Getting a roof repaired or replaced is a pretty hefty investment, so it definitely pays to do your due diligence before agreeing to hire a roofing company. If you’re in the market to hire a roofer, below are some vital points of information you need to know before you sign on any dotted lines.
1. Are they licensed and insured?
Unfortunately, the licensing laws for roofing contractors vary by state, and while one state might have particularly stringent code requirements, another state may be completely different. Be sure to research the specific code requirements for your state, and only work with contractors who have up-to-date licenses. In addition, a reputable roofing contractor will carry adequate liability and workman’s compensation insurance to protect their business and your property. If a prospective roofing contractor cannot meet both of those criteria, your best bet is to keep looking.
2. How long have they been in business?
If a roofing company is relatively new, that doesn’t automatically mean that they can’t be trusted, but having longevity and a good track record in the roofing business is a very good sign. If possible, try to go with a roofing company that has a well-established history of quality work and excellent customer service.
3. What type of roofing products are they qualified to install?
Like many other aspects of the construction industry, roofers must obtain special training or certification in order to install roofing materials made by certain manufacturers. Check to see which roofing products your potential contractor is qualified/certified to install; generally speaking, the more certifications they have under their belt, the more likely you will receive the most fitting roofing products for your repair or installation project.
4. How will they protect your landscaping during the project?
If your landscaping is looking worse while your roof is looking better, something has definitely gone awry with the roofing job. A quality roofing contractor will take great pains to protect the surrounding landscape while they’re working on your roof. Ask your prospective roofer what they plan to do to ensure a minimal impact on your landscaping during the job.
5. Will they provide you with a point of contact throughout the project?
A roofing company that cares about their customers will be sure to appoint some type of project manager who can act as your primary point of contact during the entire process. This person should be on site throughout the duration of the project in order to answer your questions and address any concerns you might have.
6. Will they provide you with a detailed written estimate?
Roofing jobs are expensive, and the last thing you would want is to get stuck with a final bill that is significantly higher than the contractor’s initial estimate. Before you sign on any dotted lines, be sure that you have a detailed written estimate that includes removal costs for the old roof, installation costs for the new roof, and any other fees or charges that apply to your specific project. A reputable roofing contractor will not blindside you with any unpleasant surprises!
7. What trade associations do they belong to?
Practically every major occupation has at least one or two trade associations or professional organizations for the purpose of maintaining the accountability and credibility of its members. Be sure to ask your prospective roofing contractor if they belong to any national or local trade associations (e.g., the National Roofing Contractors Association, etc.), as this signifies a commitment to upholding industry standards and maintaining quality customer service.
Like any other industry where large sums of money change hands on a regular basis, the roofing business has its fair share of charlatans as well. Just keep the above questions in mind when evaluating potential roofing contractors, so that you can ensure that you’ll work with a reputable company that will make your satisfaction their number-one priority.