How to Choose the Right Roofing Contractor
We recommend setting up a meeting to discuss your needs and their qualifications. Be sure to pay attention to the attitude of the contractor. Good contractors take pride in their work and will be enthusiastic about the possibility of helping you with your problems. Feel confident that the contractor is truly interested in your project.
Find a roofing contractor who knows good roofing practices, roof flashing details, how to handle problem spots on building roofs, and alternative roof covering products: shingle types, grades, colors, low slope roofing, flat roofing materials, etc. A competent roofer will provide you with sound advice on products, reasonable explanation of procedures, and, most important-solid results - no leaks, and a durable roof.
Important questions to ask:
- Is the contractor licensed? Does the contractor have liability insurance?
- Does the contractor carry worker compensation insurance to cover an employee if there is an accident?
- Does the contractor utilize employees on payroll?
- Does the contractor sub-contract the roofing work to someone else? If so, are they properly licensed and properly insured?
- Will the contractor provide a list of references?
- Does the contractor provide a “good workmanship” warranty?
- Does the contractor provide the homeowner with a copy of the warranty issued by the manufacturer of roofing materials, and has it been thoroughly explained to you?
- Does the contractor offer an extended and/or upgraded warranty through the manufacturer? Most manufacturers offer this to reputable roofers.
- Does the contractor thoroughly inspect the roof (and anything else that can leak), prior to the estimate and share his findings and concerns?
- Does the contractor provide a written estimate including specifics on the work to be done, options on the work to be done, the timeline for completion (including clean-up) and the cost all on company letterhead?
- Is the contractor going to supervise all phases of the project and provide final inspection?
- Does the contractor have a cell phone or contact number in case of emergency, and will he be available weekends?
- Does the contractor follow all local and state codes and restrictions?
- Does the contractor show commitment to the profession by being a member of any regional or national industry associations, such as NRCA?
Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors’ below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism, experience and quality workmanship also should weigh heavily in your decision.