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6 Risks of Working with a Cheap Roofing Contractor

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Do you need your roof repaired or replaced? Are you considering an “inexpensive” offer from a roofing contractor? Before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to understand what you’re signing up for. 

An affordable estimate isn’t a bad thing! However, it’s important to remember that the contractor you hire is just as important as the products they use. While a roofer might say they install the same materials as their more expensive competitors, it doesn’t necessarily mean they provide the same quality of work. 

In our 30 years of experience, we’ve seen too many roofs fail well before their time just because they were originally installed with cheap methods and materials. Your roof is a big investment. Don’t put it in jeopardy just because you’re offered what seems like a good deal.

While hiring a cheap contractor doesn’t always mean you’re going to get a low-quality roof, there are definitely risks involved. This article will teach you the six risks to look out for when working with a cheap contractor to help you avoid wasting money on a roof that (probably) won’t last.

1. They Could Cut Corners

Just because a roofer offers you an affordable estimate doesn’t mean it’s actually a good deal. Going with a cheap roof can easily cost you far more than the original price.

A cheap roofer could cut corners to beat a quality roofer’s price. To do that, they can use cheaper materials that don’t perform as well or, even worse, they won’t install them properly.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways they’ll cut corners so you know what to watch out for:

  • They’ll bait-and-switch their customers with roofing materials. For example, they'll swap out the premium shingles you just bought for similar-looking, lower-grade shingles just to pocket a higher profit.

  • They’ll install too few nails per shingle. Manufacturers demand six nails per shingle to get the full warranty on their products, so anything less is inadequate. 

  • They’ll hire inexperienced installers who cost less to install your roof.

If you want to know exactly what your contractor is using on your roof, check your estimate! Read this article to learn more about what’s included in a roofing estimate.

2. They Might Reuse Old Flashing

Replacing metal flashing on your home's roof requires great skill. Not every roof is built the same. Some have unique roof-to-wall intersections and/or areas with sharp corners that are difficult to flash.

Flashing against the gutters of a home

A low-priced roofer won’t bring these tricky sections to your attention. Instead, they’ll reuse the flashing from your old roof. While this will save them from figuring out how to perfectly flash your new roof, you’ll be left with old flashing that’ll most likely last just a few more years.

3. You Risk Premature Roof Failure

A high-quality roof is an investment that requires quality labor and roofing materials. While these things cost more, low-quality materials and labor will affect the final quality of your roof.

For example, a cheap contractor might leave out vital roofing components during installation. If they fail to install something as important as an ice and water shield, your roof will be left extremely vulnerable to leaks and possibly premature failure.

a roofing contractor in raleigh installing an ice and water shield

That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re working with a contractor that uses high-quality materials and labor for your roof repairs and replacements. If you want to make sure your contractor uses both, we always recommend hiring local. Read this article to learn four more benefits that come with hiring a local roofing contractor.

4. You'll Pay More in the Long Run

With a project as expensive as a roof replacement, the last thing you want to do is shell out more money for extra repairs. That’s exactly what can happen when you hire a cheap roofing contractor, as the potential for early roof failure increases ten-fold.

For example, cheap shingles won’t stand up against severe storms. Poorly installed decking won’t provide long-lasting support for the weight of materials placed on top of it. These problems might not show up right away, but you’ll end up spending more money to repair them in the future.

5. Your Roof's Lifespan Will be Cut Short

If your contractor uses cheap materials, your roof’s lifespan will be cut short. Cheap materials aren’t designed to last like their higher-quality counterparts, so you could be due for a new roof much sooner than expected.

However, the quality of the materials isn’t the only thing that determines the lifespan of your roof. You can invest in the best materials but still choose a cheap contractor to install them. By doing this, you risk the use of cut corners and incorrect roofing techniques. When this happens, even the highest-quality materials are likely to fail before the end of their lifespan. 

If you want a roof that’ll last, you need to use both high-quality materials and labor. With years of successful roof repairs and replacements under their belt, seasoned contractors know the value of using both. Learn more about how hiring an experienced contractor can benefit your roof here.

6. You Risk the Safety of Your Property

If your contractor hires cheap subcontractors to install your roof, the safety of your property and personal items might be at risk. High-quality contractors go to great lengths to keep your property safe:

  • As workers clear and replace your roof, debris will fall onto your patio and deck. A quality contractor will help you move patio furniture, potted plants, and other valuables off to avoid damage.

  • While your contractor will try to keep their workspace neat and tidy, it’s likely that roof debris will fall on the ground surrounding your home. A quality roofer will sweep your property with a magnet to look for nails and other materials that might have fallen during your replacement.

If your contractor is using cheap labor, they might not take these steps to protect your home. They’re more likely to install your roof and move on to the next project as quickly as they can.

How Can You Find a High-Quality Roofer?

Now that we’ve gone over the risks of working with a cheap contractor, you’re better equipped to avoid hiring based on price alone.

But exactly how do you find a roofer that does the long-lasting work you’re looking for? If you shouldn’t hire a roofer just because they gave you an affordable deal, then what criteria should you look for?

To help you on your search, we put together a checklist of five tips you can follow to find the best contractor for your repair or replacement.

If you live in Raleigh and need help with your roof, consider us! On average, we work with over 900 homeowners per year who are looking for a high-quality roofing experience, just like you. If you want a free estimate or to learn more about our process, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below. We’d be happy to help.

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