Does your roof need repairs? Texas law currently does not require roofers to be licensed – Houston Public Media

damaged house due to a storm

(AP Photo/Isabella Volmert)

Damage to Romona Platt’s home is seen in Winchester, Indiana on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Some homeowners may be looking for a contractor to help with repairs after many storms have passed through the Houston area and damaged homes.

At least $21 million in individual relief loans have been approved for Houston residents affected by recent storms so far. Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can go toward a home’s basic needs, such as toilets, roofing, essential utilities, windows and doors.

Mike Dishberger serves on the Greater Houston Builders Association Board of Directors. He offered two important tips for homeowners to protect themselves when looking for contractors.

Ask for references

If someone knocks on your door and says they’re a roofer, Dishberger suggested a Google search could help determine how credible he or she is.

“Make sure they’re legit. Unfortunately, when there are storms, there are a lot of non-legitimate people who charge some money up front, and then never do any work for you,” he said. “Or they’re not doing the work they should be doing.”

Dishberger said there are many organizations that some contractors have joined to increase their credibility. He said a company that has invested in joining an organization is also easier to find later if a customer has concerns.

“Most of these organizations, including ourselves, are trying to improve their business and the way they interact with customers,” he said.

Other organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), also have methods to file a complaint about a company associated with them. Although the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation does not currently require a license for roofers, some choose to apply for an optional license from the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT).

Dishberger added that homeowners can also ask their neighbors who they’ve worked with, or if they’ve recently had their roof repaired.

Never give cash in advance

Some contractors may charge some money before completing the job, but Dishberger says he should never pay the full price before the job is done.

“I would definitely use a credit card or a check and not use cash,” he said.

Dishberger also added that a reputable company will provide an upfront price, and might even suggest that a homeowner contact their insurance company.

“They’ll say, ‘Hey, we think (your roof) needs to be replaced, but call your insurance company and see what they say,’” he said.

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