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.
By talking to at least three or four roofers, you will be able to identify an honest and reasonable price range. If someone offers a bid too high or too low, that should immediately raise questions. Of course, this is also your chance to gauge the chemistry you’ll have with different roofers. This project won’t be done overnight, and you don’t want to feel stuck with people you don’t feel good around. 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 of all, they have to be licensed and willing to provide at least three client references whom you can call and interview about 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.
Sounds obvious but worth the repeat as always – don’t sign a contract unless you’ve reviewed it closely. Don’t worry about the contractor; a professional one will understand that this is routine for any responsible consumer. Also, if you find certain parts confusing, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Good contractors are always eager to provide answers. One part you should be very particular about is warranties. Make sure you get at least five years for all materials and workmanship, and about 20 to 40 years for the roof itself.
Don’t pay off the job until it’s finished and you’re completely satisfied.
This is good for all sizable projects. If your prospective contractor wants you to pay the full quote upfront, look for another roofer. Of course, you will be asked for a deposit and given a payment schedule, which is totally reasonable, but forget paying cash. In a worst-case scenario, paying with your credit card will allow you to recoup your money without pricey litigation.
Don’t forget the basics.
Finally, ask your roofer whether you will have to secure a permit (fortunately, this is usually part of the contractor’s services). If you’re filing a claim on your roof, be sure to follow prescribed procedures and get all necessary approvals before getting started with your new roof.