Hiring unlicensed contractors

Ok people since i seem to find more and more people considering hiring people on the side to perform their roofing projects . I took the liberty of trying to educate the customer on only a few ( there are many more ) risks you take when you do that.

For example . Just type in your internet search " uninsured roofing contractors " and you will find many pages very similar to this one :


Many of this pages show the same descriptions of the most common risk described as follows :

[size=150]Many building and home owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofing contractors. Also, if a contractor is not properly insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property.[/size]

Ok accidents… well what could happen … mm well here are some samples of accidents i found very easily by typing " roofing accidents " :

plasteco.com/html/default_ac … ports.html
thompsons.law.co.uk/ntext/fa … idgend.htm
osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp … S&p_id=864

Ok well there will be still some people saying the following excuses :

  1. " We know this man for a while… he did my friends roof "

Let me say … If this person you hire on the side gets hurt … You dont think he will try to find someway of getting a compensation since he wont be able to work anymore and needs a way to make a living ??

  1. " There wont be any problem , He will give me a letter saying i am not responsible for any accident that may happen "

Will this letter even be legal ? , What about your home ? , what if he burns it down when he torches your flat roof ? , what if he causes an electrical fire with his power tools or cuts a wire ? Dont you think someone who is not legally binded to repair an extensive amount of your damaged property will try to “disappear”.

3 ) " He will give me a paper saying he will warranty my roof for 10 years "

Where would you find this person after such time . IF your roof even makes it that far . Even if you do … What are you going to do ?? … If it was done “under the table” there is a big probability you dont even have any legal rights … So now youre stuck with having to re-do your roof AGAIN … pay more for it and plus … repair all the damage to the interior of your home .

  1. " but he is $2,500 less then the licensed contractor who came out "


I am pretty sure the other roofing contractors here have a lot in mind they could add to this post … And maybe they will … Hope this will help some homeowners make up their mind who to hire …

Have a nice day


Well Q since these are used everyday this is what i say to the customers when these items are said:

  1. " We know this man for a while… he did my friends roof "

Let me say … If this person you hire on the side gets hurt … You dont think he will try to find someway of getting a compensation since he wont be able to work anymore and needs a way to make a living ??

Answer, I can understand why you would want him to do the scope of work needed but let me ask you something Mr. Smith when you called us to come out you were looking for what exactly? Was it a price so he is not ripping you off or you wanted a professional opnion? If it was a professional opinon why couldnt your friend give that to you? Then i say anyone can buy shingles and put them on a roof but what matters is how they are installed and i whip out my pitch book and show them my friends (and its named that) style of work. A bunch of hacked up roofs.

  1. " There wont be any problem , He will give me a letter saying i am not responsible for any accident that may happen "

ANswer, This is not a legal binding contract on many levels and to be honest if you broke your arm at my childs party and could not work you would be looking for something so you could pay your bills correct?

3 ) " He will give me a paper saying he will warranty my roof for 10 years "

Answer, I can respect them giving you a warranty paper that states 10 year warranty but let me ask you something. Have you checked this person out for things like is his or her phone number a cell phone or a land line? Do you know where he or she will be in 8 years because that is alot of time. And a warranty is only as good as the person behind that warranty that piece of paper is really only a fixture. If the person ddoes not have the means to repair the work he or she has done than that warranty is useless, wopuld you agree with me on that?

  1. " but he is $2,500 less then the licensed contractor who came out "

THis answer fixes it self. Ok i can see that he is 2500 dollars less than all of use. Lets see where that 2500 dollars lays. so the materials are lets say on a 25 square roof 4/12 2 layer tear with dims.

Materials are around 1700.00 we are all going to pay about the same on this

Labor 2000.00 now here could be a difference im using 10 skilled workes and he has 3 so it will take on average atleast 3 and 1/4 times longer to finish this project if this is a concern for your home to be disrupted

so we have 3700.00 so far do we agree on that.

Mis. expenses (permit and dump) 450
so we are at 4150.00 now i have not paid anything to me or my insurance.

overhead 1867.50 this cover things like warranty if needed i usualy dont use this one, insurance in case something happens to your home or someone gets hurt, salesman commission because he does not work for free, cell phones, advertising, health insurance, retirement plans, light bill gas bill both car and office and so on.

For a grand total of 6017.50 yes 240 a square and getting them everyday

Now with that you can see where that 2500 is at, in the labor portion he is paying his 3 or 4 guys alot less, do you want someone making 10 dollars an hour protecting your biggest investment? He does not have insurance incase something does happen to you home like someone falling threw the roof or a light fixture being broken, he does not care if your home is damaged, he also does not care about covering the warranty becuase he does not have the funds left from this roof to cover any damages that it wil incur if something fails like drywall, family heirlooms and so on not to mention the troubles to get him or her to complete the work ina professional maner and time.

Q you have to make apitch book like i have been telling you for over a year with pictures of hacked up work so you can show them. They think it will not happen to them but it can.

In closing that 2500.00 we were talking about: this will be fun and it always is,

2500 divide by 365 is 6.85 a day
that same 2500 after their so called 10 year warranty is only 69 cents a day to protect everything they have worked for and its less than a cup of coffee a day.
To take it even further lifetime of the roof lets say 28 years thats 25 cents a day.

Now please give me a honest answer to this question, is your investment in your home worth any or all the troubles that i have discussed with you worth lets say for even the first 10 years 68 cents per day?

If you are with a perosn that is solely on price alone you should have known this before you went this far by pre-qualifing them over the phone first, then you would have not sat there for nothing.

After i say all that 95% of the time the answer is no its not worth the trouble and the risk. Then you have them.

Thats my way of going about it. I have more but i dont want to type with stiches all day.

ANd i thought someone would post something else. Now my feelings are hurt.

you guys have pretty much summed it up.

I am building my presentation book like gt said and i cant beleive the amount of in fo there is out there this page is very informative for all homeowners

cityofsoutheuclid.com/buildi … actors.htm

Start keeping all those nasty repair photos that you see and name it the friends did my roof. The more information you bring to the table the more professional you will look. In addition to making a pitch book Q i would like to suggest a few things to add to your folder that you give the customer.

  1. Make sure you have the local codes for the city you are proposing to do the work in and include that in your pitch. No one else will do this and it will show how you are dedicated to following the proper instalation practices. Make sure it si fro the city you are in.

  2. Use your Accord form to your advantage, Promote them calling the insurance company to ensure proper insurance and that there is not a laps in coverage. Many will not do that. Make people feel warm and fuzzy inside.

  3. WHen pre qualifiying the customer ask them what type of roof they are looking to invest in. may it be tile shingles ( and what kind ask them) and make sure you have samples ready for them when you arive. Looking like you care about what they want goes along way. You will be the only one who asks this and you will stand out from the others.

  4. Kinda like number 2 but with a twist. I have been toying with bringin my laptop in and having a wireless internet card from sprint with me and going and checking builders licences right on the spot. Removes the un licenced people by proving them not to be legal. This can work for you and against you if you are not careful.

  5. Make sure that there is a copy of your insurance and licence in the folder along with references of jobs in the customers area. ALong with that make sure all the information for whatever they are needing is in there so they can make a decision if they do not want to close on the spot and most do not want to.

In final i have a few more ideas but well Im not going to post everything. Using the BBB will help a little along with 5 but im still toying around with 5 so not sure you want to use it just yet. Email me or we can chat over the phone. Either way have a good one.

Wasted my time today, I prequalified the customer, talked my big “unlicensed, uninsured” speech, went over everything step by step. 33 sq. 10/12 pitch, overlay, chopped up real good. I came in at $5775.00.

They went with the $2200.00 guy… :cry:

thats $67.00 a sq?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

The worst part was that they treated my like dirt, talked down their nose at me, acted like they were doing me a favor by bidding their roof. Bragged about everything, their cars, their house, everything. I so much wanted to tell them that my house is twice as big as theirs and costs twice as much, but humble little me just got in the truck and drove off.

WOW well i have no advise to combat 67 dollars a square. 160 yes 67 no. Altho i would have said well thats a major price difference. lets see why the prices are different. Oh yes i see where the difference is, for one the material will cost me 2500.00 so something must be wrong with this bid. It is just too low to even do let alone pay anyone. SO basically thhis guy is going to work on your home for practice. Please HELP ME UNDERSTAND why on earth knowing that the materials are going to cost more than the his bid. And to be honest with you here is what i pay for my materials and show him or her the price sheet that you get from your supplier. Now if you can help me understand how you could trust a company that either can not measure a jobs size or does not pay there employees or they must use the cheapest products out there, what exactly for 2200 dollars is this guy doing? Because it can not be a roof maybe a recover but still thats not even paying for labor really. You be the judge. I am sorry to have bothered you and hope your roofing project goes well. THank you for your time and have a great day.

I understand that explanation gt but like G said … [size=150]Some[/size] people when you are saying those words in their mind all they hear is :


and then when they hear the word dollars… their hearing suddenly catches the right frequency and they just hear the number .

Usually this people like for example this man i gave him an estimate … I educated him on ventilation and city requirements … spend all this time measuring his nicely cut up full of additions home … did some research with the city for and code updates … typed up a nice estimate document and a letter from us hoping to be the lucky ones to improve his home… Put it in a nice envelope drove all the way back to his house and gave it to him … called him a couple of times and still undecided… then now 2 years later !!!.. i go over and he just bought two bundles of shingles and nailed down a patch…!!! :mrgreen:

Has it leak?? i doubt it since this year we must have gotten about 1/2 inch of rain all year long !!!

Explaining works only with some people … other you better just stop wasting your time and try to sell them your leftover shingles i guess


Here’s the real kicker…

They will forever talk about how the low bidder ripped them of by not finishing the job (or even taking the downpayment and running) or hacking it to pieces, and they will talk about the other guy that tried to rip them off by charging too much. :frowning:

Besides, it’s just a roof, right? :frowning:

thats why i let them know before i come out that i am not by far the cheapest roofer. Kinda eliminates that stuff but i dont give up.

[quote=“AaronB.”]Here’s the real kicker…

They will forever talk about how the low bidder ripped them of by not finishing the job (or even taking the downpayment and running) or hacking it to pieces, and they will talk about the other guy that tried to rip them off by charging too much. :frowning:

Besides, it’s just a roof, right? :([/quote]

LMAO … Aaron i have actually had neighboors coming over to have me look their roof … i go and see is a 1 in 12 slope and tell them that the contractors that promised years of warranty for shingle are insane and dont know what they talking about …Notice the other post with the problems :

Anyways the guy was SOOO happy i told him on time… he was very gratefull … i told him whats the brand of shingles the contractor proposed ?? he said GAF … i told him well im certified by them so i know is wrong… but why dont we call GAF directly and ask them … Here use my cell phone !!

I gave him a quote he knew where i lived since we are so close … i educated him on everything … we had a few laughs and i was hoping to build a nice neighboor relationship besides the roofing job …

2 Weeks later … i hear the shingler going at it … Yup he STILL bought the shingles to save 1,500 dollars !!!

OMG I didnt knew if to cry , run and crash against the wall … or just plain shoot myself :mrgreen:

In general people are stupid. They never learn from their mistakes.

nice thread. I’ve dabbled in vinyl siding.I’m average speed for expert quality an I know it by working near some great guys. I once went to estimate a six family three story house, 75 squares, 75 five bend windows (mouldings on outside edge), a labyrinth of wiring to and from the house, and I was young AND stupid. My price was 26,000 and he told me that he got an estimate for 18,000.

9 months later, he called me. He said the guy took a ten thousand dollar deposit, did the first floor, then took off. He said that everyone (authorities) he contacted told him he was SOOL. I was outsold, admittedly by the homeowner on the basis of age, and price. So I come again to reevaluate the new situation…one third of squarage IS done, but its also the easiest third. I tell him that NOW my price is $18000 to finish. This idiot has the balls to tell me now that he’s got some other guy for $14000. I explained that he’d told me this story last time and he got burned and thats why im non-negotiable. He called me 3 months later for a 3rd estimate and I told him my estimate for him was going to be $750 because he abused me. Don’t know what happened of him, never talked to him again. I imagine he payed far more than the estimate of the nightmare my experience led me to believe I was entering the first time I saw it.

This guy got what he deserved and gives me a laugh daily to this day (7 years later). He feeds me inspiration to say what I know is right and no less. Him and many others. This is just one that sticks out because it was repeated stupidness.

Like i said people are in general stupid when it comes to these things. Sell or be sold. If you can not point them in the right direction and get them to understand then it is a waste of time.

I have an addition to this post. THere was a homeowner in Chicago who has one of a gambrel kinda of style roof where the houses are about 4 feet apart. He went with an unlicensed contractor to say a few bucks. well it is 15sq and he gave him a price of 5200. The contractor came out tore off ruined both neighbors landscaping and was hauling out the trash one p/u truck at a time. The roof needed to be resheeted so he installed 3/8 plywood which by the way with the new sale price is 3 dollars more a sheet then 7/16 OSB. No felt was installed by the way and they flooded the entire house. I gave him a price to finish the job and make sure it was water tight and sold the job. He asked what my price would be and I told him about 7600. Now that is 2400 dollars extra and I explained to him my 10 year warranty. Now for an extra 20 dollars a month he doesnt have to worry about the tore off on the ground, the house being flooded and him having an excellently installed 30 year roof. And he admitted that 20 dollars a month was worth just the piece of mind.

Ski, are you licensed in Illinois?

No I am not but I do alot of sub work for an illinois contractor and he is just going to be the general on this one

Can you be a sub in illinois without a license ??

I know here you cannot

You are required to be licensed in Illinois if you are contracting roofing. Sub contracting is also contracting. The only way to get around it is to be an employee. $1,000.00 per offense. Each day is treated as a separate offense.

You can only sub to licensed contractors for roofing here.