Categories
Roofing

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.

Categories
Home Improvement

The Best Roofs to Choose Based On California Roofing Codes

There’s several things to consider when you’re picking a new roof for your home. You’ll consider price, style, and more. What you may not have thought of, though, is California roofing codes.

These are the legal requirements for your roof, that ensure your roof is safe and fit for purpose.

How do you choose the roof that’s right for you?

Here’s some of the best roofs you can choose for your home, based on California roofing codes.

 

Ask A Roofer

If you’re thinking of buying and having a new roof installed, then the best person to speak to is a professional roofer.

They have all the information on California roofing codes, as it’s their job to know them. They’ll come take a look at your current roof, and talk to you about your needs.

With that info, they’ll be able to recommend a roofing type for you.

The best thing to do is read this guide and see what’s recommended to you. Ask a roofer as well, and you’ll get a good, informed idea of which roof is best for your home.

 

6 Types of California Roofing Codes

There are several different codes that dictate, to a certain degree, what kind of roof you should have on your home.

1. Roofer Licensing

Whichever roofer you hire, you need to know that they have the proper licensing. This is required under California law, to ensure that you’re working with true professionals.

  • Usually, this is required if the roofing job is valued at or above $500.
  • In addition to this, the roofing company must have adequate worker’s compensation insurance, to cover their workers in the event of an accident or injury.

When you’re checking out a roofer, you should see their licensing information on their business card. Don’t work with any company if you’re unsure about them, as your roof is a large and important job.

You want to be able to trust whoever you hire to do it.

2. Roofing Permits

Most of the time, if you’re going to have a new roof installed, you’re going to need a permit. The exact requirements for a permit differs, depending on what district you’re in.

In some cases, for example, you’ll need a permit if you’re having repairs done, rather than a full roof replacement.

Your roofer will be responsible for getting the permit, but you’ll be responsible for paying for it.

Make sure you factor this into your budget.

3. Roofing Codes

There are so many roofing codes, it’s hard to cover them all here.

They encompass everything from

  • The materials used in creating your new roof
  • How they work with each other
  • How they’re installed

Generally, California roofing codes require your roof to be both weather and fire safe.

When you look into codes it feels intimidating, but you can talk to a qualified roofer to see what you can have installed on your home. It’s their job to know the codes inside and out, so don’t be afraid to ask.

4. Cool Roofs

A code unique to California law is that of cool roofs.

This is the requirement that a new roof should be able to reflect heat back from the home, cooling your home and therefore reducing the amount of energy you use cooling it with AC.

This is an environmentally friendly code that comes under energy codes for your home.

To get the right roof for your home, your roofer will show you which ones will work best for you.

5. Fire Safety Codes

As many areas of California are at risk of fire, your new roof needs to be capable of resisting fire.

Many roofing materials are classed highly in fire resistance, so you’ll be encouraged to pick those materials when choosing your new roof.

You’ll need a roof that comes under Class A or Class B for fire resistance, if you’re having more than 50% of your roof replaced.

6. Solar Roofing Requirements

One of the newest California roofing codes is that starting in 2020, California roofs must have solar panels on them.

This is part of an effort to improve the energy efficiency of California homes.

Other requirements include:

  • Energy efficient walls, attics and more
  • Increased LED lighting
  • High efficiency air filters

 

 

Which Roof Should You Choose?

With so many California building codes, how do you pick the right style of roof for you?

The roof you choose will be dependent on codes in your district, so you’ll need to think carefully about which one you choose.

Here are some of the more common roofing choices for California homes.

– Metal Roofing

Metal is an increasingly popular choice in California, as it meets so many needs for building codes.

Firstly, being metal, it’s a Class A roofing material and won’t burn if a fire should break out in your home.

It’s also made of a high percentage of recycled material, and excellent at reflecting heat back away from your home.

– Clay Tile

This roofing material is made from natural clay that is fired in a kiln. As a result of this process, the tiles are very fire resistant, helping your roof meet that particular code.

Be aware that if you choose this material, your roof may need reinforcement as it is a heavy material.

– Wood Shingles

Many homeowners dismiss wood shingles, as they feel they wouldn’t be fire retardant.

However, many styles are treated to become fire resistant, making them safer to use on your roof.

– Asphalt Shingles

These are a very common choice, as they’re inexpensive compared to other roofing materials. You’ll also see that they often meet all the codes needed to be used in California.

However, be aware that only last for around 20 years, as compared to metal’s 50 years.

 

Conclusion

These are just four options for you as a homeowner. Talk to a professional roofer and see what they can recommend to you.

You can get a roof that’s completely to code, but still beautiful and long lasting.

Get a quote today and see what you can get.

 

Categories
Maintenance Tips

Trying to Find a Roofer? Avoid These 6 Mistakes

When trying to a find a roofer, how can you tell if a company is reputable and viable? You avoid these 6 common mistakes.

Roofing companies are numerous, and they’re all trying to earn your business.

When it’s time to add a new roof to your home or business, or have repairs performed, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices and the contractors who want to bid on your project.

 

Common Mistakes Made When Trying to Find a Roofer

When looking to find a roofer, it can be difficult to tell who is a legitimate roofing company, and who is not.

If you’re dealing with a critical situation, you may also have the pressure of a repair that needs to be completed ASAP – and fly-by-night roofing companies who will take advantage of your situation.

Be aware of these red flags when trying to find a roofer, and don’t make any of the 6 most common mistakes.

 

1. Not Checking References

Roofing repairs are serious business.

You’ll want to hire a contractor that has both years of experience, along with the ability and confidence to share details of previous work. You also want to look for references from their happy customers.

Don’t just ask for them – follow up on them. When you find a roofer that is reliable, they will have a portfolio of completed work that they’ll be proud to share with you.

Online references can also tell a story. Once you’ve narrowed down the field of possible roofing contractors, hop online and search for them.

You can always check for scams and bad reports on sites like the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

 

2. Believing in that “Special Deal”

It’s been drilled into our heads that; “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” When faced with a big roofing project and invoice amount, it’s tempting to go along with the nice young roofer who showed up at your home.

  • It can seem perfectly logical that they’re already working in the area, and can offer you a discount on the materials.
  • It sure seems like it’s a shame to waste all those shingles that were left over from their last project.

What a great deal!

Unfortunately, these savings don’t last – the unscrupulous company will claim that there have been additional damages that they didn’t see at first – or that materials have gone up unexpectedly.

It’s hard to argue with a roofer who has already started on the project.

Don’t be caught on an “elevator ride”. The customer isn’t responsible for material price increases. Reputable roofers would be advised in increases by their suppliers weeks before they occurred.

Your contract should have a section that addresses repairs and assessment, as well as one that spells out the labor costs with materials.

 

3. Not Getting a Written Estimate

Even when everything else seems legitimate, make sure that you get a written estimate from the company.

It should cover:

  • Estimated start and finish dates
  • Payment procedures
  • Answer any questions you have

Warranties should be covered in advance – this is an important part of the bid. You want a warranty, and the specifics should be provided to you as part of the package.

 

4. Not Asking Enough Questions

It’s your roof. It’s a major expense. You are entitled to as many answers as you like.

When you find a roofer you are interested in, it’s essential to be prepared for your meetings with them.

Get your checklist ready beforehand. Be prepared to ask about the following, if the roofer doesn’t already volunteer the information:

  • Do you provide a written workmanship warranty? They should. This will cover any problems that stem from improper installation – this is separate from the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Do you have a local office? Having a brick and mortar office location is the sign of a business with an actual presence in the area – not a contractor who is based out of their truck, and may never be seen again after the work is done.
  • Are you licensed? Look for licensed contractors in your state. Don’t be shy about checking the license number out online to make sure that it’s current and valid.
  • Do you have insurance? Make sure that the company carries valid insurance with Code 5551 coverage: this is workers compensation insurance specifically for workers who are performing roofing installations.

Ask about these important issues now – don’t just depend on the contractor to supply the information later.

 

5. Paying Up Front

Any contractor who asks for payment up front to purchase materials is bad news. A major red flag is a company that asks for you to sign over an insurance settlement check so that they can “buy materials”.

Imagine this worst-case scenario:

  1. You will find a roofer who needs a check up front
  2. You’ll sign over the insurance check
  3. That is the last time you will see them

Unfortunately, there are those who know that an insurance payout for a roof repair or replacement is likely to be substantial. They head to areas with storm damage, and are gone before the homeowner notices that they haven’t performed the repairs.

 

 

6. Not Reading the Estimate Carefully

When you get multiple estimates – and you are planning on getting multiple estimates, aren’t you? – you’ll see that the style of the paperwork will vary a lot from company to company.

No matter how it is presented, you’ll want to make sure that the following items are covered:

  • Project scope – start and finish dates
  • Both labor and materials costs.
  • Cleanup and removal costs – a roof repair can generate a great deal of debris.
  • A break-down on the type of roofing materials – whether they be tiles, shingles, or other materials, as well as the underlay and flashing details.
  • Proof of the company’s roofing or contractor’s license, plus Workman’s Compensation and liability insurance.

 

Conclusion

Even if you’ve already covered these questions when trying to find a roofer, make sure that the information you’ve already been given is mirrored in the estimate.

The good news in all this is that you will be able to identify quality contractors by their willingness to provide all or much of this information without your asking.

Reliable roofers:

  • Are proud of their previous work
  • Have references
  • Have addresses of jobs that can be seen
  • Are happy to share that they have the proper licenses and insurance

They’ll be able to provide detailed estimates, and have the relationships with their suppliers that allow them to give accurate material costs. Be prepared, don’t make the common mistakes, and the best roofers will become readily apparent.

Categories
Roofing

How to Choose the Right Roofing Materials for Your Home

Choosing the right materials for your roof is important when it comes time to get a new roof. A new roof is one of the biggest investments that most homeowners make. That’s why it is important to understand how to maximize the return on your investment.

Although most homeowners install a new roof out of necessity, you can add value to your home and enhance the exterior when you choose the right materials for your new roof. Getting a new roof is an opportunity to upgrade your home in terms of style, looks and color.

There are a range of roofing choices available, such as wood, asphalt, concrete, slate and composite shingles. Each type of material has their own advantages. The most important thing is to consider what factor is most important to you. It is budget, style, durability or longevity? Unusually, low-cost roofing materials have a shorter lifespan. More expensive roofing tends to last longer. It is also important to consider the material’s weight, cost and installation requirements. Here are the different types of roofing materials and the advantages of each.

Asphalt Shingles            

Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material in the United States. These shingles are simple to install and economical. Basic composite asphalt shingles typically last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. They are a variety of architectural and roof styles. Asphalt shingles come in a large variety of colors, weights, styles and designs. Architectural asphalt shingles are similar to composite ones but they typically last much longer, anywhere from 30 to 50 years. They are more durable than composite asphalt shingles and offer greater resistance to wind and fire. They are also more expensive than asphalt shingles.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are typically made from cypress, western red cedar or pine. Wood shingles have a natural appearance that helps them blend in with the environment. This makes them a popular choice for many architectural styles and locations. Most wood shingles are treated with chemical preservatives that make them resistant to rot. They are also typically treated with fire retardants. The typical lifespan for wood shingles is approximately 30 to 50 years if properly maintained.

Clay Tile

Clay tiles are one of the most eye-catching and versatile roofing materials available. They are often used for Spanish-style or Mission homes. Clay roofs usually last a lifetime. In fact, many can last 100 or more years. Clay tiles can be either flat or curved. There are a variety of surface textures that can be used to create a number of different looks from which to choose. Benefits of clay tile include its longevity, fire-protection and low-maintenance needs. Although clay tile is more expensive than other roofing materials, its natural appearance and beauty often outweigh the cost.

Metal

Metal roofs used to be old barn roofs made of tin. This is no longer the case. Today’s metal roofing materials are available in aluminum, copper and steel. They are fully recyclable, maintenance-free, durable and fire resistant. These roofs are energy efficient as they keep your home cooler in the summer months due to the fact that they reflect the sun’s rays. Metal roofs can last up to 75 years.

 

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Categories
Maintenance Tips

Three Reasons Why Scheduling a Roofing Inspection Makes Sense

You do your best to keep the house in good shape, but there doesn’t always seem to be time to get around to everything. That’s why having professionals come in and help makes sense. When it comes to keeping your roof in top condition nothing beats a roof inspection. Here are some reasons to call a professional and arrange for an inspection today.

Categories
Roofing

Three Tips for Choosing the Best Roofing Company

You’ve made the decision to invest in a new roof. Now your focus is on choosing the right roofing company for the job. Here are some tips that will help you find the right contractor and ensure that the results are exactly what you have in mind.

Categories
Deck Water Proofing

Protect a Home’s Decks with Professional Water Proofing

Water proofing the deck that is located in the backyard of a Ventura, Calif., home is necessary to protect the item’s materials. Your home’s deck is probably made from planks of wood, but water proofing can also protect cement or stone materials. With the long-term drought in Ventura, you might not think that water proofing a deck is required, but a small amount of moisture can damage the item’s materials.

Categories
Deck Coating Deck Water Proofing

Protect a Deck from Moisture

If you have a deck outside your home, then it is vital to protect the materials from sunlight, moisture and insects. It is possible to apply coating solutions to plain wood, or you can stain or paint the wood first. There are benefits from applying a coating over paint or stain because the sealants help to protect the stain and paint from the damages of weather, heat and ultraviolet rays. The majority of decking materials lay flat, making it easy for moisture from morning dew and rain to rest on the wood on a daily basis. Small amounts of moisture begin to seep into the wood, causing decay such as warping and splitting.

Categories
Roofing

Installation of Commercial Roofs is Complex

High-quality commercial roofing for businesses is just as important as having a sturdy roof on a private residence.

However, in many cases, installing a commercial roof is more complex because the surface is larger or has specialized features.

In addition, the building code regulations for commercial structures are frequently more stringent than for private residences because the risks of injury to employees or the general public is higher.

Categories
Roofing

Pros and Cons of the 5 Most Common Types of Roofing Materials

One of the most important parts of your home is the roof. It is responsible for keeping you warm in the winter, cool in the summer and most importantly, protecting your family as well as your personal belongings from the elements. While the roof of your home provides a certain aesthetic value, using certain roofing materials, such as metal or wood, can also increase the value of your property. When choosing roofing materials, you need to consider several factors, including the cost, quality, style and durability. To help you make the best decision for your needs, here are the pros and cons of the most popular types of roofing materials.