If you’re looking for a roofing company, you’re going to be presented with a lot of options. Many of these will be ‘man in the van’ roofers. These tradies are exactly as described – a roofer (who may or may not be qualified), with a van of equipment to repair your roof.

This might seem like a cheaper, more personalised option when it comes to roofing, however, many of these tradies are known to be under qualified, lack the appropriate licenses and cut corners.

Read on to find out how these tradies operate, and the difference between their services and that of a fully qualified roofing company.

Why they put you at risk.

Lack of transparency
Many ‘man in the van’ roofers lack the professional business strategies that qualified companies employ. Operating solely through word-of-mouth or Gumtree ads, the types of services they provide are often unclear. Furthermore, the lack of solid evidence of their qualifications could mean they are taking on jobs that they are not licensed to do.

Cutting corners
This puts you and your home at risk for a few reasons, the main being that they could end up damaging your roof more than fixing it. Temporary fixes are not the same as being able to identify serious structural problems and repair them to last the long haul.

Not insured
They also may not have the proper insurance necessary to carry out their work. This means that if they hurt themselves on your property, you could end up being held liable. Insurance is a tricky field to navigate, so having your roofer be completely upfront and honest about it is vital. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of when it comes to insurance claims, and paying compensation.

Do you have solar installed on your roof? If you’re hiring a ‘man in the van’ roofer for a roof restoration job, you may think your solar panels have nothing to do with it. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In many cases, your roofer will not be able to simply work around your panels but will need to remove and replace them to carry out the job.

You’re going to be hard pressed to find a ‘man in the van’ roofer who will also be licensed in solar installation. And it isn’t just a matter of taking them off and whacking them back on again. Your panels need to be placed in exactly the right position for them to collect the most light, and wire up correctly to avoid costly damage to your system. Simply put, if replaced in the wrong position; you could be losing money rather than making or saving it. Which is the whole reason you got solar in the first place!

How to spot an unreliable ‘man in the van’ roofer.

Payment – up-front or split
Many of these tradies will need to split their bills up, rather than allowing you to pay for the job in a lump sum. For example, in Queensland a roofer must hold a license to complete work over the cost of $3300, so splitting quotes up is a easy way to spot an unlicensed builder.

Some may even ask for payment before the job is done. They are often unable to work on credit because their business isn’t big enough to accommodate it and they might not have the right insurance to cover their losses if bad debts occur. This can be frustrating if they carry out a sub-par job and you have already paid them for their services.

Don’t abide by waiting periods
Often when hiring a roofing company, we may be a obliged to a waiting period before commencing work. Now a reputable company will not only abide by these waiting periods, they’ll openly tell you about them. So feel free to ask, but if you think you ‘man in the van’ roofer is being pushy or not telling you everything, proceed with caution.

Unclear job details
A ‘man in the van’ roofer often won’t fully explain to you the work that they are carrying out on your roof. Staying regularly informed is vital to your impression of how the job is going, and your lifestyle. Having someone poke around in your roof can be very invasive if you are unaware of when they’re going to be there, and how noisy the work they’re doing is. Constant communication is important so that you can enjoy your home life and organise your family while roof repairs are occurring.

So how do you choose the best roofing company?

Evidence of experience
A company with a professional website will provide you with a lot of valuable information. It will allow you to make an educated decision on whether a roofing company is suitable for your needs. Key things to look out for are examples of past work and client testimonials.

An office that you can call anytime
Having a physical office that you can visit or call at any time to make enquiries or gain professional advice is invaluable. If you need to change times of jobs or enquire about services, having someone readily available to talk to you is a guarantee of hassle-free service. No one likes chasing up calls for days!

Fully qualified team
Having a fully qualified team at your disposal will provide you with peace of mind. Roofers should also be licensed builders so that they can look at every inch of your roof and know what needs fixing. Replacing a roof is futile if the beams and overall structure are insecure, and a qualified builder will know how to spot this. Hiring a company who also have qualified electricians is even better because they will be able to safely and securely remove and replace your solar during a roofing job.

Use quality brands and provide warranties
A professional roofing company should always display what brands they use on their website. They will only utilise trusted brands that have been trialled and found to withstand harsh weather conditions. Furthermore, they’ll provide their customers with warranty for their products and offer credit payments as a sign of good will with their clients.

The Reno Saver Group are a team of fully qualified builders and electricians dedicated to personalised service and professional standards. They carry our roof restorations and replacements with no-fuss, reliable services. Contact Reno Saver today for a free inspection and quote to repair or replace your roof!

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