CHICAGO – All too often – especially during the summer construction season or after a major storm – property owners are solicited by unscrupulous roofing contractors and pressured to accept work with high prices and low quality. As the agency responsible for licensing roofing contractors, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is seeking the help of hundreds of local governments across Illinois to prevent unlicensed roofing contractors from taking advantage of residents and property owners.
Many communities require some local oversight before any roofing projects can be undertaken. They require business or building permits to protect current and future property owners from the damage that could come from an improperly repaired or unfinished roof. To further protect the property owners in communities around the state, IDFPR is asking local governments to review their rules and construction permitting processes and, if they have not already done so, before issuing a local building permit or business license, require a roofing contractor to provide proof of an active state license.
Local government staff would have to identify the contractor and visit the Department’s website www.idfpr.com. Once there, clicking on DPR License Look- up would allow them to confirm that the roofing contractor license is active and in good standing. On confirmation, and after other local requirements were met, a local permit or license could be issued.
Not only does this help ensure that roofing work will meet minimum standards but it is also important because licensed roofing firms are required to be insured in order to do business in Illinois. Licensed roofers are also required to have the name of their firm properly identified on their trucks and must use their license number on any advertising or marketing materials. General contractors are not permitted to provide roofing services unless they also have an active roofing contractor license. Finally, unlicensed roofing is a criminal offense and first offenders can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and be sentenced to up to 364 days in prison. Subsequent violations are Class 4 felonies that could result in1-3 years’ incarceration.