Not all roofing contractors are created equal, and choosing the right one for your specific requirements is no small task. This guide will show you the top 10 things you should consider before picking a contractor (to avoid issues), and a service to get multiple quotes for free.
- Get a completely free quote for any roofing projects you have.
- Is it essential to use a contractor for your roofing projects?
- Top 10 things to keep in mind when hiring a roofing contractor.
- Key takeaway #1: Make sure you check for insurance and licensing.
- Key takeaway #2: Always remember to get the proposal in writing.
- Key Takeaway #3: Check if they specialize in your specific needs.
- Key takeaway #4: File your own claim to avoid breaking the law.
Why should you hire a contractor (instead of doing it yourself)?
As much as I love writing ‘how-to guides’ to help you with your roofing needs, I cannot stress enough the importance of using a contractor for most roofing repair or installation jobs. A roofing professional will have the right equipment and ensure the work is done correctly and efficiently the first time.
Contractors will have the necessary guarantees and insurance to cover any accidents that may happen on-site or with the building. As much as we all hope this is not needed, unfortunately, accidents do happen, and having a guarantee will ensure you get what you pay for, and the contractor will know exactly how to fix said accident.
For best business practice when it comes to the regulations governed in your state, the contractors will have the right training to follow and ensure your building is following these regulations correctly, giving you peace of mind in the long run.
Ten considerations for choosing a contractor for your roof:
1 Always choose local businesses: When it comes to roofing repair or installation, it is imperative to choose local contractors. Local contractors will have a reputation in the community, good or bad, and have an established business.
It is essential because if there are any rotten eggs in your area, you will know about it, or very quickly be able to find out how they conduct their business, giving you an idea of who you would like to use. Local contractors will also be able to follow the regulations that govern your state accurately.
It also gives you some peace of mind that your warranty is in good standing, as it will be nearly impossible to claim from your warranty from a business that is a fly by night and was only in your area for the storm period. A long-lasting contractor with a good track record will always be the best way to go when it comes to your buildings healthy and integrity.
2 Compare multiple contractors: Not all contractors are created equal. It is worth your time to contact more than one to compare, not only price but also the services offered by them. If you want us to do that for you (for free), click here.
Not all contracts are going to be a good fit for you; some contractors specialize in certain types of roofs or roofing materials; these may work for you, or they may not. They will vary in price, services rendered, skills, and communication skills. You must get a good fit for you.
3 Communication is imperative: Communication is one of the most important things for anyone looking for a contractor. The contractor should inform you throughout the process without having you chase up information continually.
It is easy to find out if the contractor has excellent communication skills from the beginning. Ask yourself; Did they return my calls during the quote phase? Did they send me the documents or quotes I asked for in a timeous manner, or did I have to follow up with them regularly? Did they call me back when I asked them questions?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then this needs to be brought up with the contractor so they can rectify these concerns, or so you know its time to look for someone else. If they cannot follow through on promises when they are trying to get your business, you can be sure that they will not improve once they have your business.
4 Insurance and proper licensing: Before giving the go-ahead for a job, you should make sure the extent of the contractor’s insurance and that they are appropriately licensed. Mistakes do happen, and if they do happen to you, you want to be covered.
You also want to make sure that the contractor that you choose has the necessary worker’s compensation and liability insurance. To make sure that this is covered, simply ask for their certificates to prove it. If you are even a little bit suspicious, you can also give the insurance carrier a call to confirm.
5 Get a detailed proposal in writing: Before you jump on in and get your chosen contractor to start the job, do yourself a huge favor and request you get a detailed proposal of what the work that they will be doing in writing.
The reason you want to do this is, you will be able to follow the work, day by day, and you can compare it with other proposals you have received.
Comparing proposals is an excellent way of ensuring not only all the necessary work will is covered, but also you are guaranteeing that no contractors are taking advantage of you and not charging you for any unnecessary work.
6 Verify experience and specialities: Contractors will often take on any work they can get their hands on, even if they are not specialists in the job you are needing. But for your job, you will want to try and get the best contractor for the job, even if that means turning down a potential deal you could get from someone that is not specialized.
Take, for instance, spray foam roofing; this may be easy to apply to a roof. However, it is not easy to get right and do so without causing potential damage to the surroundings. You want to ensure you always have the right guy for the work you need.
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7 File your own claim to avoid breaking the law: Ensure you know the law in your state. In most states, it is illegal for a contractor to act on behalf of the homeowner when negotiating a claim for insurance. If you are living in one of these states, avoid contractors that advertise, they ‘handle your insurance claims,’ or they are ‘claim specialists,’ as these contractors are more than likely, breaking the law.
A contractor who is open to legal action does not have the best interests of the homeowner at heart, and you should avoid these businesses and their business practice like a plague.
8 Find out their BBB rating (Better business bureau): There are many fly-by-night businesses that you want to avoid like a plague; they usually pop up after heavy storms or during stormy seasons. These businesses typically offer crazy low rates, which could be tempting if you are on a budget.
I would highly recommend you do not go down this route but rather stick to a professional and local business that can show you their Better Business rating; this will ensure you are getting excellent quality for your money.
Choosing local also helps you, as if there are any issues further down the line, such as a claim on your guarantee, you will know how to get into contact with them immediately. Many of these ‘storm chasers’ offer guarantees, however after the stormy season is over, you will have no way of getting hold of them as the business has either closed or moved to another state.
9 Pay for your deductibles: The insurance deductibles is the responsibility of the insured party. The deductibles should be represented in the quote given without inflating the estimated amount to cover the deductible or even part of the deductible.
Doing so is committing insurance fraud and is a severe offense. You, as the homeowner, are solely responsible and taking on a considerable risk I don’t think anyone should be willing to take.
10 Know what materials will be used for the job: Roofing materials, especially shingles and vents, come in all different styles, shapes, and materials. You should have the choice of which ones you think would be best for your home. Especially from a visual appeal, you want something that suits your home, as even this will affect the resell value of your home.
Ask your contractor for a guide on what materials work for you and your budget. With a detailed list, you can make a choice that best suits you. Also, ask what are the life spans of the materials so that you can decide which materials have more bang for your buck.
In conclusion, and my final thoughts:
In conclusion, many things make a great contractor worth hiring for a project. It is up to you to ensure that you have the best one for the job and on your budget. A contractor should instill confidence in you that they are the right ones for the job, and they have the know-how and skills to back it up. Don’t be taken on a ride with a contractor from hell, but keep ahold of the situation and ensure that you are getting the product for you.
Hi there! My name is Jonathan and I absolutely love writing DIY roofing guides. If you have any questions, I invite you to leave them below in the comment section and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you enjoy my work, please follow me on social media or share this post on yours. All this information has been double checked for accuracy, but please let me know if I have missed anything!