No matter if your roof only needs a couple of repairs or you have to replace it, hiring a roofing contractor will be completely necessary nine times out of ten. Even if you are a die-hard DIYer and like to do your roof maintenance yourself, sometimes the problem can grow larger than your abilities. Unless you are a roofing contractor, you will have to contact and hire the professionals for the most complicated jobs.
Luckily for customers, there are numerous roofing contractors to choose from, and the selection process may overwhelm any customer. A set of tips to utilize when deciding on your roofing contractor will help keep reading for the details.
- 1. Ask neighbors, friends, and family
- 2. Check the online reviews
- 3. Longevity in business of the contractor
- 4. Look it into the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- 5. See if they have a license
- 6. Always pick the experienced contractors
- 7. Make sure to obtain quotes for the job
- 8. Check to see if they have insurance
- 9. Ask who will be doing the job
- 10. Make sure you also get a warranty for the job
- 11. Have it all in writing
- 12. You should wait to pay for the whole job
- FAQs on choosing a roofing contractor
- Q: Does the contractor deal with unsatisfied customers?
- Q: Is it essential to know the estimates for the damage from the insurance company?
- Q: Will the contractor remove the old roof too?
- Q: Is the company going to use ladder stabilizers or standoffs for protecting the gutters?
- Q: Will the company bring a container for refuse material?
1. Ask neighbors, friends, and family
More often than not, you will have several choices in your area, and asking friends about referrals will be very useful.
The chances for you to get the most accurate information from your family and friends are pretty high, and you may completely trust their recommendations.
If nobody in your family or group of friends has replaced the roof lately, you should ask a neighbor who went through such a complicated project. It’s easy to notice when your neighbors are addressing roof problems, and they will be more than happy to help you with some suggestions.
2. Check the online reviews
One of the best parts about the internet is the easy access you have to so much information with just a click of a button. Even if your family has some opinions about a specific roofing contractor, you may still see if it’s the norm or the exception.
Look for the businesses with at least four stars, and plenty of reviews on Google. Negative reviews only complete the image on a contractor; satisfying all customers is very difficult, and it depends a lot on how picky a client is. However, if all customers highlight the same problem and think it’s going to be a big thing for you, it’s wise to look for another contractor.
3. Longevity in business of the contractor
We’re not saying that we don’t trust young companies; however, experienced roofing contractors will address a great variety of problems. would you go ahead and have heart surgery if your doctor is performing it for the first time>
Most of the time, the budget will be the primary factor for selecting the contractor. Just like anything else in life, what you pay is what you get. Should you decide to hire a contractor willing to bargain the price, but unable to show you a list of happy customers, the risk to end up with a lousy job is very high.
Don’t think that you will be able to collect a judgment against the contractor; it may end the business after a lawsuit. Fly-by-night contractors are famous for vanishing for escaping to pay damages; they will open soon enough under a new name. Selecting a reputed contractor with a good reputation and years of experience will save you from future problems, even if you’re going to pay more than expected.
4. Look it into the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
If you’ve come down with a top 3 list of contractors, you should also check the Better Business Bureau’s website.
Ideally, the contractor should have accreditation from the BBB. The company is determined to address all complaints and runs with the BBB accreditation standards. If the company is listed on the website, you may easily take a look at customer reviews and even see the complaints. You shouldn’t go with a company with less than four stars, a minimal number of claims, and A-rating.
5. See if they have a license
Most states don’t allow roofing companies to run unless they have a license. However, unlicensed companies will still try to get clients. Roofing is no place to cut corners and hire non-professionals, and you should always make sure that you hire a licensed roofing contractor.
A contractor without a license will do a lousy job, but it also does not have insurance. Should anything happen throughout the roofing job, you may be liable to pay if someone gets hurt.
Always make sure that the roofing company has a license and that you may take a look at a copy of that license. It’s also possible to check the license online, as anyone can now make some pretty diplomas.
6. Always pick the experienced contractors
If you know that your roofing will lead to a lot more than some shingles replacement, you should pick an experienced contractor. Even if you have to pay the extra buck, you want them to correctly address the roofing problems so that you don’t worry about it anytime soon (decades, preferably).
When the roofing contractor knows what he’s doing, the risk for mistakes or improper installation is low. Take a look at the “About Us” section on the website to see when it was established. When you cannot find any dates, they’re probably really new in the business.
7. Make sure to obtain quotes for the job
The cost for the job can seal or not the deal for many clients. You should spend some time and contact as many companies as you can to get a quote. Three quotes are the minimum you should get; the more options you have, the better the chances to make the proper decision.
Once you have several quotes, you will be able to decide the average price for the roof job. Going with the cheapest quote is very tempting, but you should never fall into that trap. The work may be inadequate, or the quote may not include everything that the project requires. Companies who quoted far below are red flags, as they try to scam you or ensure subpar work.
It’s wiser to focus on the companies that provide similar quotes.
8. Check to see if they have insurance
Clients often believe that whether the company has insurance or not shouldn’t interest them at all. However, when the roofing contractor doesn’t possess the correct liability and protection for all employees and subcontractors, you will have to pay legally and financially when someone gets injured while working on your roof. Don’t rush into signing the papers if the company doesn’t show you the insurance.
It’s another reason very low quotes from a contractor signify that the contractor may not have insurance.
9. Ask who will be doing the job
It’s a shared belief that the roofing company has its employees performing the job. However, some companies will hire third-party independent contractors. If so, you will find yourself in the situation that you have been trying so much to avoid. When the company uses third contractors, the manufacturer’s warranty can become void. You will have to deal with unlicensed workers, inexperienced workers, or workers without insurance.
Therefore, you should always see if the contractor has employees or subcontractors of the roofing company. Always ask about the experience of the workers, the insurance policies.
10. Make sure you also get a warranty for the job
It may not be the case when working with an experienced company, but what happens if the company makes mistakes while completing it? It can take months and even years until you discover that the roof’s faulty installation causes your stains on the walls. Your insurance will not cover the repairs.
When the contractor doesn’t provide any warranty, they may not be willing to pay for the mistakes later. You will have to hire another company for the repairs, so you start with the selection process all over again.
It’s easier and less nerve consuming to see if the contractor provides a warranty and what the warranty covers. A reliable contractor will offer a guarantee for the job and warranty when the job doesn’t pass the durability test.
11. Have it all in writing
Words mean nothing, especially when it’s about services. Repairing or replacing the roof is quite the investment, so you should have everything on paper. It protects both you and the company you’re hiring. Writing will also give a clear image of what services you should expect while being protected from any future claims.
The papers should also comprise financial agreements. You can never be too sure.
12. You should wait to pay for the whole job
What shall you do if the contractor asks you to pay all upfront? It’s a clear sign that the company is trying to pull a scheme on you, and you should look for another contractor.
Many reliable companies will ask a deposit before they address the job, and you can make payments as the project is developing. This sort of payment protects both you and the contractor.
FAQs on choosing a roofing contractor
Q: Does the contractor deal with unsatisfied customers?
A: Sadly, roofing is made with humans, so the risk for mistakes is always present. However, how the company will deal with any problems is essential when choosing the roofing contractor.
You should ask the company to see what’s their take on the unsatisfied. Do they provide a direct line where you may call 24/7? Will they provide technical support and send someone when something goes wrong?
Q: Is it essential to know the estimates for the damage from the insurance company?
When the roof is damaged because of the bad weather, you may contact the insurance company to see if they will cover the repairs. Before signing you a check, they will have to estimate the damage. You may be determined to make the repairs asap, but you cannot proceed until the insurance company estimates.
It’s tough to wait, but you should do it to have the green light from the insurance company. You don’t want to start with the repairs to realize that your insurance company won’t cover for it because you didn’t wait for the estimate.
Q: Will the contractor remove the old roof too?
A: The roofer may check your roof, deciding to shingle over it. Visual will not be enough for identifying the deep problems like rotten or soft spots. They don’t go away quickly and cause even more damage to the roof. Ask the roofing contractor if they will also remove the current roof. You want the job to be done appropriately.
Q: Is the company going to use ladder stabilizers or standoffs for protecting the gutters?
A: You may not give a serious thought on how the roofers will get to the roof, but it’s a fundamental matter for the gutters’ safety. Stabilizers and standoffs will maintain the excess of hundred pounds off of the gutters, protecting the guttering system throughout the installation. You want to make sure that they utilize standoffs or stabilizers for protection.
Q: Will the company bring a container for refuse material?
A: When the roof is replaced, a lot of refuse, nails, old plywood, shingles are going to be removed. No matter who will do the job, it’s best to come with their container to dispose of the refuse. It’s not your job to provide the container or to manage it with the trash after the roofing is done.