Different Ways to be Ripped Off by Denver Roofing Contractors

denver roofing contractors

Engaging the services of Denver roofing contractors for difficult roofing work is not a straightforward undertaking. While most contractors are honest in their dealings, some roofers simply cannot be trusted. Knowing how to spot these dishonest contractors makes a difference between spending the right amount for the work required and losing hard-earned savings to unscrupulous contractors.

Using Shortcuts

Contractors can shorten the completion time of a project by saving on labor time through the use of shortcuts. Houses that are greatly damaged by hurricanes have poorly-secured roofing and substandard framing. The most common cause of shingles getting blown by strong winds is the inadequate use of fasteners. Shingles tend to buckle and eventually lift or separate when subjected to strong winds, which raises the risk of rainwater leakage. By skimping on the basics, roofing contractors manage to complete a project in record time while saving substantial money from the reduced number of materials and labor needed to finish the roof. The result is a poor and substandard work that is prone to all kinds of damage and disaster.

Baiting and Replacing

Dishonest contractors under a package contract with homeowner will intentionally wait until the project is well under way before advising their client that a certain product is no longer available, and offering a more expensive substitute or upgrade for the discontinued product.

Another common dishonest practice for roofing contractors is substituting low-end materials for the high-grade ones that were agreed upon. For instance, they could use galvanized nails instead of stainless steel nails in fastening cedar shingles. Distinguishing the difference between nails just by looking at the nail tops on the roof surface is difficult. Other contractors use sheet metal drip edge in place of aluminum drip edge, which most homeowners cannot easily distinguish.

Overpricing of Materials

Knowing the prices of the different materials that your contractor will be using on your house is advisable. Directly inquire from the suppliers the wholesale and retail prices of each item. If your contractor intends to add a markup on the prices, set a cap or limit in your contract to avoid overpaying for materials that could have been purchased at much-lower prices.

Skipping Preparations

Contractors can increase their profits and save on labor costs by skipping preparations. Roofing, painting jobs and wall/door installations are the more common works where violations of this kind are committed by dishonest contractors. Painters may skip on primer or paint only the newer seams. Roofers could apply substandard tar that dries out in a short time and fails to provide protection against leaks.

Labor Shortage in the Construction and Roofing Repair Industry

The supply of labor in the construction and roofing repair business is not constant. It has its peaks and troughs. There were times in the past when the industry saw enough trained labor to sustain its growth. These days, however, the industry is plagued by shortage of skilled labor.

The scarcity of trained workers pushed construction costs up as wages surge but drove quality down as contractors rush from one project to another because of heated demands for construction crews.

The labor shortfall could not have come at a worse time for the booming industry. Unemployment levels are down for construction-related trades. Construction spending figures from the Census Bureau show a high demand for new construction of private non-residential projects and apartments. These projects are in danger of being delayed or put on hold because of labor shortage.

In the roofing industry, the lack of manpower poses a big problem for contractors. Roofing business is doing well, but its growth is hindered by the construction industry-wide labor shortage. The entire country could be affected by an acute labor shortage, which would result to extreme competition for experienced roofers and skyrocketing wages.

An article from Roofing Contractor lists the reasons for the labor shortfall.

Why Construction Labor Declined

Fewer Union Apprentices. Union membership reached its peak in 1979 with around 21 million members. In 1954 union membership was at an all-time high of 35 percent. Since then membership in the private sector has continually declined. Overall union membership today stands at a low 11 percent. Unions normally institute training and apprenticeship programs. With declining union membership, worker training also went down.

Workers Left During Economic Slump. Many workers left the construction industry during an economic slowdown. They either retired altogether or changed careers. New entrants to the field have been slow because young people are not eager to enter the industry. For new workers, there is a scarcity of training programs to help them integrate into their new jobs. The past recession saw a generation or more of lost trained construction workers.

Decline in Vocational and Technical Education. Technical and vocational education was a feasible option for high school students few decades ago. With recent emphasis given to college education, funding that went to technical and vocational programs in the past shifted instead to programs for college preparation.

Immigration Policy Changes. Hispanic accounts for 33 percent of roofers today, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A substantial number of these workers are immigrants. Legal immigration for people entering jobs, including roofing, which is a skilled trade, has gradually become challenging.

How to Keep Yourself Updated with Roofing Costs

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Roof repair and replacement are some of the costliest investments you will make to your home. You cannot put them off because of the importance that roof plays on your comfort and safety.

You can make substantial savings from unnecessary charges by knowing the roofing costs and being updated on the expenses associated with roof repair and replacement. To keep yourself updated with roofing costs, you must first know the different expenses associated with roofing jobs.

Labor Costs

Roofers charge for their work based on “squares.” One “square” equals one 10 x 10-foot area of the roof that forms a square. The average residential house has around 22 to 26 of these squares on the roof.

For roof replacement, note that you have to remove the old roof first before you can install a new roof. Contractors will charge you for their services in removing the old roof. Of course, you have the option to lay a new roof over the old one, but the new roof’s lifespan will be shorter.

The pitch of the roof affects labor cost. The steeper the roof, the more expensive contractors’ services will be. Roofers have to use safety harness and equipment for pitched roof. Their work is also slower because they cannot walk on a steeped roof nor put construction materials on top.

Material Costs

Each type of roofing material is priced differently. Asphalt shingle is the most common type of roof material. It costs less than metal roofs, clay tiles and wooden shakes. Metal roofs could cost up to ten times more than asphalt shingles.

Aside from the material used for the roof itself, you also have to buy related parts, including vent covers, gutters, flashing and downspout. These items add to the total cost of roof repair.

Local Rules

Know what the local rules and regulations are affecting roof construction and repair. Your contractor should be familiar with the local codes. Roofing could prove costly if you are required to revise the work later to comply with local laws.

Other Cost Factors

Water damage to the roof could increase the cost of repair. This damage is often noticed only after the outer layer is removed. Working around skylights and chimneys also adds to labor and material costs.

Once you categorized and itemized the different factors affecting roofing costs, you can easily update yourself with the current prices. Go to your local material suppliers and ask for a quotation. You can also do online search for prices of materials. Large manufacturers maintain websites with useful information on prices. The same goes for legitimate contractors and roofers. You can now competently negotiate with contractors because you are aware of the expense components and updated on the current construction material prices.