Installing a new roof requires professional expertise. You want someone who can give you information on what roof works best for your climate, location, and home, comes with the right tools and know-how, is reliable, and above all, value for money.
So how do you find a reliable roofing contractor for your project? Most of us turn to neighbors, friends, family, or the Homeowner Association (HOA) for suggestions. But how do you narrow this long list to just one contractor that fits your requirements and roofing needs?
From calling them, checking references and qualifications, and comparing needs, here are some ideas on contracting the most suitable roofing service for your project and budget.
Check their qualifications
Roofing contractors need to meet the criteria outlined in their municipality. These qualifications include years of experience, operating licenses, insurance for the company and the workers, bonds, references, and providing customers with estimates.
Some roofing contractors make it hard for you to obtain estimates, or they are very shady about it. If you come across contractors like these, immediately strike them off your list.
Lookout for licenses and insurance
Licenses and insurances protect not only the roofing contractor and their workers but also homeowners. It’s the only thing that stands between you and a disaster if something goes south. With the proper licenses and insurance, you can make insurance claims, sue the contractor if the project was not completed as agreed according to the contract, and ensure that all your interests are covered.
If your roofer does not come with proper documentation, find a new roofer. Never allow them to start a roofing job until the necessary paperwork has been agreed upon and signed, with the correct insurances and licenses in place.
Read up on the services that they offer
Different contractors will offer various roofing services based on their experiences and expertise. When you’ve narrowed down your list of contractors, just two or three of your most favored ones, see what kind of services (pre and post-installation) they offer.
The most common services include roofing inspections for leaks and damages, repairs and maintenance, installation, and replacement. Depending on your roof needs, these services also include weatherproofing, ventilating, insulating, and shoveling ice dams and snow.
Some contractors also offer roof cleaning services and debris removal, using pressurized water to wash away moss, mildew, and buildup. Some contractors also offer to seal, treat, and paint services if your roof is metal or wood.
When it comes to the roof, the gutter is an extension of the roof that requires equal attention. Some roofing contractors also offer gutter cleaning services, siding, and window services. This may come with additional costs, but it’s worth having all your roofing needs attended to.
This will save you money in the long run and also mean your roof, windows, and gutters are properly maintained to withstand the changing weather conditions.
Request for quotes, references, and samples
Get a least three bids from your top three preferred contractors to compare costs. Costs are a deciding factor because you don’t want to be overcharged for something. You should also be wary if a contractor’s pricing is too good to be true.
This is why comparing costs will give you an idea of the average price in the area for the kind of work you need to be done. Consider the price tag and other criteria such as professionalism, licensing reviews, and communication. If the contractor can show you samples of previous work, either online or at a live site- that’s even better. This can help you choose the contractor that meets your project requirements.
Finally, it also helps to have a list of references from the clients the contractor has worked with previously. If you know any of them, reach out and get an idea of their level of satisfaction with the contractor’s work and the durability and quality of their work.
The kind of materials they use
More often than not, it’s not the materials or the tools that make the job the best job. It’s the contractor’s expertise and knowledge. But it doesn’t hurt to work with the best quality materials and tools on the market.
You may not know much about roofing materials and appliances, but it’s always worth being informed. With temperatures rising and the climate erratic, you don’t want to increase your carbon footprint with your roofing solutions. If you wish for more environmentally friendly materials used for your roof, speak to your contractor about it. Also, check if the materials comply with your state or local environmental laws.
Alternatively, check to see if they have this information on their website. Contractors like National Star Roofing make it easy for potential customers to obtain this information. For instance, they have their insurance, certification, and accreditation on their website for customers to read up on them. This is also a good sign that there’s nothing to hide and no surprises from contracting them for your roofing needs.
One way to judge whether or not it’ll be easy to communicate with your roofing contractor is to ask questions, either by phone or in person by visiting their office. This is an excellent gauge of whether you’ll be happy hiring them for your roof projects.
Some of the questions you can ask your potential contractor, apart from the items mentioned here, is if they’d be able to give you an estimate. You can also ask if there will be a free on-site inspection if a manufacturer warranty covers their work and their inclement weather policy.
Disposal after installation
Most municipalities would have already outlined the dos and don’ts of construction work. This includes how and where to dispose of construction materials. As a homeowner, this policy is also essential in the agreement signed between you and the contractor.
Other items to check are how you’d be billed or invoice, what payment options are available and what happens if there are any post-installation issues with the roof.