On a recent sales call, Wes Turner of Contender Roofing was speaking to a homeowner experiencing a very common problem. His insurance company had informed him that he would need to replace his 15-year-old roof. And with no real damage other than normal wear and tear, there would be no insurance money to cover the cost.
“We run into this a lot,” Wes said. “Insurance companies have been hit with so many claims over the last 15 to 20 years that they've been cracking down on older roofs.”
According to Wes - who along with his partner, Justin Lafavers, owns the company - many roofing companies require a 50% down payment to start the work. And when you're talking about a roof that can cost $20,000 or more, it's a lot of money to come up with on the spot. This was one of those circumstances.
“That's why one of the things we do is we don't require money upfront on a roof that's $30,000 or less, which covers most homes in Central Florida,” he said. “By not taking a down payment, it's easier for the customer to trust us because they don't get billed until the project is done.”
An additional benefit, according to Wes, is that it allows them to get more referrals from real estate agents.
“If somebody’s selling their house and they don't have the money for a new roof, it can make the home harder to sell because the buyer is going to need homeowners’ insurance,” he said. “And you can't get insurance with an old roof. So the seller is responsible for it and they probably won't have the money to pay for it until after the sale closes.”
Because Contender Roofing is a smaller company compared to many of their competitors, there are several advantages for their customers, the most important being the ability to deliver personal service.
“I know every company will tell you that service is what separates them from the competition,” Wes said. “With us, though, we're not trying to do 10 roofs every week, So there are a lot of things that we do that bigger companies can't.”
For example, during a recent roof installation, a circuit breaker flipped and turned off the air conditioning to the entire home. Because they didn't immediately know what tripped the breaker, they had to call in an HVAC contractor to assess the situation and make sure it was safe.
“So to keep the house cool for the homeowners, we brought a portable unit in until the AC guy could come out. Fortunately, it was as easy as flipping the circuit breaker back on, but you can never be too careful with the electrical."
Another area where their service comes in handy is during the permitting process, which can sometimes take up to two weeks once the paperwork has been submitted.
“It speeds up the process if you take the forms to the permitting office and are willing to sit and wait. If you're doing 8 to 10 roofs a week, there is no way you can do that for your customers. But we are more than happy to wait around if we get our permits faster!”
For more information, visit contenderroofing.com or call (407) 619-0556.