Things You Need To Know Before Choosing The Right Roofing Contractor
1. Choose A Roofer With Standards.
Would you settle for a plumber, restaurant, or doctor that is just “average” or has “decent” standards? That’s not going to cut it if you’re going to spend $10,000 or more on a roof that protects your home from the elements. When it comes to something as expensive and important as your roof, you want a roofing company that expects and demands the very best in roofing quality.
It can be tough to find businesses with high standards these days, but the best roofers focus on great materials, craftsmanship, and training for employees. They’re happy to share their processes and decisions with you because they’re confident that they’re providing you with an excellent roof. Plus, they understand the importance of providing their customers with a certain degree of transparency throughout the roofing process.
If you’re wondering whether a not a roofer has high standards for their work, just ask them. It only takes a few questions to understand if a roofer has high standards — and in turn, if they meet yours.
2. Choose A Roofer With Quality Materials.
Even if you have the best installation team on the planet, cheap roofing materials just won’t stand up to the elements. Here in the South, high humidity, heavy rain, tropical storms, and even hurricanes can put your roof to the test — and low-end roofing shingles, nails, and the like just won’t be able to protect your home in the short-term or the long-term.
Before you hire someone for your roof replacement, learn about the roofing materials they offer. Do they offer high-wind protection? Are they algae-resistant? Are they fire-resistant? Do they have protection against UV rays? When it comes to roofing materials, you can’t ask too many questions — grill your potential roofers to make sure the shingles they’re using are up to snuff.
3. Choose A Roofer With A Great Online Reputation.
Before you start believing everything you hear on the internet, remember this: not all reviews and review sites are created equal. Sites like Yelp! have users that give much lower ratings than other sites, and that’s because they profit on people who need a sounding board for negative feelings. Think about it: are you more likely to leave a review for a reasonably good experience or a poor experience?
It’s only natural for people to vent their frustrations on review sites. However, just because someone has a complaint about a business doesn’t mean it’s a bad business. Many reviews could call out roofing professionals online because of a misunderstanding or a mistake, and that’s not necessarily a cause for concern.
It’s when you notice patterns within the reviews that you should worry. Negative patterns of behavior, like a roofer using cheap products, not communicating clearly, lying, or having high-pressure sales tactics could be — and should be — enough to scare you away.
Check Google, The BBB, Angie’s List, Top Rated Local, and other relatively neutral review sites to see what your friends and neighbors have to say about local roofers, and don’t forget to take in the entire story before making a decision on your next roofing contractor.
4. Choose A Roofer With The Right Licenses And Insurance.
Licenses and insurance protect homeowners and roofers in a variety of situations — it’s the only thing standing between you and disaster if something goes wrong during the roofing process. That’s why it’s crucial for any roofer you work with to a) have licenses and insurance and b) have them on hand at all times.
Let us be clear: if your roofer doesn’t carry licenses or insurance, find a new roofer. If they have the documents but refuse to show them to you, find a new roofer. If they “misplaced” the documents but will bring them by once they start the roofing job, find a new roofer. Your home is too important to be under the control of unlicensed and uninsured roofers.
5. Choose A Roofer Your Friends And Neighbors Trust.
Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to a roofer’s quality of work — and that means there’s only one group of people you can trust with roofing opinions: your friends and neighbors who have gone through the roofing process.
If your next door neighbors and your sister both chose Roofer A, and they’re both having water leak problems with their new roofs, there’s a very good chance that you should avoid Roofer A. But if you have three coworkers who all chose Roofer B five or six years ago and they love their roofs, you might want to consider Roofer B.
Your friends and neighbors shouldn’t be your only source of information about local roofers, but their first-hand experiences provides you with empirical evidence that can help you make the best decision possible for your home.
Not sure about a roofing company? Ask your neighbors about their real life experiences. The best roofers have the support of the community!
6. Choose a roofer with excellent warranties.
The best roofing contractors provide their customers with manufacturer warranties (which protect the roofing products themselves) and labor warranties (which protects against improper installation of the roofing products). These warranties ensure that, if anything goes wrong with your shingles due to the fault of the manufacturer or the roofer, you’re covered.
However, warranties mean different things to different roofers. Some roofers will offer you the world in warranties, but they won’t be around to honor them. That’s why it’s incredibly important to choose a local roofer with product and installation warranties for maximum protection.
7. Choose a roofer with on-site project management.
Most roofing companies have a salesperson who doubles as a project manager — and they’re always stretched thin with multiple jobs at once. That leaves you to manage the roofing crew throughout the installation process. If you’re paying thousands of dollars to get a new roof, you shouldn’t have to lift a finger for the job to get done.
The best roofing companies have a project manager (not just the salesperson) on-site at all times to make sure things are going smoothly. They serve as a quality control mechanism as well as someone who is available to field your questions and concerns.
Before you sign on the dotted line, ask your potential roofing company about their on-site project managers (or lack thereof). A quick question could spare you the trouble and headaches down the road!
8. Choose A Roofer With A Great Culture And Staff.
Would you work hard if your boss didn’t appreciate you? Roofers who aren’t appreciated by their boss won’t work hard to give you a great roof, and why should they? A poor work environment makes it hard for anyone to do their job at their very best.
That’s why it’s important to learn about the culture of a roofing company before you pay them for their services. Do their employees seem happy and engaged? Do they look you in the eye? Are they able to answer your questions about the roofing process? Does it seem like they’re having fun?
Not every roofing company is going to whistle while they work, and that’s fine. But if roofers seems sad, disengaged, or are even making negative comments about their work while they work, there’s a chance you should’ve chosen a different company to get the job done.
Always look for positive, friendly employees and a great atmosphere when picking out a roofing contractor for the job. A good attitude can do wonders for your roof!
9. Choose A Roofer With Great Partnerships.
A high-quality hometown roofer should be dedicated to giving back to their community — and that usually happens in the form of partnerships with community organizations or other strong, reputable businesses in your area. You usually won’t have to ask your roofer about these partnerships — they’re probably a big part of their marketing and PR efforts already.
Birds of a feather flock together. Find a roofing contractor who works with other great businesses in the community — it’s a sign they offer a high quality product and even better service.
10. Choose A Roofer That Goes Above And Beyond.
Ultimately, you want a roofer who focuses on the details and is passionate about their trade. You want someone who nerds out about roofing materials and curb appeal. You want someone who takes negative Google reviews personally. You want someone who’s dedicated to making their community better.
Go with your gut — if you find someone with proven experience and an energetic, helpful vibe, they might just be the perfect roofer for you! Wouldn’t you rather put your roof in the hands of someone who is engaged and passionate? That could be the difference between a roof that lasts and a roof that falls apart.