How To Choose the Right Roofing Contractor
The Selection Process
If your roof needs replacing, and you are thinking about being that little bit different and want to re-roof with shingles, then you will need to find the right roofing contractor to do the job. Maybe you have already called a few and are working out who will be the best for your upcoming project. Just how do you go about picking the best contractor to work on your roof? Here are a few things you might want to consider when looking for a legitimate roofing contractor.
Location – where is the contractor located? It makes sense to go local. Common sense tells you that you will get a better service if the roofing company lives somewhere near you, or at least has an office in the vicinity.
References – You can do this online or you can ask the roofing contractor directly. Do they have past clients who are willing to recommend their services? If privacy is an issue and the contractor claims they value the privacy of their clients, ask for a business reference. Suppliers of materials to the roofing contractor can give you information about the regularity of supplying the contractor with materials, and that is a reasonable indication of stability.
Complaints – What is the contractor’s process for handling complaints? Do they even have a procedure? There can be a heap of problems during a roof replacement. The contractor can add some serious credibility if they can provide a client reference who had a complaint and it was resolved satisfactorily.
Payment terms – What are the payment terms of the job? Is there a deposit then the rest is paid on completion? A deposit is a reasonable request, but payment for the whole job prior to completion is not.
A Written Contract – terms for a roofing replacement project should be put in a written contract. Verbal assurances are not legal and sometimes forgotten.
Warranty – If something can go wrong – it will. Murphy’s Law. And when things go wrong they usually cost money to fix. There are things that can go wrong with roofing installations that end up costing quite a bit of money to fix particularly on a large project like re-roofing. Knowing there are warranties in place will make you feel a whole lot more comfortable with your roofing contractor.
Manufacturer Warranty – GAF shingles and associated roofing products all have written warranties. Make sure that the roofing contractor is using materials that carry a manufacturer’s warranty. If you are not sure, simply ask for a copy of the warranty.
How long in Business – If the company has been in business only a short time it may or may not mean instability. The business may be young but the contractor may have been in the industry for ages. A new contractor may have many years of experience working on roofs before they formed their own business. There’s no doubt that experience can equate to the standard of the work. But it’s not the only factor. Everyone has to start sometime.
Permits – A roofing contractor should know what permits are required for repairing your roof. They should be aware of how to obtain these permits on your behalf.
Liability – If a worker is injured while working on a project in your home, who is responsible for the worker’s compensation? If the contractor damages your home, who will pay for the repairs? These days, you would not even allow a contractor onto your property to do work of any sort without them having liability insurance.
Subcontractors – Does the contractor use subcontractors? If the answer is yes, then the subcontractor should have all the same terms and conditions applied as they are to the contractor. And again, check for licences and liability insurance.
The Legalities – It might be hard to find this out, but are there any legal actions pending against the contractor? You wouldn’t want your roofing contractor going bankrupt after you had made a reasonably sized deposit.
Material Disposal – The old roof is being removed. Who is responsible for disposing of the old roofing material? There will be an additional cost. However, it should be included in the initial project costing.
Accreditation – In Australia, accreditation is with the HIA, Housing Industry of Australia. In the case of the roofing material being shingles, an American product, roofing contractors sometimes maintain accreditation with the NRCA. This is National Roofing Contractors Association based in the USA. The idea of accreditation is not to have a fancy logo on your product catalogues, but showing that you are staying up to date with the best methods of roof replacement and maintenance applicable to your product.
There is a significant investment involved in replacing your roof. It makes good sense to get answers to all your questions from your roofing contractor before the work starts.
Just a couple of extra tips you might think about before you select your roofing contractor.
Payments – Full payment is made when ALL the work is finished.
Inspection – Do not make full payment until a final inspection gives the job the all clear.
Word of Mouth Agreements – simply don’t make any. Everything should be in writing.
While All American Roofing is the new boy on the block with regard to shingle roofs, the people behind the business have been in this service industry for years.