Repairs and maintenance can be a constant worry for any homeowner. At some point, water leaks, air infiltration, and other issues will arise. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to get your roof inspected regularly and make sure that it is maintained well. This can help you avoid costly repairs or even replacement in the future.
While you can do many of these things on your own, it’s best to hire a professional roofing company to do them for you. Hiring a roofer seems straightforward, but it is not always easy. It can be especially difficult if you have never hired a roofer before and don’t know what to look for.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind when looking for a roof replacement company.
The Company’s Reputation
The company’s reputation is the most important consideration. You can find out a lot about a roofing company by just asking around. You can read online reviews on the Better Business Bureau website and other review sites online. You should also ask for references from the roofing companies you are considering.
If you know anyone who has had their roof worked on recently, ask them about their experience. Reputable roofing companies will gladly provide you with references, and you can also look at their past jobs when you drive around town to see if they have done similar work that looks good.
The Company’s Experience
The first thing that you should look for in a company is their experience. If a company has been around for many years, they have probably been in business long enough that they know what they are doing and they have the experience necessary to get your job done right.
If a company has been around for only a short time, then they may not be able to handle all of the problems that may come up during your roof replacement project. You want someone who knows what they are doing and who has done this type of work before so that there will be no surprises when it comes time to get started on your roofing project.
Insurance Coverage and Licensing
A reliable roofing firm will carry full liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Ask to see the certificates of insurance before hiring a company, and confirm that they are current. Many companies will be happy to provide this during the bidding process, but if there are any questions, request copies from their agent.
Also be sure to verify that your potential contractor is licensed in your state by checking with your local licensing board or department of consumer affairs.
Roofing Warranty Options
Roofing warranties are another way to make sure that you get the best roofing company for the job. Good roofing companies will offer warranties on their workmanship and the materials they use. A good warranty can help protect you in case something goes wrong with your roof within a certain amount of time after it has been installed.
Normally, a warranty is a one year period from the date of installation and covers only problems that arise from mistakes made by the roofer. This warranty is usually provided by the company itself, but if you want more protection, you can purchase additional warranties from either the manufacturer or supplier of the roofing products used or from a third-party provider.
These types of warranties vary widely in terms of length and coverage, so be sure to read your entire contract carefully.
Another thing you should look for in a roofing company is whether they have the up-to-date knowledge to handle your project. You can find this out by asking them questions about their products and services. Test their knowledge on what the latest technology is, or the newest trends in roofing materials.
A good contractor should also know about permits, building codes and other details that could affect the project.
You can also check out the company website. Does it have a professional appearance? Is it updated regularly? A good website will let you know that the company is established, and has taken the time to invest in its business and its customers.
A Written Contract
The contract should spell out exactly what the roofing company will do and how much it will cost.
A good contract should include things like the roofing company’s name, address and phone number, along with yours; materials being used; estimated start and completion dates; payment schedule; project costs (including materials, labor and any other expenses); warranties; and proof of insurance. It needs to be signed by both the company and you, so make sure you read it carefully before signing on the dotted line.
Post-Work Repair and Maintenance Programs
Many roofing companies offer various types of protection plans that protect your roof after it has been installed. You should ask about the company’s post-work repair and maintenance programs and what is covered under those programs before hiring contractors to do any work on your home, or you could end up paying a lot more than you expected down the road.
Ask for a Written Estimate
Get at least three written estimates from three different roofing contractors, specifying materials to be used and all price information. Roofing companies may charge per square foot or by the job, so specify what pricing will be used.
Also specify who is responsible for pulling permits and having utility lines marked prior to installation. You should also ask if there are any restrictions on where drivers can park or if they have to park far away from your home during installation or if they need any special parking permits.
Is It A Local Company
There are many advantages to choosing a local roofer. They will be familiar with local building codes and can inspect your home to determine what must be done to replace or repair your roof. If you choose a big name company that does work all over the country, they may not understand the local building codes or be able to properly assess your situation.
If your local roofer is familiar with the typical weather in your area, they will know the best materials to use. Additionally, if there is an issue after the new roof is installed, a local company may respond more quickly than one that’s farther away.
It is also easier for local companies to provide references from previous jobs they have done in your area.
How Eco-Friendly Are their Practices
Many homeowners are trying to live an eco-friendly lifestyle by recycling and using energy efficient appliances. So, if you value the environment, try and work with an environmentally conscious contractor who will use recycling materials for their projects, including energy efficient products for your home.
For example, a contractor can use energy efficient products such as solar panels on the roof. These products are beneficial because they reduce utility bills and help the environment.
If this is important to you, make sure that the roofing company you choose considers the environment in their products, their manufacturing processes, as well as how they get rid of waste products.
How They Handle Unplanned Repairs
Unplanned repairs are more likely to occur during a roof replacement than when maintaining a roof. That’s because replacing a roof can involve removing shingles or other materials that could hide damaged decking or other issues.
A qualified roofing company may find these problems during an inspection but have no way of knowing if they exist until they get on the roof and start working.
If some of these concerns come up during your roof replacement, make sure you get an estimate for the repairs before authorizing them. A good contractor will explain your options and give you time to consider each one. If there’s an urgent problem that’s putting your home at risk of further damage, you’ll need to deal with it quickly.
Will They Do the Work Themselves or Subcontract?
You want to hire a company that will come out and do the work themselves instead of subcontracting it out to other companies. The reason is that there is no way to make sure another company will be as thorough with the repairs as you would want them to be.
If the contractor subcontracts out their work, it can be hard to hold them accountable if something goes wrong with the project. Many times, it is a liability issue and these subcontractors are not covered by the roofing company’s insurance. So if there is an accident on your property, you may find yourself paying for it.
Winding It Up
The bottom line is that your roofing company should be knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy. You want to know that they’ll get the job done right, and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why it’s so important to do your research before hiring a contractor.
The best roofing companies can be found using the internet and other sources. You can find the best ones in your area by going online and searching for a local roofing company. You will be able to find out what they offer, how long they have been established, and if they are licensed in your state.