Roofing is one of the largest and most expensive projects you as a homeowner will ever have to undertake.
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Take charge by learning a few easy tips to locate roofing contractor with a trusted reputation that will take care of you and install a quality roof that will protect your home and family for years. Hire well and you can expect your roofing professional to get the job done on time and on budget.
These 10 tips for choosing the best roofing contractor for your job will give you confidence to make the right decision:
- Ask how long they have been in business
The longevity of roofing company often equates to a top-quality roofing contractor with a great reputation. The number of years a company has been in business will tell you a lot about them. You will only want to trust your new roofing project to an established company that will ensure upfront quality and years of support over the lifetime of your new roof. A qualified roofing company will have industry experience and a long list of satisfied customers. Only trust your roof to a company that has the experience, tools, and the knowledge to complete your job in a professional manner. When interviewing roofing professionals be sure to ask them about their particular experience, the experience of their team and the lifespan of the company in general.
- Make sure they meet or exceed state requirements
The requirements to become a roofing contractor vary from state to state. Even though it’s always important to ask contractors whether they’re licensed, insured, and bonded, you don’t have to take their word for it. Make sure to check with your state’s licensing board or relevant licensing agency to learn your state requirements. You can also look up companies on the Better Business Bureau to review their business history and any official claims or complaints against their work.
Things to check for include the following:
- Contractor licensing that is valid and current
- Workers compensation insurance coverage
- General liability insurance coverage
- Relevant bond certification or holding
- Local building permits, if required in your area
- Go local
Most homeowners prefer to hire a local roofing company; it’s easier to meet the roofing contractor face to face to discuss the details of your new roof, and local companies are often easier to reach in the case of questions or warranty work. Meeting face to face will give you the opportunity to read their personality: Are they friendly and enthusiastic about their work? Do you feel a sense confidence when they answer your questions? A local, reputable company will have a list of addresses that you can visit to see completed roofs that they have successfully installed and a local list of references you can call to learn more about previous customers’ experiences. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that the company you choose will be close by if you have questions in the future or if any issues arise that need attention.
- Watch for scams
Stories abound of companies or independent contractors who flock to an area after a storm or disaster looking for work. They may stay in the area, working for months before returning to their home location—but that doesn’t make them a local contractor. Even if the work is high quality, it can be harder to count on them for warranty repairs or other service calls if they live far away or don’t usually service your area. Plus, they may not be licensed to work in your location or may not be familiar with local codes or weather patterns, and that can impact the safety, longevity, effectiveness, and overall value of your new roof.
- Ask for references and read online reviews
One great method of finding the best roofing contractor is to talk with neighbors and friends about roofers they’ve hired. Personal contacts will give you the most honest feedback and the most accurate picture of what you can expect your experience to be. The two main questions to ask are, were you happy with the job done and would you work with that contractor again? Also, visit online sources and company websites to read reviews about roofing companies near you. Online resources like The Prime Buyer’s Report have lists of qualified local roofers to ease the hiring process. Make a list of the companies that have the best reviews so you can call and interview them about how they can meet your specific needs.
- Get everything in writing
Two things that you will want to get in writing are the initial bid and the contract that both you and the roofing contractor will sign.
A written bid from each competing contractor is your best tool to use for comparison. A good bid will include the time frame to start and finish the job, the materials that will be used, the scope of the job, and cost of materials and labor. Collecting the same information from each business will allow you to compare line items more easily. See a more complete list of information to gather in section seven below.
Then before any work begins, you will want a signed contract and warranty document. Your signed contract is a legal business agreement detailing the work to be done and the costs to complete that work.
- Get accurate and detailed bid information
As promised, here is a more complete list of information to gather to compare your roofing company candidates. You should request that any bids include the following information:
- List of start and end dates.
- How long the job will take.
- The manufacturer and product to be installed, including serial numbers and exact amount of product to be ordered.
- Any additional services required.
- Warranty details for labor and materials.
- The company’s policy about change orders or additional work if more damage is found or more needs to be added to the initial bid.
- All the contact information and license number of the roofing company.
- Costs of materials and labor.
- Ask who is preforming the install
You are hiring a professional roofing contractor for good reasons and you want the installation to also be completed by professionals. Good roofing contractors will surround themselves with a good team of installers. Individuals that they know are skilled and trained well in all aspects of installing a new roof. Verify that the installers are employees of the company that you are hiring and not a third party or subcontractor.
- Ask the roofers if they are authorized or certified installers
Long-lasting, large manufacturers of roofing products who are committed to quality often certify certain contractors as authorized installers. To become a factory-certified contractor means that the roofing company has completed training and certification to meet a strict set of standards.
One such roofing products manufacturer with factory-certified contractors is GAF. You can find more information on their contractor-verification site here.
- Choose a roofer that goes above and beyond
To find that roofer who will go above and beyond look for someone who is passionate about their profession and one who is focused on even the smallest details. They should take pride in the quality of the materials used on the job and their professional workmanship. Someone who personally believes that they are making their community better one house at a time.
Now that you’ve collected bids from a number of roofing companies and gathered the information from these 10 tips for choosing the right roofing contractor, you are ready to do an honest evaluation to select the roofing professional whom you want to work with. The one who will provide you with the roof of your dreams—a roof that is important to your family’s comfort and the structural integrity and resale value of your home.