How to Find the Best Roofing Company
It’s obvious that your roof is an important part of your house. So when planned or unexpected roofing needs come up, it’s crucial to find the best roofing company. Read more.
It happens to many homeowners. Their roof turns twenty-one and, unlike the thrill that they got from becoming adults, they’re seeing their roofs starting to sag, leak, and lose their shingles. In other words, they have a roof that’s entering old age.
If you’re one of those homeowners, you know there is a substantial expense awaiting you. One thing is for certain—you want the job done right so that you won’t be regretting your decision a few years down the road.
Finding the best roofing company can be challenging and confusing. After all, it’s not something you do very often. Once you have found the right roofing company, you shouldn’t have to do it again for many years.
Here are some suggestions for taking the guesswork out of finding the best company for your new roof.
1. Eliminate Any Roofing Company Not Insured
While not every state or municipality requires roofing contractors to have workers’ compensation and liability insurance, you need to demand it. It protects you and the work being done. Any credible roofer will be able to supply you with proof of coverage, and if you have any doubts, call the insurance carrier to confirm it.
As you’re sending out requests for quotes for the roofing work, make insurance a prerequisite for bidding on the job. That way, you maintain a level playing field and keep out the low-ball bidders that may cost you more in the long run.
2. Choose an Established Contractor
Examine the track record of any contractor you’re thinking of hiring. It’s imperative that you choose an experienced roofer with a clean reputation in your community. Get references and don’t give anyone a deposit until you are confident that they are reputable.
Verify that the roofing company you’re considering has the required applicable business licenses for your state or local area. Confirm that the contractor is legitimate by asking for a tax identification number, a business address or website, an email address, and a contact phone number.
Ask the roofing company for a list of references and former clients. Call them to find out if they were satisfied with the work done on their roof.
Remember, any warranty is a piece of paper that’s only as good as the contractor who is behind it. If you have problems within the warranty period, you’ll be very disappointed if the company that installed your roof has gone out of business, moved, or is nowhere to be found.
3. Don’t Use Price as Your Only Criteria
It’s always tempting to take the lowest estimate when you put a job out for bids. However, it’s a temptation you should resist. The lowest-priced roofer might not be able to give you the same value as one with a higher price.
Those who work on the side or out of a van will usually come in with a lower estimate. However, the adage – you get what you pay for – often rings true. After the cost of repairs to the original work is factored in, that lower initial price may end up costing you more than one of the higher estimates from a reputable roofer. That’s because any problems with their work would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee.
Don’t fall for cheap bids. Contractors with overhead and proper insurance have to establish pricing to cover such costs. They usually also end up being the most economical choice.
4. Stay Away From Storm Chasers
Be wary of any roofing company that is soliciting door-to-door and promising insurance compensation for repairs to your roof.
Be careful with a company that puts emphasis on how the homeowner can get a new roof paid for by the insurance company. Phrases like “we were in your neighborhood” and “many homeowners are unaware of the storm damage on their roof” should set off alarms in your head.
Pick your contractor from a referral from friends, relatives, neighbors, insurance agents, claims adjusters, or a sign on the lawn of a satisfied customer. If you are confronted by someone canvassing your neighborhood, don’t give in to their pressure tactics and sign a letter of intent. Most of them will tell you they have noticed storm damage to your roof. Call your agent before doing anything.
Once again, you can always check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you’re considering.
5. Get It in Writing
Make sure you get a contract or detailed proposal in writing that provides explicit information regarding the project. The contractor should include in the proposal all of the following:
- The length of the project
- Daily start and end times
- Type of materials to be used
- Safety procedures
- The total price
- A payment schedule
- Clean-up methods
Don’t rush into signing the contract. Read it carefully and ask a trusted friend to read it to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Get a copy of the signed contract before work begins.
6. Good Communication
Communication is important in any business. If the prospective roofer isn’t good at it in the early stages, he will probably be frustrating to work with after you hire him.
Here are a few questions you should consider:
- Is the contractor returning your calls?
- Are they sending the documents you requested?
- Are they following through with information and prices?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of these, you might want to keep looking for a contractor. If you aren’t getting what you want up front, it’s not likely to improve after you’ve committed to working with them.
Why the Need For Professionalism?
If you have an older home that requires exterior remodeling, then you need to contact a professional company for home improvements. Making improvements to your home is necessary to prevent damage to its exterior materials, but you may also need to modernize certain features.
Instead of attempting to make changes yourself, a contractor will have the equipment and tools required to complete home improvements correctly.
- Have Downspouts and Rain Gutters Repaired
Exterior repairs definitely require the expertise of contractors with extension ladders and bucket trucks. In California, many families spend a lot of time outside on their wooden decks. However, these structures will degrade without a new application of coating that repels water.
In addition to deck coatings, a roofing company can repair a building’s downspouts and rain gutters. If you have a skylight in a roof that is leaking moisture, a roofing company is able to fix the frame and other materials to avoid additional moisture damage.
- Total Roof Replacement
The most important part of a home is its roof, but it is often ignored until there are extensive problems with underlying structures. Homeowners should have their home’s roof inspected every three years or after severe weather occurs.
A roofing contractor can repair small problems such as missing shingles to prevent structural damages from moisture that leaks into attics and wall spaces. When a home’s roof is 20 years old or older, you might need to have a total replacement with new materials.
- Have Solar Panels Installed
A total replacement of a home’s roof is a wonderful opportunity to install energy-efficient shingles and insulating layers to keep a building cooler in hot temperatures. At the same time, if you are tired of paying huge electrical bills to cool a home, then it is time to have a roofing company’s technicians install lightweight but durable solar panels.
Today, adding solar panels to a home during a roofing repair or replacement is a fast and simple process. It can save you a lot of money in the future.
Don’t Leave Anything to Chance
Do your homework and protect yourself when you shop for a roofing company. Legitimate roofers have nothing to hide and will be happy to answer all of your questions.
If you deal with a top-notch roofing company, it’s more than likely that’s the kind of workmanship you’ll get.