“How to choose a roofing contractor?” Homeowners find themselves asking this question when planning a roof installation. You have to admit – it’s much harder to hire a trustworthy contractor than to get a good roof. Basically, there’s no point in buying the best roof if the wrong persons install it. Poor workmanship is one of the reasons for early roof failures. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
Your roof is a valuable investment. Selecting the right company makes a big difference for your savings, safety, and peace of mind. At Slavin Home Improvement, we share 7 steps to help you hire a roofing contractor you can trust.
1. Make sure that the roofer is local.
While there are many roofing contractors that advertise excellent services, one of the characteristics you should pay attention to is their location. Go for a business that has an established reputation in your area. Here are several benefits of going local:
- Local companies familiarize themselves with weather challenges affecting your roof.
- You don’t have to wait for days before emergencies are handled.
- They are more likely to honor their warranties.
Ask for a contractor’s complete address and pay them a visit. This confirms that the roofer has a physical presence.
2. Check years of experience.
Homeowners take comfort in the fact that a roofing company has been in the industry for years. It doesn’t take a smart person to realize that it takes years to master a skill. When a roofing contractor has worked for over 5 years, it means that they know what they do.
Also, years of experience paint different scenarios. It can be that your roofer handled disaster situations, covered warranties, and helped in insurance claims. Most contractors have also established connections with top manufacturers that supply materials at wholesale prices.
3. Ask for references.
One way to be sure that a roofer has quality workmanship and ethics is to check their references. Contacting homeowners your contractor worked with helps you get unbiased feedback. Generating references from your roofer can be as simple as asking, “Can you please show me homeowner references?”
Call a roofing contractor’s previous customers over the phone and ask these questions:
- What kind of work did the contractor do for you?
- Were you satisfied with their work?
- Do they answer your calls or keep you updated on the project?
- Would you consider hiring them again in the future?
- Did you find their prices reasonable based on the outcome?
4. Be wary of storm chasers.
Learning how to choose a roofing contractor entails avoiding storm chasers. Storm chasers are scammers. They pretend to be your neighborhood roofers and entice you with extremely low roof repair rates. Storm chasers, as the term suggests, show up after a severe weather or storm.
Most storm chasers know how roofing insurances work. They have a sole agenda: To rob you of your hard-earned money. These unscrupulous and dishonest individuals don’t care about your roof, so expect to get shoddy results.
The Better Business Bureau published useful tips to avoid storm chasers who knock at your front door:
- Check the vehicle if it has their business name and phone number written on it.
- Beware of contractors that ask you to pay money in advance.
- Pay by credit card – never in cash.
- Check Better Business Bureau ratings.
- Get a written contract done.
5. Get multiple proposals.
It’s hard to decide which contractor to hire if you don’t have enough information. Written roofing proposals or estimates let you compare apples to apples. Different contractors have their way of writing proposals which contain various details of your project. What’s most important is that these estimates cover everything you should know about the job.
What are the things you should see in a proposal?
- The scope of the roofing project
- The total cost of the project
- List of roofing materials to be used (including model, size, color, etc.)
- How the prices were arrived at
- Payment terms (down payments, progress payments, etc.)
- Warranties in materials and workmanship
- Estimated start and completion date
- Termination clause if contract terms are violated
Never consider hiring a company if they are not willing to make a written proposal. A good contractor values your trust and makes sure to meet your needs.
6. Look for licensing and insurance.
Why do roofing license and insurance matter? While most states require roofing contractors to be licensed and insured, still, a lot of roofers operate without having them. There are many risks in hiring unqualified individuals. These include poor workmanship and zero coverage for any accidents or damages that happen in your area.
It doesn’t matter if you have a neighbor or close friend who volunteers to do your roof. That won’t eliminate the fact that being unlicensed and insured is a huge risk. We’ve heard horror stories of homeowners who ended up covering personal costs of friends who helped but got injured.
7. Ask if they provide emergency services.
Can you reach your roofing contractor even after business hours? Will they be able to come to your aid if your roof breaks down unexpectedly? The idea of emergency situations may seem impossible at the moment. This is why homeowners don’t always consider whether a contractor performs emergency repairs.
Knowing that your roofer will be there when you need them makes you feel safe. Delayed repairs result in more accidents. So, in the process of how to choose a roofing contractor, don’t miss this step.
These seven tips should increase your chances of hiring true professionals. Before you choose a contractor because of attractive pricing, do a thorough background check. Gather proof of their credentials. Working with a credible company ensures other benefits in addition to a good roof over your head.
Do you need advice on roofing maintenance? Is your roof showing signs of damage? Slavin Home Improvement is here to help. As your local roofer, we provide a complete range of roofing services – from roof repairs to gutters to siding work. Get in touch with us today for more information or a free estimate.