TIPS WHEN HIRING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR
Whether you are drawing plans for new roofs, fixing an old roof, maintaining the roof of a commercial facility, or responsible for the construction of all the new buildings for the local school district, you want a roofing contractor who will do the job right the first time.
You want a contractor who has experience, is responsible and will be reliable – someone who will still be around after the job is done. You want a roofing contractor who has expert knowledge of his trade.
The Better Business Bureau has tips to keep in mind whenever you are hiring any contractor to do work in your home.
Make sure you understand the full scope of the project. What exactly is the roofer going to do? Will they be doing spot repairs or replacing the whole roof? Will they be removing the old roof or covering it with the new roof? Make sure you understand the pros and cons of the solutions and that everything is detailed in your contract.
Ask about clean-up and waste removal. A roofing job will require the use of ladders that can cause damage when leaned against your gutters or stuck in your landscaping. How will your roofer protect against damage or fix things after the job is done?
Plan for bad weather. What happens if there is bad weather while your roof project is underway? Ask your roofer about what they will do to protect your home in case of rain or snow.
Check your insurance coverage. If your project is for fixing the damage, check your homeowner’s insurance to see if your project is covered and how you should proceed if it is. You also want to check your contractor’s insurance coverage for things like worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability.
Different contractors for different roofing systems. Roofing contractors may be certified to install specific types of roofs. You can check with the manufacturer to see if your contractor is certified for their system.
Common roofing scams often occur after a storm when a roofer “just happens” to be on your street and notices damage to your roof. Another approach is to knock on your door and tell you they have extra shingles or roofing from another job and can offer you a good deal.
1. CONTRACTOR REFERENCES: Ask for references, not only for a list of the contractors last three clients but also from at least two clients from projects that took place 3 or more years ago. These clients can give a better idea of the long-term quality of their roofs and how the contractor handled callbacks.
2. HOW LONG HAS THE ROOFING CONTRACTOR BEEN IN BUSINESS? Just because a contractor is new doesn’t mean that the company is substandard, but in the roofing business, longevity is a good indicator of quality and service.
3. PROOF OF INSURANCE: Roofing contractors should carry liability insurance. Many will include a certificate of insurance when they submit a proposal, if not, ask to see a copy of their policy and call to see if the policy is current.
4. MANUFACTURER QUALIFICATIONS: Manufacturers of some roofing materials require special training and/or certification before they allow a contractor to install their products. Ask the contractor which roofing products the company is qualified to install. The more roofing products a contractor is qualified to install, the better your odds are of getting the best product for your roof.
5. MANUFACTURER’S SPECIFICATION SHEET: Ask the contractor if he supplies copies of the manufacturer’s specification sheets. These sheets contain the proper installation methods and detail what types of fasteners, adhesives or other materials are compatible with the roofing product. The specification sheets serve as a valuable reference for inspecting the roof in the future.
6. GET A COPY OF THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY: Ask the contractor to provide a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty for the roofing materials. Not only does this warranty let you know your rights concerning a defective roofing product, it also details circumstances that can void the warranty. For example, not performing regular preventative maintenance or using the wrong type of fasteners or adhesive could void a manufacturer’s warranty.
7. CONTRACTOR’S WARRANTY: Does the roofing contractor offer an additional warranty? If so, and out how long the warranty is in effect and what it covers. Reputable contractors offer workmanship warranties that cover issues arising from installation methods.
8. SCOPE OF WORK: What is the contractor’s scope of work? Can the company offer you a variety of roofing options? While it might be counterproductive to hire a roofing contractor that performs numerous other services, such as pouring concrete, installing swimming pools or laying carpet, it’s in your best interest to and a roofing contractor that can offer a variety of roof-related options. Does the contractor offer solar solutions? Will you have a value-engineered roofing system?
9. WILL SUBCONTRACTORS PERFORM SOME OF THE WORK? Some roofing companies handle the entire project, but other companies depend on subs to perform specific jobs.
If the company uses subcontractors, ask for each sub’s contact information, certification, proof of insurance and references. The roofing company should submit subcontractor bids as a part of the larger proposal. If a subcontractor will be used, will the contractor manage the crew on-site?
10. MAINTENANCE PROGRAM: Find out if the roofing company offers a preventative maintenance program. Regular inspections and upkeep protect the life of your new roof by identifying and fixing potential problems before they require major roof repair.
11. WORKER KNOWLEDGE: Are the workers skilled in installing the type of roof you want? Adequate worker training is essential, not only for a high-quality roof but also to reduce the risk of injury to the workers and to anyone else in or near the work zone.
12. INSPECTING FOR QUALITY: How does the contractor ensure quality workmanship? Building codes determine some types of inspections and depending on the regulations in your community, a building compliance inspector might come out and check the project at specific stages. It’s important, however, for the roofing company to have a knowledgeable expert on hand to exam the roof during installation and upon completion
13. INDUSTRY MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS: A reputable roofing company often holds memberships in a variety of trade and professional associations. Memberships in a variety of associations signify the roofing company’s commitment to their client’s needs.
14. IS THIS CONTRACTOR A SAFETY LIABILITY?: Ask the contractor to see a copy of their safety records. A contractor lacking commitment to safety is a serious liability to your facility and should be avoided.
15. IS THE ROOF EDGE METAL CODE-COMPLIANT?: The perimeters (edges) of the roof are most vulnerable to wind damage, it’s important the metal system you choose is ES-1 certified. If a contractor touts an in-house metal shop, make sure their designs, specifications, and products have all been tested and approved to meet wind standards. Using an uncertified roof edge metal system is the quickest way to wind damage, which directly leads to water damage and roof failure.
Blog Source: FLOYD C. PETITT INSURANCE – SAN ANGELO | HIRING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR