Oklahoma Cracks Down On Dishonest Roofers

Monday, November 15th 2010, 5:17 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Wright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Roofing contractors who want to do business in Oklahoma will soon face more scrutiny.

Starting next month, they will have to register their business with the state.

The registration requirement is part of an effort to crack down on roofers who take advantage of homeowners.

Contractors say here in Oklahoma, there are plenty of people who do just that

A-Best Roofing has been handling roofing jobs for more than three decades. Its president says over all that time, its biggest competitor has always been contractors who cut corners.

"Anybody with a pickup truck. Anybody that blows into town during a hail storm can call themselves a roofing contractor. So basically it's a free for all," said A-Best Roofing President Jim Lane.

Free-for-all may be a fitting description. Until now, roofers have not had to deal with much regulation. That will change next month.

Contractors who want to do business in Oklahoma will have to register with the Construction Industries Board.

To be approved, the contractor must show evidence of liability insurance, and workers compensation coverage.

Contractors say they're happy about the new regulations because they feel it will cut down on unscrupulous roofer showing up and taking jobs, but they do wish it would go a little further.

"Just really the bare minimums. But at least it does have some requirements. Which are better than none," Lane said.

The roofing program is still not a licensing program like the one electricians and plumbers must participate in.

But A-Best says it sends the message that Oklahoma is no longer a safe haven for contractors looking to make a quick buck.

And for an industry working to repair its image, Lane says it's an important first step.

"It's terrible. Our industry just has an awful name with people blowing into town from all over the country," Lane said.

Of course, the home-owner is still responsible for hiring a reputable company.

A-Best recommends that you make sure the contractor provides references and insurance certificates.