Storm Damage Repair: How many are left hung out to dry?

Michigan Storm Damage Repair

In 2014, we had a historic amount of storm related damage in certain Michigan areas. That means that every trade was overflowing with work, which is great for the local economy. It also meant that a lot of storm chasers came in from other states to try to take advantage of the situation. We have been hearing reports from both homeowners and city officials that a lot of unhappy homeowners have been left with uncompleted jobs. The way these gypsy types work is that they will ride into town and convince a local contractor to work under their license. They have the unsuspecting homeowner sign a blank contract that allows them to deal directly with the insurance company. Not suprisingly, they tend to know a lot of these insurance adjusters pretty well and there have been many stories published indicating that often times a contractor will pay off these inspectors to get more money for themselves. In certain states, the contractor is not even allowed to meet with the insurance adjuster anymore to prevent this from happening. The out of town trade will complete the minimal amount of work that they can get away with in order to keep the homeowner and local business owner happy, until they get their checks and then they are out of here. We even ran into a couple situations last year in which a homeowner was promised a certain quality material only to get bait and switched by having a cheap alternative product installed at the last minute. Unfortunately, many homeowners wouldn't even notice that this had occurred. 

All of this criminal behavior has left numerous local contracting companies in a tough place because they are both legally and morally obligated to service these customers that have been taken advantage of. The appeal of some quick cash has caught them between a rock and a hard place, many of which have already decided to shut down shop before the lawsuits start flooding in. Homeowners are starting to come to the realization that no one is coming back to finish their jobs, and that the work that has been completed already is highly circumspect. The recourse available for such deception is questionable at best, hard to obtain and limited in funds. In Canton, three years after a similar hail storm fiasco, it is not the homeowners that are getting sued by the insurance company's for the fraud. Amazing as it is, these poor people are going to end up having to pay back each and every cent that they took in good faith as an insurance payout. They will be lucky if there are not criminal charges pressed as well. because ultimate the insurance company can hold the homeowner 100% responsible.

If you feel that you may be a victim fraud or any other deceptive practices, we would be more then happy to come give you our honest opinion. It is important to us that we all work together to support the local community and to help them fully recover from last years storm damage. Leaving these projects half finished will potentially destroy your home over time, and will also give the insurance company a great reason to cancel the policy and come after you for the money they have already handed out. We never have you sign a blank contract and will always let you deal directly with the insurance company. This ensures complete transparency throughout the entire process, because even though most people don't see it as an actual out of pocket expense, taking the insurance companies money truly is. They are smart people, and I promise you that they will make there money back from you one way or another. It will most likely be through raising all of our current rates, but if that doesn't work the lawsuits will start up all over again.    

Tough Business Decisions: Learning Where to Draw the Line

Tough business decisions

Owning your own business is not an easy thing to do, it requires you to make difficult decisions each and every day. From how much to pay an employee your marketing budget, each and every thing you commit to has the opportunity to help you grow or the potential to put you out of business. This is a lot of pressure to carry and some people are just not wired to handle it. For those that enjoy the challenge, absolutely committing to these tough decisions once they are made is mandatory. There is nothing worse then going into something half cocked, you lack the confidence and resolve that you need to see it all the way through. You are never going to reach perfection, as it is impossible to make the right decision 100% of the time. But that is OK, our biggest mistakes are our biggest opportunities to learn. When you have made every mistake that there is to make, been through the best and the worst of times, taken your licks and learned a lesson from them, there is absolutely nothing that can stop you moving forward. It is the people that don't have the experience that end up getting caught off guard and do not know how to react under pressure. It is the people that continually fail, without learning anything from the experience, that just continue to drift through life living off of other peoples good will and fortunes. It is the business owner that is afraid of a fight that ends up getting taken advantage of. 

When it comes to the customer, they can do no wrong, even when they have done wrong. Beyond that, business is business and that means the gloves off. From suppliers to advertising companies, the smiling faces all disappear as soon as that money stops flowing so freely. Past relationships and even friendships are great, but they have no business here. Set yourself strict standards and guidelines which you must then abide by regardless of the circumstances. Is it going to be uncomfortable sometimes? Yes. Is it going to cause some potential issues for others and their businesses? Absolutely. Put all the personal relations that go into a successful business relationship in second place. If the numbers are in line, the service is delivered as expected, and you are getting a great ROI then there is no reason not to enjoy yourself socially. But, when someone expects you to make a decision solely based on social factors alone they are showing their true colors. The best con men and criminals are excellent at this game, so it is best for you to stick to the hard data and avoid and exposure.   

American Standard Roofing Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Angies List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

American Standard Roofing has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

 

“Be passionate about solving the problem, not proving your solution.”

 

“Only about 5 percent of the Roofing companies in Michigan have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

 

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

 

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

 

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Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

 

Check out our Angie's List page today.

Roof Repairs: Are they even worth the money?

Michigan Roofing Repair

At what point do you decide to just replace the whole roof?

More often then not, we find that customers are just hoping for a repair when they know deep down that they need a whole new roof. Trust me, we completely understand this logic and are very sympathetic when it comes to spending money. Unfortunately, 72% of the time when we run a repair lead the roof is in such bad shape that a repair would literally do the customer no good. It is unfortunate because we come across as the bearer of bad news, but the alternative is even worse in our opinion. There are many guys working out of the back of a truck that will gladly take your money and tell you it will solve all of your woes. They may charge you anywhere from $250-$1,000's of dollars and can do as little as squirting some caulk all the way up to replacing entire valleys. Before you hand over a penny, do yourself a favor and at least get several estimates to make sure that everyone agrees on the solution. In our experience, if it is something as simple as resealing a few shingles we are more then happy to do so for a fair price. This is the longer approach to business because we figure that if we treat you right you are much more likely to both use us int he future and to refer us to friends. The math is simple, but in our experience some of these guys have a hard time even with something as basic as this. In conclusion, our simple recommendation here is to treat a repair just as if you were purchasing a new roof, because often times that is what you are going to have to do anyways. Follow the following guidelines:

  • Get multiple quotes to compare both price and scope of work
  • See what kind of guarantee they give for the work
  • Check out the business to see what kind of reviews they have and their rating with the BBB
  • Honestly ask yourself if it make more sense to get a new roof with a warranty or to keep investing in repairs
  • Make sure to check out the roofers insurance policies, both workman's comp and liability

 

If you have any more questions feel free to contact us. We would be more then happy to give you a free estimate, or to give you advice even if your are outside of Michigan.

Getting Financing For A New Roof: Different Options

 

Michigan Roof Loan

Does your roof need replacement? If so, you could have to spend up to $30,000 on it. This can put a really big dent in your finances. Bearing such a huge expense in a single stretch is simply not possible for most people. To take care of this necessity they will need a take a loan to bear the expense. What are your options for financing a new roof? Here is a look at what you could consider:

 

  1. FHA 203K Streamline Program - Check out this program, which will enable you to borrow up to $35,000. The amount that is borrowed will be added to your current mortgage.
  2. Home Equity Line Of Credit - Use your home as collateral to get a loan that finances a new roof. Discipline yourself to repay it over a year or two. It is to be noted that it can take some time to get approval for HELOC.
  3. Credit Card - If you are eligible for a no interest credit card, opt for it to finance the new roof. Break up the repayments over a period of one year and pay it off. You don’t have to put up with interest and over that one year period, repayment shouldn’t be too tough.
  4. Personal Loan. Look for a bank or financial institutions that can give an attractive rate of interest and a repayment period that is convenient for you. With a good credit score and proper management of your finances, you can repay the loan off quickly.
  5. Loan From Contractor - Ask the roofing contractor if they will give you a loan, which can be repaid over the next couple of months. Many contractors offer this and they charge less interest than regular financial institutions.

Look into these means of financing a new roof and you can get one installed in no time. Before taking out a loan, look into interest rates and the repayment period so that you can pick one that is suitable for your needs.

 For instant approval, or if you have any other questions, contact us today.

 

Choosing the best time to shop for a new roof

 

When to Get a new roof

How early is too early?

We encounter a lot of customers that would rather forget that they need a new roof all together, especially considering how cold out it is. Unfortunately, the problem is not just going to fix itself. A roof is not like a bone, it won't heal itself in time. The best advice we can give you is to get your shopping out of the way now. Many roofers will give you a better deal in the winter because business is slower, even if you do not want to get it done until spring lock that price in now. Often, by the time a homeowner decides they need their roof replaced immediately it is well into the season and they can be left a few months. 

Everyone seems to have their own opinion regarding the coldest temperature you can safely install a roof in. In our professional experience, for the shingles to seal properly it is important for it to consistently be above 30 degree fahrenheit for a few days. As te winter comes to an end, getting your new roof installed will allow it time to settle and seal during the coming spring. In this perspective it is even better then installing in late fall even though intuitively it doesn't seem so. 

 

If you have not squirrelled away enough money over the winter, it may be a good idea to check into financing options. Lots of lenders currently offer home improvement loans at low interest rates or with no prepayment penalties. This way, you can get your new roof installed ASAP and pay it off at your earliest convenience. It is much better to pay a little bit of interest instead of risking having your roof leak and cause all sorts of interior damage. 

 

If you are not sure if you need a full replacement or just a repair, it is better to wait until the weather breaks. Although a good estimator is more than capable of giving you an exact quote regardless of the circumstances, for a repair technician to properly diagnose your roof requires clear conditions. Only move forward with a roofing contractor in the winter if you are certain that you need to get the entire roof replaced. Otherwise, you may suffer a little more interior damage in the meantime but long term you can save yourself thousands of dollars.

 

Check out our roofing section for more useful information and our blog to read more articles.

Roofing Loans For Bad Credit

 

Roofing Loans for bad credit

The economy is booming again and that means it is time to start shopping for a new roof. Finding roofing loans for bad credit has not always been easy. Many roofing contractors simply do not want to go the extra length to help unfortunate homeowners out. Unfortunately, a large portion of customers, especially so in Michigan, have faced financial hardship causing them to go bad on their commitments and loans. This means that they have less then perfect credit scores. There has been no better time for the individuals to start looking for a roofing loan. The banks have opened up as lot as of recently and they are approving people as low as 400 scores. These approvals can not be held open forever so it is important that you start to shop around immediately. There are a few recommendations that we want you to abide by when trying to find roofing loans for bad credit:

  1. Make sure it is a simple interest loan
  2. Find one with no prepayment penalty so that you can pay it off early
  3. Make sure it is a fixed rate, don't worry as much about the percentage because many times they are teasers that will go up in time
  4. Only sign for an unsecured loan, no liens on your property!
  5. Find out if your approval is good with any other contractors or companies so that you can shop around if so desired
  6. Having a down payment will sometimes help the credit decision
  7. Use a cosigner if they live in the same home and are going to help the situation
  8. Make sure to use all of the income that you get, even if it is not provable it may help
  9. This may be your on chance to knock out some projects, so see how much they will lend you and then decided what you want to get done

 

You can always apply directly through our website and we will find you the best roof financing available.

 

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Pieces of my roof are missing: How to spot hail storm damage

Roofing Contractor Hail Storm

Common signs that you can identify before calling the insurance company

What to look for on your roof

The most widely used material for roofing shingles is asphalt as it is cost effective and long lasting. The majority of these consist of a fiberglass mat that is coated in asphalt and then covered in copper coated granules that help to give it a nice color, prevent algae growth, and stop the harmful UV rays from penetrating. As the roof is typically the highest point on your home, it is usually the one place that takes the most damage when it comes to a hail storm. 

During a hail storm, a number of things can happen to the roofing material after impact. The hail damage will cause the granules to come off of the shingle, making it look like it has been bruised. If you go up on the roof to inspect you will actually be able to feel the indentation a lot of the time. Many times you will notice missing shingles, that could have been blown off or cracked when hit with the hail and then just feel off. When the hail causes more severe damage, it can actually crack the shingle and the mat. In this later situation, it is recommended that you have someone immediately repair the damage on the roof as it can lead to serious issues. A cracked shingle from hail damage can cause an immediate leak, and if left unattended this can lead to mold growth, structural deterioration, and a whole bunch of other problems you really don't want to worry about. If the hail storm has caused a tree or other debris to fall on your roof, again it is best to have a roofing contractor come out the property as soon as possible. 

Recap of signs your roof has been damaged by a hail storm:

  • Pits or dents on the shingles or any surrounding materials
  • Missing shingles
  • cracks in roof shingles
  • Pieces of shingle laying in the yard
  • Leaking or dark spots on the ceiling

Hail Damage on the rest of your homes exterior

You may notice signs of hail damage in other places such as your exterior painting, siding, or stucco. With such high winds, these hail storms can blow in every direction so you should even check on the underside of your home to see if you can find any of the following signs. It is not only the hail that can cause the damage, but many times flying debris is instead the culprit. Look for evidence to support your claims for the insurance company is pretty straight forward here-

Common Signs:

  • Scratches or cracks
  • Divots or Dents
  • Holes or pieces missing
  • Discoloration 

Last but not least, the windows

Needless to say, if you have a broken window after a hail storm you it is safe to say what the cause was. Glass has improved over the years but it is still a fairly brittle material that will crack or shatter when hit wrong. Assuming nothing shattered, inspect the rest of the windows for signs of smaller cracks or chips. Also, pay attention to the window casings as these are commonly damaged by the hail storm. Always be careful when cleaning up the debris as these can be a major hazard in themselves.

Window Damage:

  • Dented, pitted, or scratched casings / frame
  • Cracked, chipped, or shattered glass

 

Call us for any assistance while collecting this information, or visit our website.

 

Michigan Roofing Competitive Analysis: Best & Worst Practices Part 1

Overview: Hansens Roofing A Hypothetical Journey

We like to keep a finger on the pulse at all times as Detroit is a very unique city when it comes to roofing and contractors in general. To do so, we must focus on all of our competition to see what it is that they are doing which we like and thus will emulate, and that which we don't so that we can stay far away from it. In the expose we will focus on a fictional entity we will call Hansen's Roofing, no relation to the Hansons Windows of Troy, MI. Many of our customers have complained that they felt verbally assaulted by the salesman when they had them our for a free roofing estimate. One even had to call the police because the Hansen representative simply would not leave their house until they signed some paperwork. Aggressive sales tactics can be very effective, as they must be doing something right to stay in business this long. That being said, it truly is a sign of weakness to have that "buy, or die" mentality. Long term, it is a much better practice to allow your customers to take all the time they need to make a decision. As a professional roofing contractor, this shows the homeowner that you are comfortable enough to let them shop around if so desired. Yes, this also means you may lower your chances of getting the deal in the end because someone can low ball you. But, that is the name of the game and hopefully you have built enough value into the product in order to give them a reason to make their decision based off of something more then price. 

 

Our Website is full of other useful information that you can use to make an educated decision. 

 

Michigan Hansons Roofing