*** This was written before China delivered a very successful biological attack by sending their lab created virus here. They did a lot of damage without firing a shot. China is not our friend.***. The economy is booming. Record growth. Soaring stock market. Lowest unemployment rate in decades for all demographics. Jobs, manufacturing, consumer confidence, optimism is high.
The construction industry is surging and so is the roofing industry. Many established roofers have told me they anticipate their best year ever. I know a guy who is 1-1/2 years out and isn’t even bidding anymore. You see company trucks on the road and they all have ‘We’re Hiring’ signs on the tailgates. All roofers are slammed, especially the good ones. That’s the good news.
Now, the bad news. Years ago, during the downturn, scores of roofers left the roofing industry and got new jobs. Most lived paycheck to paycheck and had to survive so they sought employment in whatever industry was available. Many of these workers are like Chameleons. They take whatever job they can find. Survival. They are no longer in the roofing industry.
Now that all roofers are hiring they are discovering that experienced, qualified, professional, competent, reliable roofers are almost impossible to find. There are roofing companies that are walking up to roofers on job sites and attempting to lure them away from their present employer and join their firm. Experienced roofers are walking into offices and instead of accepting hourly or piece-work wages they’re demanding 300$ dollars a day. If it’s refused they just go to the next roofer on the list. True story. Thus, roofing companies have no choice and are forced to hire unskilled, green employees - many with minimal or zero roofing experience and putting them in the mix. What will inevitably happen is even a higher degree of shoddy workmanship, leaky roofs, code violations, conflicts between homeowners and roofers, lawsuits, etc. ORC will see a surge in work as will the various courts, CCB mediation folks and construction defect lawyers.
If you are getting bids for a new roof I advise the following :
1) Ask if roofers are employees or subcontractors.
2) Ask if roofers are paid hourly / salary or piecework.
3) Ask if company has qualified lead roofers and/or legitimate quality control.
4) Ask how long your potential roofing crew has been with the company.
By asking these questions you are significantly reducing the possibility of headaches and a bad roof job. In our opinion there are maybe 20 - 25 really good roofers out there. After that it’s the Wild West. A grab bag. Be careful and do your homework!
Sometimes when we discover yet another shoddy cowboy installation the 'roofer' will make desperate attempts to discredit or negate our inspection. Things like, " If you break the seal on the shingles the seal is damaged! ". Not true, After a few warm days they will reseal. Or this one, " If anyone tampers with my install my labor warranty becomes void! ". Not true again. I'm not tampering I am viewing. There is no law or statute that says a homeowner cannot have their roof inspected. Here is one of my favorites, " You're picking my work apart ". No, I am simply exposing your egregious malfeasance and lousy workmanship. You got caught. It's not my fault you're a ripoff roofer.