Many homeowners and business operators take the quality of their roof for granted. It is only when you need to have repair work or reroofing done that the quality of the roof actually occurs to you. After all, it's not as though you see your roof often or friends or family comment on how nice the roof looks. The inconspicuous nature of the roof is what makes it so unlikely that you give it much thought on a regular basis: out of sight - out of mind, really. That is, until something goes wrong like storm damage, or you need to replace your old roof.
Few building projects have the same degree of impact on the stability, energy efficiency, and comfort of your home or business. This makes hiring a roofer one of the most important decisions you will ever make with regard to your home or business.
Putting a new roof on your house is no small task. Your roof can add or detract thousands of dollars from your home's value, not to mention its visual appeal. Hiring a reputable roofer with a good work record is essential in making sure that you end up with a quality job. Even if you simply need some shingles replaced or a leak fixed, insist on the best.
In this article, we'll review some important factors in choosing the best roofer possible, along with tips for finding that roofer in the first place.
When hiring a roofer, most homeowners and business operators make the mistake of speaking with contractors as the first step. Doing some preliminary research on your own is advisable. Learn what you can about the different roofing systems available and common materials used to roof homes and businesses.
You don't have to know everything about roofing in order to do this research. It will simply give you a better degree of knowledge before having your first conversation with a roofing contractor. Learn about the materials and systems, including the cost of these various products and supplies. You'll be able to ask the right questions of the contractor and have a stronger idea of what reasonable charges are when reviewing estimates from the contractors you speak with.
You'll want to get estimates from several roofing contractors and compare those estimates so you get the best deal possible, as well as the most qualified contractor or company to do the work. Ensure that the contractor has the experience necessary and that they have a strong reputation.
Ask for references from former clients. A contractor should have at least a couple of previous clients to send you to for references. They should also readily share with you their license number and information about their insurance, including worker's comp insurance covering all of their team members, as well as liability insurance.
No one ever counts on problems occurring during a project, but you'll want to make sure you're covered in the event that something does. The contractor should carry their own insurance so you're homeowners or business property insurance is not at risk if something does go wrong during the reroofing or repairs project.
Insist on Insurance
Carrying insurance is one of the most important things a roofer can do to show his concern and responsibility. A roofer with no insurance is an accident...and potentially a lawsuit...waiting to happen. If an accident were to occur and the roofer carried no insurance, the injury may not get the proper medical attention. In addition, you could be liable, as the property owner, for any unpaid medical bills. The roofer may not come after you for money, but the hospital which treated the injury very well might.
If you're dealing with a roofer who doesn't carry insurance, take it as a red flag. No matter what their reasons for remaining uninsured might be, don't listen. Insist on insurance for the safety of the workers and for your own financial security.
Ensure Licenses and Permits
A person can work as a roofer without a license in some areas, where in other areas a certificate is needed. Find out what the laws are in your area, and insist on a roofer who plays by the rules.
Permits are another factor which varies from area to area. Many areas require a permit to be obtained before any work can be done on a house. If this is the case in your area, make sure that your roofer always complies with the law.
Anybody working as a roofer or a roofing contractor will have a list of references. It's one of the best tools you have as a consumer for determining the reputation of a roofer, so don't' be shy about asking to see these references! Many homeowners actually go and visit with former clients, seeing the work for themselves before they make a hiring decision. Others simply call the former clients and ask about the roofer's professionalism, work ethic and craftsmanship.
If a large number of former clients seem less than enthusiastic about a particular roofer, you should look elsewhere. Don't let yourself become another dissatisfied customer! Roofing is generally a very expensive form of home improvement and repair, and so you have every right to insist on a reputable worker.
Sadly, some disreputable people (in every industry) try to falsify or fake good references. They may post these on a website for potential clients to read. Ask for the contact information for any references to ensure that they are real people who have used the roofer's services in the past. It doesn't feel good to be so suspicious, but it truly is in your best interest.
You're roofer will recommend the best materials for your home or business. They will guarantee their own work and will inform you of the warranty on any materials used in the job. Ensure that you get an estimate in writing and a contract with the roofer in writing as well. The contract should include labor estimates, materials cost, and the estimate date of completion.
If any problems arise in the middle of the project, including delays due to weather, or structural concerns that come up and require more work as a result, you'll want to revise the contract to reflect the necessary changes. Communicate regularly and open and honestly with the contractor and get the work you need, within your budget range.Posted by: TrustedPros