When it comes to the roof of your home, you can’t afford to make a hasty decision, or one based entirely on price. Finding the right roofing contractor is about keeping your home, family, and possessions safe and dry. Roofing contractors are easy to find, but evaluating them is a necessary step in this essential home improvement and repair.
Here’s how to select a roofing contractor:
Ask for Recommendations
Word of mouth is the most reliable way to find any small business. If your friends and family have had a positive experience with a roofing contractor, it’s one worth investigating further. Once you have a few good recommendations, be sure to evaluate them in greater detail using more of the following methods.
Facebook is an ideal place to ask for recommendations. Even in a friends-locked post, Facebook will notify your connections that you’re looking for a specific type of advice.
Your local chamber of commerce is another reliable resource for a recommendation. It’s likely that the chamber has roofing contractors as part of its trusted, verified membership.
Evaluate Reviews, Testimonials, and References
Most roof repair work isn’t cheap. Quality roofing contractors should provide you with the numbers of small businesses or homeowners willing to provide references. Additionally, their websites should have positive words about their services, and their social media pages (particularly their Google Business and Facebook listings) should have some reviews.
Speak to Multiple Contractors
Roofing purchases are significant, and it’s entirely reasonable to shop around just like you might for a house or a car. That is the standard course of business, and no contractor should bully you into locking in a contract. Investigate all of the recommendations you get.
Verify Legality of Business Entity
Is the business properly registered? Do your research to make sure you’re dealing with a licensed and insured roofing contractor. They should also be willing to help you sort through the routine paperwork (such as permits) necessary for any construction project. If a roofing contractor shies away from permits, it’s a bad sign.
Examine the Warranties and Terms
Your roofing contractor should offer you a warranty for review before you even consider putting money down. Legally, the warranty should cover at least five years, but most roofing contractors present warranties in the 10-20 year range.
Additionally, scrutinize the terms. Terms should cover the length of the project, handling of permits, as well as payment.
The roofing contractor should provide the number of an on-site laborer, as well as their office admin or bookkeeper. You should never pay in full for a job until it is complete. Only remit partial payment to begin the project. Anything else is a red flag.
Lastly, the roofing contractor should handle all employment affairs properly with all legal paperwork and insurance in place, just in case of an accident. The roofing contractor should be willing to work with your insurance company and municipality when it comes to various compliance paperwork.
Specifically, your roofing contractor should carry both workers compensation and liability insurance.
Your roofing contractor should furnish copies of all paperwork, and no work should begin until everything is signed and settled.
Choose an Established Company
Since roofing warranties tend to last at least five years, you’ll want to make sure you choose a company that can honor that – not one that closes up shop before the term of the warranty. You can avoid problems by selecting an established local business with a reputation for sticking around.
Carefully Evaluate Storm Chasers
Are you looking for roof repair following a storm or other major local event? Storm chasers who are ‘just in the neighborhood’ after catastrophes like hurricanes have a reputation for preying on storm victims and taking their insurance payouts. Don’t make a decision that could cost you more in the long run.
Legitimate storm chasers exist, and they specialize in fast turnaround, working directly with your insurance company. Do your research and make sure you work closely with your insurance company if you choose to work with this type of roof repair specialist.
Look for Responsible Practices
Roofing contractors who provide excellent customer service see things through from start to finish. That means that they cover specific details in the cost of your project, such as:
Waste disposal and fees
Use of ladder stabilizers to prevent damage to your gutter system
Care for the worksite and your home when workers are not present (bundling it up in a tarp)
Specific expenses for plywood and other new materials
Safety measures and damage prevention for your family, pets, vehicles, and landscaping
These tips should help you comprehensively evaluate your roofing contractor. Don’t forget to consider multiple possibilities to find the best fit for your project.