How Roofing Contractors Cut Corners: What Homeowners NEED to Know

January 18, 2022

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Whenever you hire a company to perform work on your home, you want that company to do quality work at a reasonable price. While this may seem like an obvious statement, the unfortunate truth is that many companies cut corners in order to make more money and win more jobs. That’s why it’s so important to choose your roofer carefully before choosing them to perform any work on your home or business. We will discuss some of the most common ways roofers cut corners, and what you can do as the homeowner to minimize the damage from these corner-cutting practices. Roofing contractors are not all truthful and it’s important to learn how to spot when a contractor may be trying to cut corners with their roofing services.

roofers completing job

Why They Do It

Not all roofing companies are created equal. In fact, there are many unscrupulous operators out there who will save every penny they can by cutting corners and using cheaper products—knowingly or not—to get your project done quickly. One of those corners is shingle selection. While quality plays a huge role in how long a roof lasts, you don’t want an unskilled contractor choosing your shingles. Just because a label says something about quality doesn’t mean it was manufactured with even basic quality control standards.

When choosing a roofing company, ask them what kind of shingles they use. This will help you avoid using an unskilled contractor. Next, ask for samples so you can see and feel them for yourself before signing a contract.

Home Advisor states that the average cost to replace a roof is $8,569. That’s a lot of money and a small change like shingles used could save the contractor thousands of dollars, but at the home owners expense. Your choice to pay a little more will often be worth it in longevity and quality.

How Can I Protect Myself?

If you want to hire a professional roofer, it’s vital that you know what to look for in an estimate. Here are some factors that should be considered when calculating how much your roofing project will cost.

It’s important that your roofing contractor tells you about all of these costs before work begins. Any additional fees should be detailed in a written contract, so you and your contractor can communicate clearly about expectations. Ultimately, as with any major home project, it’s up to you how much quality you want—and how much you want to pay for it. If a bargain price seems too good to be true, then most likely it is. Keep reading to see ways how roofing contractors cut corners.

local roofing project

Using Fewer Nails

Contrary to what you might expect, many roofing contractors will actually try and reduce their costs by not using enough nails. They might also use shoddy materials that won’t hold up for more than a few years.

While contractors might be more interested in getting your roof done quickly than doing a great job, there are many things you can do to ensure that you aren’t being scammed. If a contractor offers you a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of quotes for work that takes less time or cost less money than average.

If a contractor uses fewer nails than average, you should ask them to explain how they expect it to hold up. Will it be covered by warranty? Be sure that you have solid answers before signing any contracts and making payments.

Using Lower Quality Materials

A common shortcut in construction is using lower quality materials. Contractors often opt for cheaper, thinner shingles when they install roofs and skimp on insulation, which means higher energy bills down the road. Homeowners may not notice right away that their contractor has used these shortcuts, but they’ll start to notice once their energy bill creeps up each month. It’s important for homeowners to know what corner cutting looks like so they can spot it before it ruins their wallet.

One of the biggest signs that a contractor is cutting corners is by using lower quality materials. Rather than installing quality wood, they’ll install general plywood, which isn’t as sturdy and won’t last as long. Plywood expands and contracts with temperature changes much more, meaning it will warp or split. This can lead to structural issues in your home if not corrected immediately after installation.

roofing using asphalt shingle materials

Mismatching Materials

Some roofing materials are much more resistant to wear and tear than others. If you live in an area with extreme weather, such as strong winds or hail, use a material that’s known for its durability. It’s important to have a long-lasting roof that doesn’t need any touch ups once it’s been installed.

It’s also a good idea to confirm that any roofing material you choose can be installed on your specific type of roof. That means if you have a tile roof, make sure any shingles or other materials you choose are designed for tiles. If not, they could cause damage over time and shorten your roof’s lifespan.

In addition, you’ll want to be sure that any shingles or materials you choose have been engineered to resist any weather conditions your area might experience. If hail is a common occurrence in your area, it’s a good idea to opt for a material that’s known for its durability and resistance.

What Happens When You Don’t Notice?

When you hire a roofing contractor, you entrust your home’s biggest structure and most important asset to someone else. Whether you live in a pre-existing structure or recently built your dream home, it is important that you trust that person.

But what happens when you hire a contractor and something goes wrong? While things can certainly go awry, there are warning signs that could help you determine if your roofer cut corners during your home’s construction. If you notice these telltale warning signs of shoddy workmanship, or notice strange changes occurring around your home after roofing work has been completed, it is crucial that you address them quickly so they don’t escalate into bigger problems later on. 

If a problem does escalate, then call a professional before problems become more serious—the longer they go unaddressed, the more it will cost you in both time and money down the road! Some of these issues include shingles curling up or warping over time, areas where shingles are bubbling up, water seeping into your home through walls or eaves during rainstorms, and much more. Make sure you have a trustworthy roofer that won’t cut corners. It’ll save you a lot of time and money down the road.

Trust our team at The Cranston Roofers to give you the the down-low on shady roofers. We’ve encountered quite a few in our day so we’re passionate about helping homeowners learn how to spot the warning signs.

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