Avoid the Pitfalls of Having Your Roof Subbed Out
Do you know who’s working on your roof? When you hire a roofing company, you might assume that the people you researched, met, and hired will be the ones up on your roof, but this is often not the case. Many roofing companies use subcontractors to reduce costs and take on more jobs. While saving some money on your roof project is appealing, the use of subcontractors can create a slew of problems for you, the homeowner. Let’s talk about the advantages of using a roofing company with real employees (like L.H. Krueger!) versus one that subs out and how you can avoid being hoodwinked.
Roofing Subcontractors Can Be Risky Business
At first glance, the use of subcontractors doesn’t seem like a big deal. And if everything goes according to plan, maybe there won’t be any issues. However, when things go awry, you are the one that’s left vulnerable.
For instance, consider a worksite injury. Subcontractors supply their own legal protection through insurance and worker’s compensation policies–or, at least, they’re supposed to. If the company you hired did not properly verify that everything was on the up-and-up, an injured subcontractor could pursue legal action against the homeowner to collect damages. And these damages aren’t just to cover medical bills; there could be lost wages or ongoing disability coverage. As you can imagine, this can get extremely expensive for the homeowner. Such incidents are not always covered by your home insurance policy, so this situation creates a huge liability that you’re better off avoiding in the first place.
Not even considering something as dire as an injury, there are other risks of using subcontractors that can cost time and money. When you hire a company that subs out, you have no say in who is really working on your home. You don’t know anything about the crew, their workmanship, or their experience. The roofing company may have sourced crew members from anywhere, including online job boards. Without the careful vetting process that an employer would perform, it’s impossible to predict the quality of work you’ll get. Mistakes or poor work quality on your roof can be unsightly and costly to correct. Plus, a company of subcontractors has a less predictable work schedule, as each sub will go to whichever job works best for them individually. Your project might take longer and not turn out as well as you expect.
We’re not saying that subcontractors or the companies that use them are all bad! Many homeowners are simply unaware of the risks they face when their roof work gets subbed out. It’s important to realize that the lower prices you’ll get from this kind of company are lower for a reason–to quote the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”
Advantages of Using a Roofing Company With Employees
At L.H. Krueger, we know that there is much more to be gained from using all employees for our projects. We manage the insurance and accident policies for our team, carefully vet new team members, and run a much more controllable work schedule than you’d ever see from a subcontractor company. We do these things, and more, to give you peace of mind and deliver outstanding service.
Another advantage of using a team of employees is increased worksite safety. Our roofers are all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) certified in Fall Protection Training. We provide team members with the best fall protection systems we can and ensure that everyone knows how to properly inspect, set up, disassemble, and maintain the equipment. Safety is obviously beneficial to our workforce, and it helps your job stay on schedule and on budget, too.
Beyond safety training, we provide comprehensive in-house training to our teams. They learn all about different manufacturer’s products and get tested on their knowledge. It’s important to us that our employees cultivate and continue to develop industry expertise and use this expertise to deliver exceptional service to our clients.
More than anything else, using employees helps us develop a mutual sense of loyalty with our team and our community. Using the same crew members over and over creates the consistent experience and quality level that has given us our stellar reputation and longevity in the industry. We build long-term relationships with our team, and they’re motivated to stick around, work hard, and turn out great results on every project.
Buyer Beware: Who’s On Your Roof?
How do you know whether you’re working with subcontractors or employees? It’s important to be careful and look for the right signs to know that your roofing project is in trustworthy hands. Some roofing companies obscure the fact that they sub out all of their work, and it can be tricky to know the difference if you don’t know what to look for.
The most important thing you can do is to ask questions. A legitimate company won’t hesitate to provide direct answers. The less information you can discover about a company, the more suspect it should be.
If you’re looking at their website (and they should have one!), here are a few other markers to watch for:
- Do they have pictures of their team? If so, are all types of team members included? No team photos, or photos of just administrative staff, might mean that they don’t retain any roofing employees.
- How do they refer to their roofers? Do they use the word “employee”? Other euphemisms, like “contractors” or “installers” could indicate that subcontractors do the bulk of the work.
- Check out their location–even better, drive past or get an aerial/street view of the building. Does it seem large enough to house their roofing team and all of the trucks and equipment the team brings to each project? A roofer with no trucks is just an administrative office that organizes subcontractors.
In short, it’s a good idea to have a healthy dose of skepticism and do your research. Any company worth its salt will stand up to the investigation. We would know!
L.H. Krueger’s Employees Are Ready To Serve
Of course, the surefire way to know that employees are working on your roof is to work with L.H. Krueger. We staff every project with our in-house team, so you can rely on our exceptional service and work quality, every time. We’d be happy to show you the difference that a true team can make.