As a homeowner, a new roof installation is one of the biggest and most costly projects you can take on. So how do you find the right contractor for the job when there are so many out there vying for your business? There are some prior considerations you need to make.
Call several roofers.
Talking to no less than three or four roofers will give you an honest and reasonable price range. Anyone making too high or low a bid should automatically raise red flags. Of course, this is also an opportunity to know how well you’ll go along with different roofers. A roof installation is not done overnight, and the last thing you want is to feel stuck with people you’re not happy working with. Don’t worry as there are many roofers who are not only competent but likeable too.
Research your prospects’ credentials.
It’s a must to know the credentials of any roofer you’re considering. First, they should have a license and be willing to give you at least three client references you can talk to about their work. You can even do a drive-by inspection of their past projects, preferably those from about five years back.
Definitely, they should have both worker’s compensation and liability insurance to free you from liability in the event of worker injuries or property damages.
Scrutinize the contract and warranties.
Obvious but worth repeating every time: never sign a contract you haven’t reviewed to the letter. Don’t worry, reputable contractors won’t mind because they know this is what you should do as a responsible consumer. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions if there are parts you find hard to understand. Good contractors are always eager to provide answers. One crucial part you shouldn’t miss is warranties. All materials and workmanship should be covered for at least five years, and the roof itself for a minimum of 20 years.
Don’t settle your balance until the work is finished and you’re happy with it.
This is good for all sizable projects. If your prospective contractor wants you to pay the full quote upfront, look for another roofer. Of course, you will be asked for a deposit and given a payment schedule, which is totally reasonable, but forget paying cash. Using a credit card will give you the chance to recover your money in a worst-case scenario sans expensive litigation.
Pay attention to the basics.
Finally, ask your contractor if you need to get a permit (fortunately, this is often art of the roofer’s services). If you’re filing a claim on your roof, be sure to follow prescribed procedures and get all necessary approvals before getting started with your new roof.