When it comes to your home’s roof, it is important to be diligent when selecting the roofing contractor you want completing the job. There are many factors to take into consideration, not just what it is going to cost you, which is the one thing most home owners and decision makers are hung up on. From the quality of equipment to the history of work the company has performed, we’re here to help give you some surefire ways to know you are making the right decision about your roofing contractor.
- When a representative from a roofing company comes out to your home / building for the first appointment, make sure he or she actually gets on your roof! Now this point may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised to learn how many roofers “mail it in” when it comes to conducting the initial inspection for an estimate. You wouldn’t let a mechanic put his hands on your car’s engine if he simply started it, listened, looked and said, “Here’s the problem, you need a new…” No! He has to lift up the hood and investigate. Same goes here. How is a roofer going to honor an accurate estimate if he or she simply looks at your roof from the ground and then moves to start doing paperwork? Make sure the representative is prepared with a ladder, a tape measure and a flashlight. Make sure he or she asks to see your attic and interior walls and ceilings. If they are taking shortcuts at this step, imagine what could be happening when there is a crew up there working.
- Find out if the roofing contractor is backed by a manufacturer(s). Most roofing companies are backed the manufacturer(s) of the products they install. This provides credibility, consistency and, most importantly, comes with warranties. Watkins Construction and Roofing is an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, which is the highest rating Owens Corning gives its members. We install Owens Corning products, and all our customers are under warranty through both us, and Owens Corning. Ask about this when you are meeting with prospective contractors.
- Make sure the roofing company is licensed, bonded and insured. If something goes terribly wrong during the construction project, you want to make sure it won’t fall back on you. Having proof that the company you select is licensed to perform construction projects and has the proper insurance to cover any potential construction errors protects your home and your investment.
- Check the business history of the contractor you’ve selected. How long has the company been in business? Have they always been located and served the same cities / region? Have they ever changed their business name? Asking these questions can reveal any red flags, like a pop-up style business, fly-by-night contractors who simply chase storms and insurance jobs from city-to-city or state-to-state or someone who has provided bad service and changed their business so those reviews wouldn’t follow them.
- Always ask for references or examples of completed or ongoing work. Any company that is proud of what they do will be happy to share other customers’ experiences or point you in the direction of completed or ongoing work in the area that you can check out for yourself. This type of word of mouth is what separates the good from the bad. Neighbors talk, and when someone is happy with a job well done, chances are they will tell their neighbors. This is how good contractors can lock up business in entire neighborhoods. Ask about their previous work. A great contractor will be happy you asked and won’t have anything to hide, as they want that word of mouth effect to spread.
- Don’t obsess over price. Price is the make or break for most household buying decisions, and it is extremely important. But, when it comes to a roof, or any home construction, the cheapest IS NOT always best. Sure, if you feel an estimate is a highball, work to bargain on price or get other estimates to compare. But be weary of the company who comes in and undercuts your estimate dramatically. You have to ask, “What is being sacrificed to do the job at this price?” Typically, it’s quality of materials, an un-vetted, sub-contracted crew and warranties. Build a good rapport with the representatives and work to establish a price that is fair. Believe us, it pays off in the long run to have the job done right, not cheaply.
If you have any other questions about selecting the right roofing contractor for your job, or you simply would like an estimate for your home’s roof repair, contact us today. We are always happy to serve our customers.