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Make sure you’re 100 percent satisfied before you pay them in full': A roofing contractor explains h


COLLIN COUNTY, Texas —

Roofing companies lined the residential streets in Collin County Tuesday after Sunday’s powerful hail storm.

One homeowner off Stacy Road in Allen says 20 different companies rang his doorbell Monday.

Other homeowners left baskets with signs on their front porches, encouraging roofing companies to leave a business card.

“You don't have to sign a contract right away with a roofing contractor,” said Tommy Vieth of Lifetime Roofing of America.

Vieth has 30 years of experience in the roofing business. He encourages homeowners to be patient after a storm: Get your roof inspected and then decide whether or not to file an insurance claim. 

"You don’t want to get caught in that position where you get your roof done immediately and then all the sudden, a month later, you get another hail storm and it beats that brand new roof up," Vieth said. 

Vieth is speaking from decades of experience. You may be surprised to know that he does not have a roofing license. That's because the state of Texas doesn’t require one.

It’s something Vieth believes needs to change.

“Everyone needs to be licensed here, in my opinion," Vieth said.

Texas House Rep. Giovanni Capriglione wants to make big changes, too. The Southlake lawmaker proposed HB 2101, to "ensure vulnerable Texans don't get ripped off."

The statement he sent to WFAA reads:

Currently, in Texas, we have no consumer protections in law to guard against roofing fraud.  Across the state, we experience thunderstorms, hail storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes -- each with the ability to cause extensive property damage.  Even when a storm has passed, a threat persists for Texas homeowners, especially in communities with large elderly populations and those that have already been through major emotional distress.

Scammers, often from out of state, flock to recently storm-battered areas to take advantage of unsuspecting victims in need of fast repairs to protect their property.  Typically, the roof scammers offer desperate homeowners quick, cheap repairs for a high down payment, while giving incorrect contact information.  Once the homeowner completes the payment, the fraudulent roofer will leave after performing little, if any, of the necessary work.  The victim is out their money, still has a dangerous situation above their heads, and no way to contact the roofing scammer to hold them accountable.

HB 2101 requires a sensible regulatory framework for the re-roofing industry and puts into place basic consumer protections necessary to hold bad contractors accountable and ensure vulnerable Texans don't get ripped off.  The bill requires a mandatory registration of re-roofing contractors and provides consumers a searchable online database of registered re-roofers to verify that someone showing up at their door is one of the good guys.

HB 2101 was heard in the House Committee on Business & Industry last week, and was left pending.  I hope to have the bill voted out of committee in the next several days.

To stay protected, here are some tips homeowners should follow when approached by a roofing company:

Call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and check how long the roofing company has been in businessVerify that the roofing company has their own insuranceAsk for references and give them a call

Vieth said there’s one more thing homeowners can do to protect themselves.

“Until you’re 100 percent satisfied, don’t give that contractor full payment,” Vieth said. “Make sure you’re 100 percent satisfied before you pay them in full.”

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