As a homeowner, a new roof installation is one of the biggest and most costly projects you can take on. So how do you find the right contractor for the job when there are so many out there vying for your business? There are some prior considerations to be made.
Talk to more than one contractor.
If you talk to at least three or four contractors, you will be able to spot an honest and logical price range. If someone offers a bid too high or too low, that should immediately raise questions. Of course, this is also an opportunity to know how well you’ll go along with different roofers. A roof installation is not done overnight, and the last thing you want is to feel stuck with people you’re not happy working with. Don’t worry there are many contractors who are both competent and likable.
Research your prospects’ credentials.
It’s a must to know the credentials of any roofer you’re considering. First off, they should be licensed and willing to provide at least three client references who can help you verify the quality of their work. You can even do a drive-by inspection of their past projects, preferably those from about five years back.
Of course, they should be insured with both worker’s compensation and liability coverage, freeing you from liability when a worker gets injured on site or when there are accidental damages to your property.
Review the contract closely, especially on warranties.
It sounds obvious but always worth repeating anyway – never ever sign a contract without examining it closely. Don’t worry about the contractor; a professional one will understand that this is routine for any responsible consumer. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions if there are parts you find hard to understand. With a good contractor, you will be an answered with enthusiasm. One part you should be very particular about is warranties. All materials and workmanship should be covered for at least five years, and the roof itself for a minimum of 20 years.
Don’t pay off the job until it’s finished and you’re completely satisfied.
This rule is one for all large projects. If a prospective roofer demands you pay the entire quote upfront, go look for another contractor. Of course, you will have to make a down payment and follow a payment schedule, which is totally understandable, but don’t pay in cash. In a worst-case scenario, your credit card will let you recover your money without spending a fortune on litigation.
Don’t forget the basics.
Lastly, ask your roofer if a permit is necessary (good thing most contractors will take care of this themselves). When submitting an insurance claim on your roof, go through the required procedures, especially on getting approvals, before you begin work on your new roof.