Tips for Choosing a Roofer
A new roof system is quite an investment. Before you pick a particular roofer, make sure you have assessed all of available options. Certainly, only a professional roofing contractor should be considered. The goal is to install a roof system that is high-quality yet reasonably priced.
Take note that not all roofers are the same, so take time to pre-quality candidates based on the following guidelines:
First things first, you’ll want to check if they have a physical office and a landline phone, as well as if they have business license (of applicable) and a tax ID number. It’s so easy these days to put up a professional-looking website and claim to be a professional roofer, so you need to be extra sure with every step.
Don’t feel shy to ask a candidate roofer for proof of insurance. If he’s a real professional, he should understand that this is important to you as a consumer. Ask for copies of their workers’ compensation and liability coverage, and both policies are valid beyond your project timeline. Many people have had to go through legal tussles after hiring uninsured contractors and/or assuming liability for accidents that occurred within their properties.
In some states, there are specific licensing requirements, so you obviously have to check. You’re always more secure with a licensed contractor, period.
A professional roofer will give you their current financial information on request, so if someone is coming up with excuses or just seems hesitant, run.
Don’t settle for any roofer that cannot give you a proven track record via client references. Very importantly, go out of your way to ring these people and ask about their experience with the roofer. See if they would still work with the same person or company for a future need. A contractor that doesn’t provide an explicit proposal in black and white – complete with project descriptions specs, along with project and payment schedules – is not worth considering.
A contractor with local or national industry affiliations communicates devotion to their business and clients.
Call your local Better Business Bureau to find out whether the contractor has a record of customer complaints.
Read and understand any offered roofing warranties, especially the provisions that would render them invalid.
Finally, be skeptical when dealing with the lowest offer. If you just know in your heart and mind that the offer is too good to be true, forget about it. Roofers who bid below market rates are often inexperienced and incompetent, and have no insurance. Take note that price is but a single factor to be considered when choosing a contractor. Other more critical considerations include professionalism, experience and quality workmanship.
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