How to Choose a Roofing Contractor?
For several reasons, your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Your roof is:
- The first thing that anyone will see when approaching.
- An element through which the majority of heat escapes your home.
- Crucial for protecting your home from rain, snow, hail, and blazing sun.
- An integral in determining the style of your home.
The problem is that your roof is also the most exposed. Whatever falls from the sky, be it a piece of hail, acid rain, a branch from a nearby tree, a random piece of debris, or a UV ray, it lands straight onto your roof.
Most roofs are time-proof, but you’ll see some signs of damage and deterioration after a while. So, to ensure that your home is well-protected and energy-efficient in the future, you might want to remodel your roof.
For this, you need professionals. Even if you’re constructing a roof on a new building, hiring roofing specialists is better than relying on general contractors. Still, how does one find the right roofing contractor for the job? Let’s find out!
Figure out your budget
Roofing contractors usually have different price ranges that they work with. Imagine you’re picking a dentist. Would you feel comfortable going with the least expensive one, or would you be more careful, possibly paying more than you’re comfortable with, to ensure the job is done well?
Most contractors will offer a warranty for their work, but this shouldn’t put your mind at ease. In an ideal scenario, you want someone who will do the job so well that you won’t need a warranty. A leak or (in the worst-case scenario, a collapse) can cause property damage or injury. This is not something you want to deal with.
One more thing, if you’re working from home, you’re technically outfitting your office. Make sure to factor this into a budget, as well.
Prepare for an interview
According to the specialists behind Summit Construction Group, to make sure they’ll get the job done, you need to have the right questions prepared. Some of the things you want to ask are:
- May I see your license?
- Do you have insurance and bonding?
- Is there a workmanship warranty?
- Will they handle the clean-up in an environmentally-friendly way?
- What happens if you have any complaints?
This is not necessarily a good sign if they hesitate to answer these questions. Sure, they’re trying to portray themselves in the best possible light, but these are the most basic questions out there.
The most important thing is that you shop around a bit. Ask for different offers and get quotes from at least three different contractors. Remember, you need a frame of reference. Without knowing the industry norm, you cannot tell if the offer is good or bad, right?
In the previous section, we’ve listed some questions you should ask. If nothing else, you could compare how they answered these questions, their price, and availability. During the roofing season, the majority of companies are busy, so make sure to pay attention to the deadlines they offer.
Remember, this will be time-consuming and, for some people, even anxiety-inducing. The thing to remember is that this is not something you do every year. A well-made roof can last you half a century. So, spend some time researching, and rest assured, you’ll never have to deal with this again.
Do everything by the books
To ensure everything is done properly, you want to get it all in writing. No paper, no deal. This means that you must avoid cash deals no matter how much you hate bureaucracy. Even if you believe yourself to be a great judge of character, overconfidence never leads to good things.
Sometimes, the contractor may not be deliberately scamming you. Even if they have the best intentions to follow through on their deal, unforeseen things may happen. In these moments, you want to have the legal protection that you are guaranteed.
Research the process
You have a lot about roofing online. So, before the interview, make sure that you do some research. Then, ask them to describe the process in the simplest of terms. This way, you can track their progress once you hire them; however, this is also important in the selection stage. Just think about it; a lack of transparency is not a good sign. Also, you would be surprised to learn that even a solid and concrete thing like roofing can be made complex by someone who doesn’t want you to understand what’s happening.
Take your time to vet them
Another thing you can ask around is to look for some references. A seasoned contractor shouldn’t have trouble giving you ten references. Now, some rely on the fact that you’ve just asked for the sake of asking. In other words, they don’t expect you to make those calls. Well, there’s nothing wrong with giving them a bit of a surprise.
Other than talking to these references, you can check them out on BBB, see if their business has some reviews/ratings on Google My Business, etc. You would be surprised at how insightful even the briefest of online searches can turn out to be.
Independent contractors and roofing companies are not the same
Roofing companies are great for larger projects. If you want to replace a roof, you’ll probably get a better deal with a roofing company. They’re also more reliable for these major tasks. Because they have more work power and equipment, unforeseen occurrences will not hurt them much.
However, it’s sometimes better to find an independent contractor if you need a quick job like fixing a leak or a minor roof repair. The reason is that their availability is usually greater. For more ambitious projects they’ll usually take more time to finish.
Start by understanding the scope of work that you need to be done. How big of a project is it, and how much can you spend on it? Then, start asking around. When you have a list, contact contractors and compare different offers. This is a major decision that you’re not likely to make again anytime soon. So, make sure that it counts.