How to Choose the Best Roofing Contractor
Choosing the best roofing contractor can be a challenge, to say the least. Let’s face it, installing or replacing a new roof is a large investment, and choosing the right company is very important for many reasons.
The roof of your home protects all of your assets and everything else under it. The average shingle life is 20 to 30 years and therefore installation and workmanship should stand up to that same time frame. If there is failure in the workmanship of your new roof, including shingle installation or metal flashing’s, the integrity of the entire roofing system is put in jeopardy. Stated simply, the character and integrity of the roofing contractor is essential to the the longevity of your roof.
Roofing contractors will all try to say that they offer the best deal including workmanship and price. Obviously they can’t all be the best and somewhere along the line you have to make a choice. This begs the question: How do you choose the best company when there are so many roofing contractors to choose from? It could be said that each and every person judges character and integrity on different criteria, however when it comes to choosing from so many roofing contractors it not only could be a challenge, but somewhere along the line there has to be away to gauge who would be the best for your new roof. Unfortunately if you make the wrong choice you are the one who loses. There was one instance of a customer choosing a roofing contractor who had been in business in the Waukesha Metro area for over 20 years. They were established, and had good character and integrity. They also offered a very affordable price. Unfortunately the installation was less than acceptable and shingles began to blow off the house. When the customer tried contacting the roofing contractor they discovered that the business had become insolvent. The company was non-existent and therefore so was the warranty. This customer did not have any recourse.
Helpful Tips in Assessing Roofing Contractors
There are many ways to start your search for the contractor who meets your individual needs. Referrals are obviously the best source for names of credible companies. Ask friends and family members who they have used in the past.
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce about roofing contractors who are active in the community. The Better Business Bureau, state and local licensing authorities, local trade associations and your local yellow page directory are also excellent sources of information. Local suppliers of roofing products are an excellent source as well.
After you have compiled a list of possible contractors, take time to evaluate each one carefully. Professional roofing contractors will be happy to provide all of the information you may require.
Contacting the Roofing Contractor
One tip that helps to get a contractor to respond to your call is to tell him you are shopping around, but are only interviewing three contractors, not ten.
Roofing contractors shop for good jobs that will make a fair profit and bring future referrals . Many contractors have had experiences with unreasonable or dishonest homeowners and look for warning signs of customer problems during the initial job interview.
Set up a meeting to discuss your needs and their qualifications, and be sure to pay close attention to the attitude of the company representative. Good contractors take pride in their work and will be enthusiastic about the possibility of helping you with your problems. If your feeling confident that the roofing contractor is interested in your project, ask for the company’s business information which will help you make your final decision.
Things To Consider Asking For:
- Business Name and Address: A good, professional contractor will provide the telephone number. These are essential when checking on the company’s previous business dealings.
- Ask for business license numbers and information on the company which bonds the contractor. Then check with local authorities to see that the company compiles with regulations.
- Insurance Coverage: A contractor should carry worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. Request the name and address of the insurance carrier, along with a copy of the company’s insurance certificate. Beware of low bids which are a result of incomplete insurance coverage and workman’s compensation.
- Experience: The training and experience of a contractor, as well as the age of his or her company, will help you determine their ability to successfully complete your project.
- Licensing/Bonding: Some states require special licensing for contractors.
- Professional References: Your contractor’s past can help determine your future.
- Ask for credit references, banking information and a list of completed projects including the names and telephone numbers of previous clients.
- Company Philosophy: Discuss application techniques and workmanship guarantees.
- Workmanship Warranty: Does the contractor stand behind his work? If so, how long is the warranty coverage, and what type of warranty is it — prorated or non-prorated?