Choose a Roofing Contractor
After giving roof estimates for over 18 years, have not seen it all, but probably pretty close. Select the wrong roofing contractor and you could be in for the ride of your life. Imagine this: You pay the roofing contractor in full and then get a lien put on your home from the company that supplied the roofing materials. I have seen this time and time again.
The company removes your roof and a rainstorm moves in and the sheetrock gets badly damaged. You cannot reach anyone by phone and the company has no insurance.
The roofing material gets delivered and all the material is put in one spot on the roof causing the rafters to break. The material ends up inside your house.
Before you call roofing contractors for estimates prepare yourself. Write down all the questions you may have, the most you are willing to spend, material styles and colors you like, other homes you have seen and any time frame that may interfere with your schedule.
Be sure and get a written proposal that explains all labor and materials in detail. Never pay the full contract price until every little detail is finished and you receive lien releases for all labor and materials, including sub-contractors. Do not settle for an oral agreement on any of the work to be performed. Do not accept a copy or a faxed copy of any insurance certificates. Have them mailed to you from the insurance companies.
What to look for in a roofing contractor:
Are they licensed?
Can they be bonded?
Do they have liability insurance?
Do they have workman's compensation insurance?
When will they start and finish?
Will there be workers on the job everyday until finished?
What is the procedure of bad weather moves in?
Does the owner perform the work or do employees?
How are workers injuries handled?
Will there be sub-contractors.
If so, get their names, license numbers and insurance certificates?
Where is the exact business location? Get this information even if they work out of their home.
Has the company changed their business name? If yes, why?
How long the installation/workmanship warranty will be?
The amount of down payment required? None is the best don't pay more than 10%.
Do they take credit card? Some will, some won't. If you pay by credit cards, it is much easier to dispute charges if you run into immediate problems.
Will their equipment damage your property? If so, who is responsible?
If applicable, will work meet Code, Covenant, or Restriction requirements of your area?
Will they give you a signed permit and the completed walk-through checklist from the final building inspection, if required?
Past jobs, get 10 addresses with phone numbers in your area that you can visit and call.
Does the contractor provide product literature and samples?
Price, be careful about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Request the name of the person who will be in charge on your project.
Be sure cleanup is included in your contract, including ground areas and gutters.
If there is an arbitration statement in your contract ask to see it. If complaints arise, the roofer agrees to settle disputes through binding arbitration. Without this agreement, you have no recourse. Once your roof is underway pay close attention to the details of the work. If your contract calls for 30lb felt look at the felt labels to be sure. New vents and pipe jacks, new chimney flashings? Make sure you are getting what you are paying for.