Cowboys

It’s always a worry when you need someone to repair your roof.

Are they good enough to do the job?

Cowboy roofers leaving a heap of rubble after 'completing' the job.

Cowboy roofers leaving a heap of rubble after ‘completing’ the job.

Will they actually do it? (Or will they sit up there for three days having a smoke and come down with a £2000 bill and leave you still needing a roof repaired.)

Paul understands customers worries and has this to say about choosing a roofing contractor.

You get three types of roofers. Good, cowboys and thieves. Good roofers are honest and hard working. They’ll give you a fair quote and do the job to a good to excellent standard.

A Cowboy Roofer is someone who thinks or pretends he knows what he’s doing but the truth of the matter is he’s just winging it. These will almost always be cheaper but land you in a heap of trouble.

The third are the thieves. They actively set out to get your business with the intent to fleece you.

Below are some great tips on avoiding the cowboys and thieves

Be wary if:

  • a quote is significantly lower than others.
  • they aren’t VAT registered.
  • Will the roofer personally be carrying out the work or will he sub-contract?
  • you are asked to pay for materials separately from the job.
  • they come to the job in a van with no cat ladder.
    A professional roofer will always use a cat ladder to walk on the roof as this prevent tiles and slates from being broken.
  • they don’t offer a price and say we’ll discuss it at the end BE CAREFUL, this can end up being extortionate.
  • How comprehensive is his quotation? Does it include debris removal? Does he explain how he will protect existing fittings? Does he include a start date and expected duration?
  • A cowboy may knock on the door and tell you have slates out and offer to fix it. Don’t go for it.
  • Cowboys can come past in the night and leave a slate in the garden then come the morning drive past and knock on your door to tell you have a slate lying on the floor in the garden. they’ll ‘kindly’ offer to fix for you. At huge expense!
  • A good roofer will ALWAYS use a scaffold depending on the work required as work over a certain height legally requires scaffolding to meet health and safety regulations.
  • Always get three quotations – you don’t have to accept any. If you are unhappy, find more builders.
  • Don’t take membership of a trade association as a guarantee that he’s not a cowboy.
  • Always ask for references, ideally for a job similar to yours and if you have doubts, follow these references up. Don’t just take them at face value.
  • If someone comes round to give you a quote for a job, they must actually get up on the roof to have a good look – ladders and all. They cannot possibly know what the job entails if they simply stand outside, looking up.