Beware of Cheap Roof Restoration Offers from Travelling Tradies

Scam alert

Understanding the Risks of Cheap Roof Restoration

 Have you ever seen those corflute signs in your neighbourhood offering roof cleaning and three coats of paint for under $2,000? While these deals may seem enticing, they often come with significant risks. These signs are typically posted by what is known as “travelling tradies,” con men who move from area to area offering seemingly unbeatable prices for roof restoration services. However, these offers are most often too good to be true.

The Travelling Tradie Phenomenon

Travelling tradies are known for canvassing local markets intensely, offering low-cost services before disappearing for a while. They then reappear in different areas with new names and contact numbers, often mimicking local business names to appear legitimate. Unfortunately, the work they provide is usually subpar, and they often leave customers with unfinished or poorly done projects.

Common Issues with Travelling Tradies


  1.   Unlicensed Work: These tradies are usually unlicensed and unregulated. They often take deposits and disappear, leaving homeowners without recourse.
  2.   Low-Quality Materials: The low prices often mean that the materials used are of inferior quality. Essential steps like pressure cleaning, primer coating, and proper tile repairs are often skipped or done inadequately.
  3.   Poor Workmanship: The workmanship is typically very poor, with shortcuts taken to reduce costs. For example, broken tiles might be painted over rather than replaced, and coatings are often watered down, leading to quick failures.
  4.   No Insurance or Warranty: These services are often priced deliberately below the QBCC mandatory insurance threshold of $3,300, meaning there is no insurance or warranty to protect your home or hold the tradies accountable.

The Catch with Cheap Prices

The attractively low prices offered by travelling tradies come with several hidden catches:

  • Limited Coverage: The quoted price usually applies to a small home and often excludes the garage.
  • Excludes GST: The quoted amount often does not include GST, leading to unexpected costs.
  • Insufficient Materials: The cost of quality materials alone would consume at least 80% of the quoted price, indicating that inferior materials are being used.
  • Shoddy Repairs: Broken tiles may be painted over instead of replaced. If you’re lucky, they might use silicone to patch up cracks.
  • Skipping Essential Steps: They often skip the crucial step of pressure cleaning, opting to paint over old mold and debris.
  • Diluted Coatings: To stretch the materials, they water down the coatings, resulting in insufficient coverage and quick failures.
  • Missing Primer Coat: They frequently skip the primer coat, which is essential for proper adhesion of the top coat membrane. Without this, the membrane will lift off in a few months.
fake tradies

Red Flags to Watch For


  • Unusually Low Prices: If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Quality roof restoration requires a significant investment in materials and labour.
  • Lack of ABN and License Information: Legitimate businesses will have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and will be licensed and insured.
  • Pressure to Pay Upfront: Be wary of tradespeople who demand large deposits before starting work.

The Importance of Choosing a Reputable Company


As a reputable roofing company, we often see the aftermath of work done by these travelling tradies. Homeowners end up paying more to fix the shoddy work than they would have if they had chosen a professional company initially. Proper roof restoration involves thorough preparation, quality materials, and skilled workmanship, all of which ensure the longevity and safety of your roof.

Don’t be swayed by low prices and quick fixes. Investing in a reputable, licensed, and insured roofing company will save you money and stress in the long run. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Learn More About Travelling Tradies


For more detailed information on the scams and risks associated with travelling tradies, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website. This resource provides valuable insights and tips on how to protect yourself from these scams. Additionally, the Queensland Police Service has highlighted the issue of fake tradies scamming elderly residents, offering further advice on how to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters.


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