Irrespective of the materials that you are selecting for the new roof of your home, the project will still be one of the largest investments in your home. This is because most of the cost is towards the labor involved while the materials themselves represent a small component. Choosing the most experienced roofing contractor, therefore, becomes imperative to ensure that a good job is done and your investment is protected. Some useful tips for selecting a good roofer:
Starting the Hunt for Selecting Expert Roofer :
Shortlist Contractors :
Possibly the best way of identifying a competent and reliable roofer is to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust; it could be a neighbor or a friend or even someone referred by your local home builders’ association or lumberyard.
Make a shortlist of at least two or three prospects ensuring that they have been in business for a minimum of five years – the period is important because most fly-by-night contractors who rip off customers quit the business before that.
Check Out Prospects :
Arrange to interview each of the prospects and find out if he is genuinely competent and enthusiastic about the job that you are going to entrust him. There will invariably be some who may not be interested in a job of that scale or actually be so busy that you will not be able to get the job done for a year or so.
Ask for references and make it a point to drive up to these residences and verify whether the job looks professionally done with finishing looking clean and tidy.
Interview References :
If the work done by a shortlisted roofer seems to be of an acceptable standard, then call up the references and ask pointed questions regarding their experience of working with the roofer. Find out whether they would recommend him, whether the job was done perfectly the first time, whether he responded promptly to attend to anything after the roof repairs or installation, whether he was well-mannered and if any extra charge was made for additional work.
Ask specifically if the job was done as per the agreed-upon budget, and if not, the reasons why. Also find out if the roofer cleared up all the mess, damaged any property and picked up all the nails before leaving. Also,ask if the roofer designated a specific foreman to take care of all the different crews working on the job and to field all your queries and concerns during the job.
Homing Into a Quality Roofer :
After refining your shortlist to a maximum of two roofers, ask each of them to come and inspect your home and give an estimate. The way the contractor receives and reacts to your inquiry will tell you a lot regarding his professionalism. Make a note of who he sends across to evaluate the job requirements and whether he is genuinely competent or just someone who will pass on the information to his boss who will in turn revert to you.
Ask him for a detailed estimate after taking into account all your expectations. Make sure that it is in writing and that everything is detailed upfront without any charges hidden in the fine print. All roofers give the estimate free of charge so do not entertain those who try to get an upfront fee for the inspection and estimate.
Ask specifically whether he is covered under the workmen’s compensation and has a minimum liability insurance of $1 million, and ask for copies of his trade license and the insurance policy. Since the job is of a very short duration, insist on giving the payment in two installments; one for the materials and the second on completion of the job to your satisfaction. Insist on a warranty that will generally have two components; one that covers the shingle and the other the workmanship.
The best quality shingles will have a manufacturer’s warranty of 50 years but be careful to verify under what conditions the warranty will not apply; a common example is when the shingles are laid over an existing layer. The second warranty will cover the workmanship, including leaks, failure of flashing, and other defects arising out of incorrect or sloppy workmanship.
Replacing your home, roof is not something that you will want to do every now and then so insist on a proper inspection, even after the roof has been stripped to identify additional jobs that may be deemed necessary for a better and more durable job. Make sure that issues of the rotting deck, ventilation, replacement of flashing, roof jacks, pipe boots, etc. as required is done even though you may need to spend a little more than estimated. Specify that any significant costs not covered in the estimate should be discussed with you before they are incurred.
Now that you know what to look for when choosing your roofing contractor, it is important that you understand that professional contractors will do a professional job for you. Professionals don’t work on a trial basis; they work to deliver good results and leave the customer satisfied. They ensure that their work is done to perfection and leave no room for mistakes. Therefore, choose wisely and ensure you get exactly what you are paying for.
Author bio: Trudy Seeger is the editor of a popular home improvement magazine. He also blogs extensively regarding roof repairs and other home maintenance jobs and has a large following on the social media.