How to select a roofing contractor
By Diane Roller
Choose carefully when hiring a roofing contractor. Your home’s roof is its first defense against the weather.
Is your roof looking worn or damaged? Has a storm come through your area recently? If your roof is not in good shape, it’s a good idea to replace it quickly to prevent damage to your home.
Replacing your roof can be a large financial decision, so you’ll want to find a roofing company that will do the job quickly and efficiently. But how do you pick one?
You may want to look at popular review websites to find a list of contractors in your area. This also may help you avoid the companies known as “storm chasers” – companies that appear after a large storm and canvass neighborhoods trying to get people to sign a letter of intent to hire them to replace your roof. Research the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings to help ensure you are choosing a contractor with a good business rating.
You’re better off choosing an experienced, reputable contractor with good business ratings and reviews. Using a local contractor also allows you the opportunity to inspect their prior work and ask customers about their experiences.
Consider getting at least three estimates. While price is a major consideration, other important factors could influence your decision such as workmanship guarantee, the reputation of the roofing company and availability of each company.
Some questions you may want to ask each roofing contractor:
- How long has the company been in business? You want to do business with a company that will be around in the future should a problem arise.
- Is the company licensed in your state or municipality? Most states and some local governments require a roofing company to be licensed in that state or municipality.
- Can the company provide proof of insurance? The contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of the company’s certificate of insurance.
- Will the company provide a detailed estimate in writing? All job specifications and prices should be in writing to avoid misunderstanding about what was agreed to. The estimate should include start date, the length of time to complete the project, roofing materials that will be used, safety procedures, cost and payment schedule along with clean-up methods.
- Will the company obtain any permits that are needed? The roofing company should take care of this on your behalf and include any fees in the written estimate.
- Is the company an authorized installer for the shingle manufacturer? Many manufacturers won’t honor their warranties if their product is installed by a non-authorized installer.
- Will the company arrange for any necessary inspections? Your local building department may require an inspection after installation. When planning your project, pay attention to any requirements of your homeowner association.
After talking to several contractors, compare them and determine which company is best for you. Once you make your decision, you are ready to move forward.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Visit your local, independent agent for insurance coverage information and advice.