When partnering with a contractor for your roofing project, it’s critical to choose a reputable company. One obvious red flag that the organization you’re dealing with is a storm chaser, is if they do not a physical address and your only way of communication is via cell phone. When conducting your research, be thorough and don’t neglect to check off each of the below points prior to making a decision.
Insurance Coverage: You should always ask for a copy of a contractor’s insurance policy; not only to make sure that they do carry insurance, but to understand what kind and coverage limits. Many contractors can have coverage but it is sometimes not enough to even cover your property and worker’s compensation. Double check that the coverage is effective through the duration of your roofing project.
Request & Research Their Reference List: When asking for a reference list, get a combination of recent clients and those that had work done a few years ago. This will allow you to see how the company currently operates and if their work stands the test of time. When you speak with a contractor’s reference, don’t fail to ask these questions.
Check Them Out with the Better Business Bureau (BBB): Any respectable and upright roofing contractor will be a member of the BBB. Verify whether any complaints have been filed against them and how the complaints were addressed.
Brand of Roofing Material: There’s cause for concern if the roofer you’re interviewing claims to have a cheap, no-maintenance roofing material with an iron-clad warranty. While you might be able to find a product that fulfills two out of the three pieces of criteria, a product that checks off all of these boxes does not exist. If your focus is concentrated on the most inexpensive roofing material, do not expect for it to last a lifetime. There is a lot to be said about the cost of roofing materials and why consumers choose one over the other, but take our advice that price should be lower on your list than quality and warranty. When it comes to brands of asphalt shingles, choosing a nationally known roofing manufacturer, like GAF, is a very important aspect. Not only have they earned the Good Housekeeping Seal, but they also come with a 50 year, non-prorated warranty.
Get Your Contract in Writing: Protect yourself by having a written contract that clearly defines all of the following aspects of your project:
- The scope of work that will be done on your home
- The type of roofing material that will be used, the manufacturer and your choice of color
- Agreement of who will be removing your existing roof
- Whether or not existing flashing on your home needs to be replaced or can be re-used and the type of flashing metal
- Will there need to be anything done regarding your current ventilation
- Who will replace or repair any damage to landscaping or the exterior of your home if any occurs during the installation process by accident
- A timeline of when your project will start and end
- What type of payment you will be using to pay for your project whether it is a personal check, credit card or even possibly financing through your contractor of choice
- Detailed warranty on your new shingles and the workmanship of the job
- Who is responsible for disposal of your old roofing materials
- Any extra fees and or discounts that will be applied to your contractor
Learn more about the homework you should do before installing a new roof here: