Hiring a roofing contractor can be a challenge, as there are some people who claim to be professional roofers when simply not. Homeowners run into several problems when searching for roofers. These problems include the large amount of roofing contractors who are unlicensed and uninsured and roofers who were not trained properly. Many of these unqualified roofers seem skilled and competent and homeowners are misled into hiring them. For these homeowners, the end result is often a poorly installed roof.
Family and Friend Recommendations
Your family, friends and coworkers can be the best resource when searching for a roofer. If your friends or family were happy with a roofer, then chances are you will be, too. Spend time asking your friends and family questions about the roofing contractor they used. Include questions about whether the job completed on time; the cleanup was thorough; and whether the roofer agreed to come back for any necessary repairs.
References are extremely important when hiring a roofer. It's important to ask for references and to speak to the homeowners the roofer has worked for. Ask for the addresses of homes in your neighborhood where the roofer completed work. Drive by and get a first-hand look at the roof. A good roofing contractor will be proud of his work and should be willing to provide you with this information.
There are several reliable Web sites on the Internet that provide information on dependent contractors in your area. These sites have reviews of contractors and usually list only licensed roofers.
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The Better Business Bureau is a good source for researching information about a specific roofing company. You can also do a search for roofers who are in good "A +" standing. You can search the BBB online or contact your local BBB branch office. If the roofer you are interested in had a complaint against him, find out the nature of the complaint and how it was resolved.
Almost every city and state require roofing contractors to have a license. Make sure your roofing contractor is licensed, insured or bonded if required in your area. Rofers should also have liability insurance and a workers' compensation certificate. Ask to see licenses and make sure they are valid.
Contract and Warranty
Be wary of a roofer who does not want to give you an estimate and or contract in writing. You should be provided with a detailed estimate, including the cost breakdown of supplies, number of layers to be removed and the shingle name and color. Also ask about shingle manufacturer's product line and the warranty for the products used. A timeline should also be included.
o Customer satisfaction – How important is customer satisfaction to you? A roofer who is pleasant to work with is a good sign that your contractor cares about what he is doing.
o Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
o Conduct a search on the Internet of the name of the roofer and of the company. See if you find any questionable information.
o Never pay for the entire job up-front.