Your home is likely one of your largest investments and its roof is the most critical piece to keep it from the disastrous effects of the elements. Selecting the wrong roofing contractor can mean materials of inferior quality and shoddy workmanship. In severe cases, an inept roofing company could nullify your warranty on the materials.
On the other hand, an experienced residential roofing contractor can make the roofing project one of your better homeowner repairs. But how do you know the difference between a good roofing contractor and a bad one?
1. Choose a local contractor. In the roofing industry, there are people who chase the storms. They go where there is damage, put together a crew, repair or replace a few roofs, and then they are off to the next town. If you have issues, there’s no one to contact because they live elsewhere and aren’t answering their phone. A local residential roofing contractor, on the other hand, is part of your community. A good one has been in town through economic downturns and weathered the storms, literally and figuratively.
2. Require proof of insurance. Even if your home is only a single story, you will have workmen on your roof carrying large bundles of roofing materials. While you may not think about their safety because they are professionals, you may be disheartened to hear that some roofing contractors don’t pay worker’s comp insurance or liability. If you’ve ever received a very low bid on any sort of home repair, you may wonder how that business can afford to undercut in that manner and still operate. Often, they do so by cutting costs in areas like insurance. Ask to see proof and make necessary calls to verify coverage. This will help you from becoming a victim of a lawsuit due to unsafe conditions.
3. Look at price. Select on value. Price is important. We all have budgets we need to live within. However, as mentioned above many roofing contractors are skilled at cutting costs that allow them to undercut the competition. Most of them are not dumb enough to take a hit to their business. If you get a really low price, lower than all the others by far, you can be assured they are cutting something. Perform your due diligence to find out what that is. Make an apples-to-apples comparison whenever possible and look for the company that gives you the most value for your money, not necessarily the lowest price.
4. Look for referrals. Don’t ask for them. If you’ve ever applied for a job (or hired for one), you understand the problem with self-provided references. When you leave it up to the job candidate, or in this case the roofing contractor, to provide their own referrals you could be speaking to their mothers for all you know. On the other hand, if you do your research on the Internet (for example, check out the reviews on our Google page) and talk to people in the community, you can find out very quickly which businesses people enjoy working with and which leave something to be desired. Finally, ask your homeowner friends. Who have they worked with? What did they like and what could’ve that roofing contractor done better.
5. Check out their Better Business Bureau ratings. This is not membership organization where you buy rankings or listings. The BBB is dedicated to “…fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.”
Finally, ask your potential roofing contractor about the crews they use. Look for local roofing crews that have worked with the roofing contractor on multiple projects. A good roofing contractor has a great relationship with the team they contract with.
After you find out about their crews, ask them how you would contact them with questions during the roofing repair or installation. Will they have a foreman on site or will you have a contractor assigned your project back at the office? What you’re looking for is a clear path of communication between you and the contractor. If a designated contact isn’t established, it’s likely communication isn’t a priority.
If you’re looking for a hardworking, quality-driven residential roofing contractor, look no further. Give Highroad Roofing a call today, or better yet, take a look at our Better Business Bureau rating.