It could be part of a whole home improvement or if a falling tree has caused a gaping hole or it’s just time to replace your roof. While each scenario has a different timeline–months of planning or immediate attention–you don’t want to just pick the first roofer you find.
The roof is one of the most expensive parts of the home to replace, as well as the first line of defense from the elements, so you’ll want to use discretion when finding a roofing contractor. After all, a few nights with a temporary fix is far better than a few years with a shabby roof.
The most important way to ensure you get a roof that is effective and durable is to choose an expert roofer, and also to know the red flags for a company that’s unreliable. Whether it’s a remodel or roof repair or replacement, getting it done right the first time is a vital concern. Here are 7 things to consider when choosing a roofing contractor.
1. Ask for Recommendations
Check with neighbors, co-workers, relatives, and friends. The best references come from homeowners who have actually worked with a roofer. Try to find ones who used the roofer in years past, so you can see how well it’s holding up and what kind of condition it’s in.
A benefit of using local recommendations is that you’ll hear of roofers that work within your community. These contractors are familiar with the codes in your area, know how to find good workers, and have dealt with reliable suppliers.
2. Check the Better Business Bureau and Online Review Sites
Always check the BBB rating of any roofer you are considering. If they aren’t listed on BBB.org, they shouldn’t be trusted. You’ll see this, especially after a storm, when roofers working out of a pickup will canvass neighborhoods, looking for jobs. They are under-qualified to replace a roof, but they know people are desperate for a solution.
Also check Yelp, Google reviews, Angie’s List, and other review sites when hiring a roofer. Online reviews are the next best thing to personal word-of-mouth. You can get a good idea of how the contractor performs, as well as the quality of customer service.
3. Ask for Proof of Licensing and Insurance
A fly-by-night roofer won’t have the proper documentation. You want to work with a roofing company that can show you proof of insurance, including liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Insurance is critical because litigation is always possible if an accident happens on the job, or if problems crop up after the crew is gone.
A business license and a contractor license are the essential ways to prove that potential contractors are legitimate. If they’ve taken the time to take care of these important legal matters, it’s a good sign they’ll take care of your job site. If they cut corners on paperwork, where else will they cut corners?
4. Find Out About Manufacturer Designations
Ask if the contractor has manufacturer accreditation. This means he has passed specific requirements in order to be certified by the factory. Not all roofers have this, but it shows dedication to the craft and is a further stamp of approval for their work.
There are so many options today when it comes to roofing materials. If you’re hiring a roofer to work with specific types of roofing, you’ll want to make sure they’ve actually done the work before. These designations will also show they’re working with high-quality materials.
5. Get an Estimate in Writing
Most reliable contractors will provide a written estimate (if not, this is a red flag). Make sure that any verbal promises are written down and initialed before agreeing to the work. This way, if there are changes in prices, you are sure to understand why.
Getting a detailed list of work is also an important part of hiring a roofing contractor. As a customer, you want to make sure you get exactly what you’re paying for. Sure, there may be unexpected surprises when replacing a roof, but if they mention something about replacing gutters, make sure that’s in the estimate.
6. Consider More than Price
Quotes are bound to vary, sometimes substantially. It can be tempting to go with the lowest bid but remember the investment you’re making. A few dollars in price can mean the world in quality with roofing projects. As they say, you get what you pay for–but if everything else checks out, the lowest quote may still be considered.
Also, be wary of any contractor that expects you to pay the entire job upfront. The standard is a deposit of one-third of the total cost and the rest upon completion. For added security, pay with a check or credit card, never with cash. Pay the final installment only when you are completely satisfied with the job.
7. Make Sure You Get a Guarantee
It is important to work with a company that has a manufacturer’s warranty, including workmanship. This lets you get work redone even if the problem shows up long after the original job, and provides significant peace of mind as a homeowner.
Warner Roofing, Your Local Roofing Expert
Since 1992, Warner Roofing has been installing the best roofs available to keep your structure safe and sound. We are locally owned, known for using superior materials, and providing guarantees for all of our work. We’re familiar with all roofing codes and regulations and work in all four seasons.
The craftsmen at Warner take pride in their high level of training and roofing certifications. Their roofs stand the test of time, backed by the best warranties in the business. For a roof that will keep your home safe for decades, contact Warner Roofing to get your estimate.