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How to Pick a Reputable Roofer in Houston with Joel Patzke
Episode 231st May 2022 • Houston Roofer • Trueworks Roofing™
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In this episode, we discuss how to pick a reputable roofing company and a reputable roofer in Houston. Joel Patzke, Founder of Trueworks Roofing™ shares the questions you should ask and what you should look for when picking a Houston roofing company to work with.

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Transcripts

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are you considering investing in a new roof then?

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This podcast is for you.

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Welcome to the Houston ripper podcast, where we take a deep dive into the

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roofing industry and provide you with the latest industry trends.

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Interviews answer all of your roofing questions and provide a buyer's

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guide for your next roofing project so that you can be confident in

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the decision that you're making.

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Now here's your host.

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Hi, everyone.

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Welcome back to Houston roofer.

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And today I'm here with Joel and we are going to be talking about.

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How to pick a reputable roofing company because there's so

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many companies out there.

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And I think it's really important for consumers to have a clear understanding

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of what are some of the questions that they need to be asking and how do they

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really go about making the right decisions so that they can feel good about it,

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and they can get the best job done that they need, and they get their needs

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fulfilled for the type of exact roof that really makes sense for their budget.

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It makes sense for their home.

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It makes sense for their life.

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All of those things.

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So, Joel, I know that you are the perfect person to answer this, but

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you know, there's obviously like thousands of roofers out there and,

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you know, from a customer viewpoint, it can be really confusing because

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typically what they're going to do, they're going to go to Google.

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They're going to type in a key word.

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They're going to look for a roofing company.

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R maybe they saw someone driving a truck, whatever it happens to be.

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But I think that overall, when you look at every roofer website, a lot of

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the content it's going to be the same.

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It's going to be O free quote, and it's going to be some of the same stuff.

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So let's really take a deep dive into educating.

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You know, potential clients were in there in the market to either get their roof

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replaced or even something minor like roof repairs, or maybe they had storm damage.

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How do they go about picking a roofer that's reputable.

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So, you know, let's start with maybe what are some, some things

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that they really need to look for.

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Yeah.

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Thanks Denville.

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So this is obviously really important.

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This is going to be a quick episode, but we'll go through some really

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great tips on if you're in that buying decision or nearing there,

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it can be really overwhelming.

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So how do you do that?

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What are some things you can ask them?

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What are some things you need to make sure that they have?

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So to start off, there's certain states that require a license to be a roofer.

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If you live in one of those states, Obviously, I mean,

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that's really first priority.

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Number one, you want to make sure that they have their proper license,

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so that's going to protect you.

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And it's just a very important thing to do for us here in Texas.

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That that's not a requirement yet.

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We don't.

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Uh, official state licensing for roofing contractors, which it's not

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ideal for the client, in my opinion.

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Whereas in Florida or California, there's very strict requirements

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to then, and really hard test.

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And you know, there's a lot of vetting that goes into.

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Getting that license.

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And there's a lot of responsibility that goes into maintaining that license.

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We don't have that here in Texas.

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So it's a little bit of the wild west, so it can be even a little

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more confusing for the homeowner.

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So of course, you know, as you mentioned, I mean, checking out

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all the reviews is fantastic.

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That's a good place to start.

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And then if you're in a state and that doesn't require a license,

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well, what, what do they have?

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Okay, so getting.

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A certification from a manufacturer that says they're manufacturers certified.

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That's nice.

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Uh, you definitely want to make sure that they have that.

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Sometimes that can be pretty easy to get though.

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The manufacturer is very happy to give a certification to someone

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who's going to sell their product.

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So they may not go through the strictest requirements to get that certification.

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Now, some other things that you could look for, for instance, You know,

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for us here in Texas, since we know that there's not a state license, we

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take it upon ourselves to really be as proactive as possible to get the

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strictest licensing that we possibly can.

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So there's roofing contractors, association of Texas.

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That's a fantastic organization.

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They vetted us.

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It wasn't a.

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Pay to play, pay to be a member and get a badge type of thing.

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They looked at our insurance, they called, you know, made sure

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that we had the proper insurance.

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They looked at our reviews.

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They called some of our homeowners and asked about their experience.

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They looked at our financials.

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There was things, a real vetting process.

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So if you're in Texas, make sure that your contractor is a member of.

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Our cat roofing contractors association of Texas.

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And we'll be interviewing somebody from our cat on a later episode.

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There's another one for here, just in Houston and that's Houston area,

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roofing contractors association.

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And so that's specific to Houston, but they're a sub member of our cat.

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And again, you know, if you're ever.

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Waving a deductible, for instance, you're kicked out of our cat.

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There's a lot of things that you can do as a contractor that are

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a little bit, you know, shady or whatever that will instantly get

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you kicked out of the organization.

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So they are strict as to who they allow to be member.

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They want it to be.

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A reputable licensing body.

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And so their, requirements are very stringent and that's

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going to help the client.

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So our cat, their parka, our Houston area, roofing contractors association

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for us specifically, then they're going to check your, want to check your, you

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know, the manufacturer certification.

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Now you're going to definitely going to want to check their insurance,

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asked to see a copy of their insurance.

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We voluntarily provide that a copy of their insurance call.

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You know, a big question after that is, do they sub out their work?

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Do they use subs?

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What about their insurance?

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You know, because that's a big question.

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You could be talking to a roofing company.

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Yeah.

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You see their liability.

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Let's say.

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But they're subbing out their work to who are they subbing out their work to

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has a great, fantastic question to ask.

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What about the reviews?

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What about the relationship?

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How long have they worked with that sub and do they have insurance?

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This is all things that's going to protect you as the homeowner for, you know, and

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really guide you in your buying decision.

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Some other things that to be thoughtful of and that you can

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look for and that you can ask is.

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And you could go on a site like, like next door, for instance, and find

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out who your neighbors have used.

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That's always an ask about their experience because it's a little more

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personal than just a Google review.

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So we love next door and that's your neighborhood community.

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And, you know, we have a lot of great reviews on next door and you know,

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if somebody is taking the time out to say, Hey neighbors, I use this company.

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They're fantastic.

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I think that speaks volumes and that I think.

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Is very good.

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I would say another thing is ask for a list of some roofs that

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they've done in your area that you can drive by and take a look at.

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I think, you know, ask even for a couple of homeowners and that you could.

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And, you know, any good roofing company's going to have a list like that.

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And those homeowners are going to be happy to do that.

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So those are some fantastic, just kind of introductory tips that you could go off.

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So that's like your ground wine base research, you know,

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and, and it's really important.

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You do a lot of research on.

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Where to go eat a good steak.

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So you're reading reviews and things like that.

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So this is your roof.

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It's a big, big deal, a big, big purchase.

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So doing your due diligence to make sure that you're sifting through, you

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know, where it's just not based only on price, who's going to give me the

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cheapest deal or whose sales pitch.

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You know, real glossy, they haven't real down.

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You know, you want to make sure that you're crossing all your T's and dotting

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all your I's and doing your due diligence.

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So after you've done all those basic things, make sure they

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have their certifications and licenses and things like that.

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Then you're going to want to ask them to come to your home, ask

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them to come to your property.

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Okay.

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When they get there, the first one big clue.

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Do they do an attic inspection?

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If you have a residential home?

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Well, do they do an attic inspection?

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We can just start right there.

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There's a lot of contractors that don't even come to your

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home to do an inspection.

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They're just sending a quote out.

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Well, that would be a big red flag to me.

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I would not trust that contractor.

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Okay.

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So cause anybody can spit out a number.

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Your home is.

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Your home has unique differences.

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When we go, we do 150 point hour long thorough inspection, because

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this is what's going to help us solve this homeowners issue.

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The best is to know all the details, all the little issues, all the little curves.

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Twist in their valleys.

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The first thing that we do is we go into the attic and we

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want to check their ventilation.

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I think it's a fantastic question to ask your contractor.

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If they understand ventilation now, as a homeowner, we'll have

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a whole episode for ventilation.

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Okay.

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So that you guys can nerd out and understand the science of

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how to properly ventilated.

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80%.

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I would say if the homes in Houston are severely under ventilated, okay.

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Your contractor needs to know the science behind ventilation and they

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need to know the net square areas.

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That is a scientifically supposed to be as far as your intake and outtake

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to properly ventilate your attic.

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Okay.

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If they can tell you all.

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Accurately then you're on the right track.

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And I would continue that conversation at that point.

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You're going to want to talk to them about safety and make sure they understand

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proper OSHA practices, you know, watch, watch them set up the ladder, you know,

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make sure that they set it up properly.

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Just little things like that, you know, are going to go along.

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Now I'll just say overall, you're going to have three real

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different types of companies.

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Okay.

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You'll have your one little handyman guy.

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Okay.

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We call him Chuck in a truck, let's say, okay, there's nothing wrong with Chuck.

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Chuck's a good guy.

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Everybody needs a Chuck, you know, to come fix a light bulb or something like that.

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Come repair a little thing.

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Now, when it comes to your room, That may not be your best option.

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Okay.

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Because if something goes wrong, that's the kind of person that sometimes they

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may not have the proper insurances.

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They may go out of business.

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They may not answer their phone.

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They may move states.

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They may not be around in four or five years to service that warranty

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or handle any issues that come up.

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Okay.

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Now on the complete other scale, you have your huge mega companies.

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All right.

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These are companies doing tons of.

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That's great for them, but it's a great to make money and be successful now.

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But for you as the client, what if you're one of 10 roofs to be installed that day?

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Okay.

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Now, how do you know that you're getting the best installer that they have,

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or are you getting their 10th best?

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You know, it's a big consideration.

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Are you really going to get that personal attention?

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Are you really getting, get that concierge type service from that type of a company?

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So you really want to find that sweet spot.

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And, you know, we like to think that's us here at true works, but

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that's really what you're looking for.

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That medium size company.

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That's big enough to handle all the issues properly, but not so big.

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That, you know, you're not the most important thing going on that day

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for that company, that you're not the VIP of the day that your roof isn't

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getting the full attention of all the important people in that company.

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And so that's a lot of information, but I think that can help some

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homeowners and business property owners.

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Navigate, you know, through some of those decisions.

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Yeah.

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Thank you so much, Joel.

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I mean, I think those are all great tips and things to look out for.

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I know you shared a few red flags with us, but like maybe once, like one of the

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biggest red flags, like where, you know, consumers really need to be like aware of

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then, and be on the alert for, because I think a lot of people, they may not have.

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You know, the best intentions, they may not have licenses, but they might be

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good at bluffing about certain things.

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So what have you found to be maybe one or two things that are, you know, really

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big red flags that maybe consumers and customers don't really notice?

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Yeah, that's an awesome question.

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So.

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Big red flags would be knowing some of the common, I guess, shady

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practices or tactics that are in the industry that I can kind of

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share that can help a homeowner homeowner or business owner avoid.

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Right.

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So number one is a common tactic in the industry is to come in with a low price.

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Okay.

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And then use a bunch of the industry term is change order.

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So during the.

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To say, oh, well, we didn't know about this.

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We didn't know about this.

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We didn't know about this.

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Right.

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And ask for more money and you're a little bit at their mercy at that point.

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Let's say all your shingles are often, your roof is exposed and

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they're saying, well, we need more money because of this, this, this,

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this, this, well, what do you do?

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You can say no.

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And then.

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Leave of your PR and you know, you're stuck at that point and you're really

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at their mercy and I've heard horror stories about this and, you know, people

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calling the cops and the cops will come out and say, well, there's really nothing.

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We can do.

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What they're doing is not illegal.

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It's maybe more.

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We would feel, you know, are unethical, but it's not illegal.

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And so that's part of that real good thorough inspection is that when we

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go out, we want to analyze everything properly so that we can estimate to

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the penny, not give a ballpark number.

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You know, if you get, let's say you get a ballpark number and it's $25,000.

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That's not to the penny.

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That's not a well-thought, you know, analyzed estimate.

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That's just a number that spit out there hoping, you know, it's lower

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than the other numbers you'll sign the deal, and then you're going

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to get hit with change orders.

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So I would talk to your contractor about change orders and what that,

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you know, what their practices, as far as in regards to that.

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Oh, so for the, to recap from the audience, like what you were

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saying is it's not necessarily.

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The lowest offer that you know, is going to be the best for them to go with,

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because it's really not in reality, going to end up being the lowest,

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it's going to be ended up being a big headache down the road and unexpected

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expenses that they didn't plan for.

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Versus if someone else like if you come in and you give them a

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realistic offer, that's not 25,000.

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It might be, you know, 45,295.

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But it's a well thought out, quote, based on hundreds of different factors that

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go into compiling the quote, what I've noticed is a lot of consumers where they

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get into trouble is like they're buying on price and they're not buying on value

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right They're not understanding the fact that, you know, like a apple that's been

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sitting in the marketplace for like, Two weeks is not the same as a fresh

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apple that just came in from the farm.

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Right.

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They, they, they're not realizing that.

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And they're just seeing like, oh, well, this apple is on sale for like 39 cents.

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And the other apple is on sale for 99.

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Yeah.

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Right.

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And I think that these are eyeopening things that they need to open their

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eyes to really be aware of that.

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You know, if you're just looking to buy a brand new roof or a roof replacement,

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a roof repair job, whatever it is based solely on price, you're really doing

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yourself a big disadvantage because you're going to end up with so much heartache

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and you might even have to go to court.

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A lot of things can happen versus going with a company that.

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Reputable that you might have to pay a little bit more for, but at

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the end of the game, you're actually going to end up saving money.

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I mean, that's how I see it.

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Yeah, no, absolutely.

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We get stories all the time.

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People, I mean, call me, I had a gentleman called me the other day.

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We go through a lot of effort to protect someone's property and it's because.

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So one of the biggest complaints in the roofing industry.

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So we analyze that as a company, all those, you know,

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biggest complaints on BBB.

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And we said, okay, how are we going to be the solution to this issue?

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So we have a netting system called the catch all, and we'll have someone

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from catch on a further episode.

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Talk about that, why that's important and why homeowners should look for that.

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But it's the only solution that's really going to catch every nail.

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Right.

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That's really good to pretend.

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You're expensive landscaping.

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And I had a gentleman call me the other day and he, he didn't end up going with

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us over a few thousand dollars and that's, I don't want to make light of that.

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It's a lot of money, but he called me in kind of a panic.

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It was the day of his new install.

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And he said, Joel, I just don't know what to do.

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I'm so mad at myself.

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I didn't go with you guys.

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I went with the cheaper option.

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They've destroyed my landscaping.

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They've destroyed.

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There's ruts all in my yard.

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They're using different brands of shingles.

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I see that they're in different packaging.

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This is in a really nice neighborhood on a very nice high-end house.

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He said, I probably won't get a warranty.

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Will.

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I was like, no, sir.

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I don't know.

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I mean, they're using like leftover shingles or something basically

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on this gentleman's house.

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And so he just had regret and he said he was going to recommend us to all

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of his friends and neighbors, even though he didn't end up going with us.

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And, you know, I mean, that's, I love hearing that.

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But I felt really bad, you know, because there was nothing I

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could really do at that point.

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And we get stories like that a lot and it's, it's unfortunate and it's

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just, it's a, it's a big purchase.

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And so when there is a lower price, sometimes it is tempting

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to go with that option.

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But it's to your point, long-term not usually the lowest price.

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So it just, it just seems that way.

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But when you factor in change orders and when you factor in issues and

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problems down the road, uh, when you factor in having to replace that

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roof again, you know, 10 years after a storm, because they didn't use

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a Hale rated roofing system know.

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And you got to pay your deductible.

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All of those things, it ends up that was actually a much more expensive option for.

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Yeah.

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And I just have to say it's a heartbreaking experience from people

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have to go through that, you know, and I think, and I think that you feel that too.

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And, and, and that's why.

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One of the reasons why, you know, you launched this podcast, Houston

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roofer is to educate people so that they don't make these mistakes and

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they make informed buying decisions.

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And I think that, you know, if you're listening to the show right

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now, like please share it with your neighbors, share it with other Houston

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homeowners that you know, and, and those that live in the suburbs because.

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Two rigs roofing.

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They go out to all of the surrounding suburbs and they go to the Woodlands,

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they go to sugar land, they go to Conroe, Katie, you know, you name it.

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And obviously you can check out their website in the show notes, but you

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know, I think this, this has been a really informative topic to talk about.

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So Joel, thank you so much for, you know, sharing with our audience, how they can

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really pick a reputable roofing company.

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Any last thoughts before we wrap.

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Yeah, sure.

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I have add one other, just bit of advice.

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If a company is asking you for a lot of money upfront, let's say, you

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know, 50% down before the material has even been dropped at your doorstep,

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that would be a big red flag to me.

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And so I've heard horror stories about people paying a contractor,

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and then the contractor takes off.

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That would be indicative of like a storm.

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You know, or something who knocks on your door and, and once your insurance check

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and you know, not a trusted local company, our company policy is that we don't take

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a penny until after myself or the project manager walks around with the homeowner

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and the homeowner tells us that they love.

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There new beautiful roof.

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And that's when payment is due because we haven't earned it until that point.

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And so we fund everything that, not the homeowner paying, you know, for half

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for material or whatever, I find it, we find it and then we want to hear that.

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And then that's when payment is due.

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And so I just, that's a really important policy for us.

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So I would search for something like that.

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And then other than that, At the end of the day, you just want to

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sit down with the owner or someone, you know, that is responsible for

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making decisions in the company.

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And you just want to look them in the eye and you really want to feel a good

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human connection because at the end of the day, after all the certifications

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and licenses and, you know, education and a great inspection and all that,

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you just want to know that they're a good person and it's, it's hard to know.

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You have all those good human intuitions.

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If you feel those little red flags going off, you know, those little,

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I mean, trust that, you know, and if you're looking him in the eye and you're

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like, look, this person is not perfect.

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I already know this company is not perfect, but if there was an issue,

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would they come back and fix it?

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Would they stick their reputation on it?

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You know, is this the kind of person that's going to ultimately get

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the job done and do what they say?

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And, you know, you dive down deep and really get that good feeling about.

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Them as a human them as an individual.

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And I think that's the cherry on top to making a fantastic decision when you're

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trying to hire a roofing contractor.

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So I hope that helps.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Follow your intuition.

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I love that.

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I want to just tap on one more thing that you shared, because I think it's

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really important, you know, you should.

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How to works roofing operates when it comes to payment.

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And I have to say like, I'm pretty sure that's not really like the

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norm in the roofing industry.

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Right.

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So my other question is in the industry, what is considered the norm when it

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comes to a client signs up for a new roof, let's say it's like a $35,000 job.

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Like, what is the norm that you're seeing industry-wide in, I guess let's

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say the Houston or the Texas area.

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Sure.

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I mean, I really speak to the norm because all the companies are so

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different, but I definitely would never hand someone, your ACV check, your

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insurance check or anything like that.

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I wouldn't sign like a contingency or anything with anybody.

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I wouldn't ever pay a contractor until material was delivered to.

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My property or home.

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And at that point, you know, if they ask for 25% or something like

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that, I think that's reasonable.

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And I think that's fine.

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That wouldn't necessarily be a red flag for me.

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It's not what we do, but there's a lot of great reputable companies.

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That'll do something along those lines and I think that's okay.

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So usually it's like a, you know, if it's a multiple day job for like

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a commercial job or something, it's 25% or 30% upon material delivered.

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And then you may have a 25 or 30% at completion, and then the remainder

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would be once you receive your warranty.

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Okay.

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So your company warranty, your manufacturer warranty, a final

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inspection, let's say from a home inspector or engineer, if

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the circumstance calls for that.

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And that's when the final payment would be.

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Yeah, no, thank you so much for sharing that.

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I just wanted to give everyone a perspective on that as well.

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So that's important.

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So thank you so much.

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And you know, we're going to be bringing a lot of other

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interesting episodes, great guests.

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So make sure that you guys are sharing this with, you know,

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all of your homeowner friends.

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And just, if anyone's curious to learn more about the roofing industry,

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like share Houston river with them.

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So thank you so much.

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Absolutely.

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Thank you.

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thank you everyone for listening.

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We'll see you next to

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thank you for listening to the Houston rougher podcast.

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If you found this episode valuable, please subscribe to the show.

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So you never miss an episode and take a moment to share it with your friends.

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Visit our podcast website to listen to all the latest episodes at www dot Houston.

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Rooper podcasts.com.

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And follow two works for being on social media.

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Our handle is true.

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Works roofing and check out our website www dot true works.

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roofing.com or call us at area code seven one three nine oh three roof.

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To schedule a roof repair or roof replacement consultation.

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