If you’re in the market for a new roof, choosing the right contractor for the job can be a daunting task. After all, there are so many things to consider: the quality of the roofing material you choose, the level of experience of your roof installers, whether you’re paying a fair price for job, etc. A new roof is a major investment, so it’s especially important to find the right roofing contractor before you sign up to have the work done.
How to Choose the Best Roofing Contractor
• Make sure the contractor has a permanent place of business. If you go with a contractor that works out of the back of his truck, you run the risk that the company is a “fly-by-night” operation. Any reputable roofing contractor will have a permanent street address, telephone number, and email.
• Ask the contractor how long the company has been in business. Remember that a roofer’s level of experience is just as important as the quality of materials used. A poor installation will result in a short-lived roof that will need to be repaired or replaced long before its time.
• Ask the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau if they have received any complaints about the contractor. If the roofing company is a BBB member, that’s great. But not all companies choose to belong to the BBB, and that shouldn’t stop you from working with them. Keep in mind, however, that complaints against a company can be filed with the BBB even if the company in question isn’t a member. You might also check with your local contractors’ board to find out if any customers have filed complaints with that organization.
• Ask for references. Any reputable roofing contractor should be happy to provide references and/or addresses of homes or businesses that they have installed roofs for. A great word-of-mouth reputation speaks volumes about the kind of contractor you’re dealing with.
• Make sure the contractor is licensed, insured and bonded. Workers’ comp and liability insurance are a must-have. If the contractor you’re working with doesn’t have adequate insurance, you can be held responsible for medical expenses if a worker is injured on your property.
• Find out from the contractor what kind of experience their workers have and whether they provide on-the-job training for new employees. Remember how important the quality of the installation is, so be sure that only experienced professionals work on your roof.
• Make certain that the contractor routinely cleans up the job site after the work is done. If you’re having an old roof removed, verify with the company that the old roof material will be hauled away, and make sure that fact is included in a written contract.
• Be certain that the contractor offers a guarantee not only on the roofing materials used, but also on the labor. This guarantee should be provided in writing.
• Ask for a written estimate that you can compare with other companies you ask to bid on the job. Always get at least three bids so you can be sure that you’re choosing the best contractor available and paying a reasonable price for the job.
• Expect a complete written contract. This should include the scope of the project, an itemized list of all materials that will be used, start and completion dates for the project and costs for both materials and labor.
It’s important that you feel comfortable with the contractor and that you communicate well back and forth. And, no matter how tempting it may be, don’t always go with the lowest bid. If one company provides an estimate well below that of other companies, ask how they arrived at that figure. A lower price may be great at the onset, but it’s not worth it if the materials used are substandard or the workmanship isn’t up to par.
Roofers | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – http://www.flickr.com/photos/pat_mcconahay/8411511593/Author: Patrick McConahay http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en