There’s a lot of talk these days about unscrupulous roofing contractors taking advantage of unsuspecting homeowners who’s only desire is to repair or replace what can be a large ticket item on their home. Unfortunately, many of these ‘tail light’ contractors, a term coined to denote that last thing you see as they drive way forever, actually get away with their scams. And if they don’t leave town with your hard earned dough, the end product tends to leave, shall we say, a lot to be desired.

So how do you identify whether you’re dealing with a pro or a dud? Here are some tell-tale signs not commonly discussed that can tip you off regarding the integrity and ability of the roofer standing in front of you

Speed Kills (Your Pocket Book)

Stop us if you’ve seen this before: a contractor comes to your home, gives your roof a walk around, the quick once-over, then retires to their truck to write up an estimate and is back in front of you after 5 minutes asking you to sign on the dotted line.

If this seems a little odd, that’s because it is. Ask yourself how a contractor can make a valuable, comprehensive assessment about what is in your best interest within 10-15 minutes. I mean, did they even get on your roof? (often the answer is ‘no’)

It’s kind of big deal to actually inspect the roof, take pictures (or even a video) of the damage and share that information with you - it is your home after all! A professional contractor is going to take the intelligence they’ve gathered, head back to the office and make a critical assessment of what roofing system makes the most sense for you and you home. This can take as long as 48hrs.

Beware of contractors who want to ‘rush’ the process, it’s usually a sign of a person/company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. It’s worth the wait to do it right, after all we are talking about an investment in your home of between $12,000 - $25,000.

Living In a Material World

A bi-product of our first point, the rush to get you to sign the deal, is poor workmanship and inferior materials. If they’re rushing through the assessment process, you can bet they’re rushing through the actual removal and installation of your new roof. These contractors use a hodgepodge of materials designed to maintain or improve their margins, instead of effectively protecting your home.

This type of roof in commonly known as a Frankenstein Roof - different materials from varying manufacturers that don’t necessarily work in harmony to provide a complete roofing system.

A true pro will use materials from a single manufacturer designed to work together to provide optimum protection and long life. The additional benefit of using a specific roofing system is that manufacturers require that contractors are certified to their standards of workmanship in order to offer these products, so you know you’re getting quality craftsmanship in addition to a solid roof system.

Relationships Matter

So, your new roof is on, the final paperwork has been delivered to you and you’ll never have to worry about your roof ever again, barring storm damage, right? If only this were true. But that statement is something ‘tail light contractors’ like to believe, probably so they can sleep at night.

The truth is, you could very well need to have your contractor come out and repair your roof down the road, or even fix a glitch with installation (it happens). If you’ve chosen the fly-by-night guys you’re in trouble. Like carpet baggers of old, they’ve likely packed up and moved on to the next group of unsuspecting homeowners in the next town.

When you choose an established pro, you have the peace of mind knowing that you can call on them after the job is done they’ll be there to help. It’s that simple. Looking up the contractor online, reading reviews, looking at Better Business Bureau ratings, and checking references or online reviews are all great ways of ensuring you aren’t staring at a contractor’s tail lights for the last time.

About Aspenmark Roofing & Solar

Aspenmark Roofing & Solar has been serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area with roofing maintenance and repairs since 2005. Our core business values are designed to provide you with an exceptional experience by delivering quality workmanship on every job. A GAF Master Elite contractor, Aspenmark is a multiple recipient of the GAF President’s Club and Triple Excellence awards. For more roofing tips visit our blog at