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Don’t Let Them Practice On Your Home By Robbie Brown

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Don’t Let Them Practice On Your Home

By Robbie Brown

How true? I believe all of us, at one time or another, has experienced paying a so called professional for work that we are far from being satisfied with. Some have even fallen victim to home scams! Over the years as a consultant/builder/roofer, I spend more and more time trying to teach people “How not to get ripped off in Florida”.

So what steps can a home owner or business owner take to assure his or her selection of a contractor is the right selection? Here are some steps in the “right” direction.

1 Make sure your contractor is licensed. Check your local building departments, as well as the area office of the Department of Business Regulation. Ask to see the license. It should also be displayed on their truck and business card.

2 Get recommendations from family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Ask for referrals and check them out. Don’t be pressured into a hasty decision.

3 Do not pull your own permit, unless you do your own work. You are liable for code violations and imperfections in the work. You may never get the results you are after in this case.

4 Check for Workers Comp and Liability Insurances. Homeowner’s Insurance does not protect you from damages from poor workmanship, nor being sued if a worker is hurt. You can lose it all!!!

5 Find out their history. How long in business? Do they operate in other names? Check with local suppliers. Ask if they pay their bills and do they use quality products?

6 REMEMBER: CHEAPER IS NOT BETTER!!! LONG AFTER THE SWEETNESS OF LOW PRICE IS GONE, THE BITTERNESS OF POOR QUALITY REMAINS!!! Low bids indicate short cuts, cheap products, no permitting, no insurances, no good!!

7 Get detailed scope of work, with detailed product use. How long job will take? When will the job start and finish. Get iron-clad Warranties (Including Manufacturer Warranties). Get payment terms and contractor affidavits for release of lien. Compare apples to apples not apples to crab-apples.

8 Never sign a blank form or contract. Don’t even sign with blank spaces. Make sure the permit is pulled.

9 Never give large deposits. A confident contractor will ask for zero with a draw schedule. Do not pay in full until you get your contractor’s release and you are fully pleased with the job. All labor and materials paid or you pay twice. It happens all the time!! Don’t let it happen to you.

***MOST IMPORTANT: TAKE ACTION.  As a fourth generation Builder/Consultant/Roofer I’ve seen it all. I’ve fallen through a roof and off the roof. I’ve seen men not get up!! I have burnt my arm on the kettle as a teen and my grandpa said quit crying and keep working. I have also seen a man’s arm completely burned off due to poor supervision and negligence. Safety First!!! Make sure your contractor has supervision on site. If you have a complaint call me at (727) 768-3067.

You can write to: COMPLAINT ANALYST, Department of Business & Professional Regulation, 3725 West Grace Street, Suite 500, Tampa, Florida 33607-4800. Also you can contact the Consumer Affairs office, local building officials, licensing boards, and the Better Business Bureau. To report suspected price gouging call the Florida Attorney General Hot Line at (800) 329-6969. Please take action. It solves problems and stops the cancer of scams. 

Green Roofing Technologies’ Robby Brown is a 4th generation builder/roofer. A graduate of Hardin – Simmons University in Abilene, Texas he also is an under grad certified metallurgist from Certainium Alloys and Research in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his family have owned and operated businesses on the west coast of Florida for the past 50 years. Green Roofing Technologies has completed roofing installs for well known structures such as The Don Cesar, The Vinoy, The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and many high end residential homes. Robby may be reached at (727) 768.3067 or robbytheroofer@yahoo.com.

Copyright © 2011 REAL Magazine

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2 Responses to “Don’t Let Them Practice On Your Home By Robbie Brown”

  1. Great tips, it’s a shame there are so many “shody” contractors out there. I especially cringe at the thought of them targeting older folks and trying to scam them by charging them too much or spending half the time and materials they should on a job.

  2. R. Mckinney says:

    Wish I had read this sooner. My mother fell victim to one of these scams well over a year ago and paid over 5,000.00 to have her roof replaced. Fast forward to today; the scammers took all of her money and ran! Her roof is still in need of being replaced to the point shes having leaks and water damage inside her home. Who could/would do tjis to an elderly woman on a fixed income! This horrible company now has a class action law suit against them with 108 victims (sickening)! Thanks to companies and business men like you for helping us understand the right qiestions to ask before getting burned. Mr Brown you are thanked and appreciated by many.

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