Choosing and Hiring a Roofing Contractor
Buying a new roof system is a considerable investment. Before deciding to hire a contractor, make sure you have evaluated all your options. Absolutely, you should work with a professional roofing contractor. The goal is to end up with a quality roof system within your pre-defined budget.
Take note that not all roofers are the same, so take time to pre-quality candidates based on the following guidelines:
Anyone can pretend to be a legit roofer just by running a professional-looking website, so it’s important to look for a physical business address, a landline phone number, tax identification number, and, if applicable, a business license. Nowadays, anyone can put up a professional-looking website and claim to be a professional roofing contractor, so don’t let your guards down.
You don’t have to hesitate to ask a candidate contractor whether or not they are insured. Reputable roofers understand how important this is to a consumer. Look for copies of their liability and workers’ compensation policies, and verify if they’re valid. So many building and home owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofers and/or taken responsibility for accidents that happened inside their properties.
There are certain licensing requirements in some states so you have to check on this before you proceed. In any case, you’re always safer dealing with a licensed contractor.
Professional contractors will provide all the details you need about their company, including financials, so if the roofer you’re considering seems uncooperative, move on to your next prospect.
Don’t settle for any roofer that cannot give you a proven track record via client references. Very importantly, spend time calling these references and have them tell you about their experience with the contractor. Find out if they would consider hiring the same person or company for future projects. Unless a contractor actually provides a written and detailed proposal that contains all the necessary information, including descriptions, specs, a project timeline and payment schedule and terms, don’t move further with a contractor.
A contractor that is a member of industry associations, whether local or national, demonstrates commitment to their business, especially their clients.
Call your local Better Business Bureau to find out whether the contractor has a record of customer complaints.
Read and understand any offered roofing warranties, especially the provisions that would render them invalid.
Finally, be skeptical about the lowest bid. If you just know in your heart and mind that the offer is too good to be true, forget about it. Roofers who bid below standard rates are usually inexperienced, uninsured and incompetent. Remember, price is only one factor to consider when selecting a contractor. Other more critical considerations include professionalism, experience and quality workmanship.