Most homeowners aren’t experts on roofing repairs or replacements, making it challenging to find the right contractor. Such an essential and costly home project requires someone you can trust, but how do you go about finding them?
Don’t go blindly throwing a dart at a list of contractor names. There are easy steps you can take to find a roofer that’s right for you.
Let’s look at how you can find a roofer that provides quality and trusted service.
Do you know any family, friends, or neighbors who have had roofing work done recently? Getting a referral from a trusted source is a great way to find a quality roofer.
Make a list of everyone you know who has had work done in the last few years. Reach out to them and ask how they liked the service they received.
Are they happy with the work? How were problems dealt with? Would they hire that contractor again?
If you don’t know anyone who can give a referral, ask a local lumber yard or hardware store for a good contractor’s name.
Do Your Research
The process of finding a quality roofer should always involve doing your homework. Once you have a shortlist of contractor names, it’s time to start investigating each one.
Verify their business contact information. If they have a website, get online and read through their information and testimonials. Also, look for reports on non-bias sites such as Angie’s List to read through customer reviews.
Finally, always check their file with the Better Business Bureau. Look for any complaints or pending cases. If a contractor doesn’t have a good BBB score or a file at all, consider that a red flag.
Make Sure They’re Licensed and Insured
When working with a quality roofing contractor, it’s very important to make sure they’re licensed and insured. That way you’re protected if something should happen on the job site.
Roofers should have both worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see proof of insurance. It should be easy for a roofing contractor to show you the paperwork.
Licensing regulations differ for each state, so check to see what your area’s laws are. Most states require contractors to have a license to work, so be wary of those who don’t have one. Ask to see a certificate and verify it online with the state.
Ask the Right Questions
Asking a roofer the right questions can help you find out a lot about them. Not only from what they answer, but also in how they communicate with you.
Ask how long they’ve been in business and what their training is. Find out who will be doing the work and how experienced is each worker. Also, ask about their warranty and guarantee of work.
While they answer your questions, notice their body language. Contractors who avoid eye contact or try to dodge the question might be trying to hide something. A trusted contractor will have no problem answering questions and will go out of their way to make sure you feel comfortable.
Meet with More Than One Contractor
Hiring the first roofing contractor you come across might work, or it might backfire on you. Always talk to at least three different roofers before deciding which one to go with.
That way you can compare experience, price, past work, and choice of materials. It’s also great to go with the contractor whose personality clicks with yours and you feel most comfortable with.
When you talk to each one, take note of their communication style. Do they listen and address your concerns? Do they give you more than one way to contact them in case you need to?
While price is always a factor, don’t jump at the cheapest bid. Compare all factors of each contractor to find the right fit for you.
Talk to past Customers
A great resource for finding out what quality of work to expect is from past customers. They’re the ones who have “been there, done that” and have firsthand experience that could be helpful to you.
Ask a potential roofer if they have past customers you could talk to. If they provide quality service, it’s likely not going to be a problem for them to give you several names.
Ask these customers how they liked working with that contractor. Find out what they think of the quality of work and how their roof has performed since work finished. If possible, see if you can look at pictures of the roof.
It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if the contractor won’t give you names of past customers. Yet, it should be enough to give you pause and dig deeper into your research.
Get Everything in Writing
Before any work begins, always get everything in writing. Having a detailed signed contract will protect you in case an issue comes up later on.
In the contract, make sure it covers all safety procedures and liability. It should also include details like payment amounts, the work schedule, clean-up methods, and roofing materials. A signed contract gives you, and the roofer, a legally binding document to the agreed-upon work.
Read through the contract carefully. If something is left out, get an addendum before you sign.
Avoid Storm Chasers
If a severe storm blows through taking your roof with it, that roofing contractor who magically shows up on your doorstep isn’t a miracle. It could likely be a scammer trying to part you from your money.
If you get a knock on the door like this, don’t sign a letter of intent. This is an important situation to do your homework. Vet this contractor like anyone else and don’t let them pressure you into anything.
Find a Trusted Roofer to Put a New Roof over Your Head
Don’t gamble the roof over your family’s head to just anybody. By knowing how to find the right roofer, you will have peace of mind knowing you hired the right contractor for the job.
Looking for other ways to spruce up your home? Check out the articles on our Renovation blog!
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