How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
A good roof is one of the most important parts of your home. You want it to be attractive and complement the overall look of the house. You also want it to be leak-free, meet fireproofing and wind protection requirements, and last for many years. There are a number of steps to take when you get ready to replace an old roof or build one on new construction:
Most likely you won't be able to do the job yourself, so you'll need to find a reliable roofing contractor. He/she should be experienced and knowledgeable about: flashing and gutters; potential problem areas; the wide array of available materials and which ones work best in your climate and on the slope of your roof, and local building codes. The roofing contractor should also be able to answer all of your questions. One of the best ways to find someone is through word of mouth from friends, family, and colleagues who have recently employed a roofer. There are a number of online services that will help you find qualified contractors. Roof.info can also help you find roofers.
Don't just talk to one contractor. Compile a list of several, interview them, and ask those you're impressed with to bid on your job. Some of the information you should collect from them includes:
- How long they've been in business;
- What type of insurance coverage they carry;
- Their business license number;
- Whether they hold the contracting licenses required by your state;
- Run a credit check;
- Ask for multiple references, and then call each and every one!
- You'll also want to pay attention to their professionalism and how enthused they are about their work;
- Check with your local Better Business Bureau as any trade associations that pertain to home building;
- You should also be sure to check the references they provided you.
Once you have interviewed the prospective contractors on your list, start collecting proposals from them. It's fine to narrow the field by getting estimates, but when it comes time to select someone, you need to put your agreement in writing in the form of a proposal. Things to consider include: product warranty and workmanship guarantees; what sort of building permits you'll need; hours of work and the project completion date; site safety and clean-up rules; information regarding any subcontractors they use, and proof of payment by your roofer. Make sure you have a well-written contract. You also need to specify the materials you choose and include details regarding how and when you'll pay as well as any laws regarding property liens if you can't pay on time.
Once you've hired a roofing contractor, be prepared to work closely with them when selecting colors and design. They possess the knowledge about materials and construction, but it's your house and you should be an active participant in making decisions.
The final step is to let your roofing contractor get to work. Choosing a contractor who is reliable, honest, and hardworking will allow you to enjoy your new roof even more.