which the work is to be performed. Although out-of-area roofing contractors may very well be reputable, residents can not fall back on their city officials for recourse if something goes askew.

The official also advised homeowners to investigate a roofer's track record for inspections. Ask and find out the answers to these questions: Did city inspections on finished jobs go smoothly? Did any of the roofing contractor's prior inspections fail?

Where can homeowners turn to unforgettable this information? An Internet search on the roofing company or roofer's name is a good start. Individuals who've been disappointed with a business transaction usually love to talk about it-and their revenge tactics can be your saving grace.

Tom Silva of This Old House also has some sage advice when hiring any type of home contractor-roofing or otherwise: "Get recommendations." The feedback that earns a company a Better Business Bureau A + rating comes from sources the homeowner probably does not know. It's easier to trust a referral from someone within your inner circle than it is a virtual stranger.

You can expect a family member, friend, or acquaintance to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly on their roofing experience. Even if their overall final impression of the work done was a positive one, chances are something along the way either made them question their decision or prompted them to give themselves a pat on the back on a roofer selection well done. It's these nitty-gritty details that tell you the real story about a roofing contractor.

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