Choosing the right contractor is normally the toughest yet most important part of the roof installation or repair process. While price should be a consideration, it should not be the determining factor. Choosing a contractor should be based on their experience, knowledge, credentials, reputation, and your confidence that they are the one that you trust your home with. You need a contractor that that will take the time to educate you on what you are getting for your money and will support you before, during and after the sale.
Below are a few minimal requirements that we recommend when comparing contractors.
- Secure a written contract detailing all aspects of your roofing project including material to be used, color, method of installation,terms and conditions, and a total price of services to be rendered. Never sign a contingency agreement or a non-specified dollar amount on the contract. This is the first indication that you are dealing with a storm chaser.
- Verify insurance coverage by calling the contractor’s insurance agent to obtain a Certificate of Insurance for your protection. A valid General Liability, as well as Workman’s Compensation policy is necessary for adequate coverage. Do not simply rely on a copy as sole verification. A common practice by unscrupulous contractors is to pay the first premium to obtain the certificate and cancel the policy soon after. Visit our insurance certificate for our current insurance certificate.
- Call references from past customers. Any contractor can provide 2 or 3. Ask for a couple of dozen in your particular area.
- Call the material suppliers to verify the contractor’s financial standing. Many contractors use the proceeds from your job to pay for materials for their last job. You don’t want to pay twice for your materials.
- Payment should be made upon completion of your roofing project. Beware of any company that asks for money up front. If a special order material is chosen a down payment could be necessary. If youe are providing a down payment for a special order product require a lien release from the supplier prior to the start of application. Some roofing companies finance other projects with your money.
- When removing an existing roof it should include the removal of the existing felt for proper deck inspection. Ask if the potential contractor is going to do this.
- Preparations should be committed to up front to protect surrounding landscaping and debris should be cleaned up daily.
- Be sure to do business with BBB members in good standing and with an “A” rating. Companies with tenure could have a few complaints but it is how they handle their complaints that is an indication on how their post sale service is. Check to see if there have been complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office.
- Make sure the contractors you are considering are certified by the manufacturer to install the roofing product you have chosen to ensure you will receive a material warranty. Non-certified contractors, your neighbor, or friend from church with roofing experience cannot provide you the same warranty that certified contractors can and have not met the standards necessary to do so.
- If you need to replace an air conditioning unit, add insulation to cathedral ceilings, or fumigate inaccessible attic areas, now, with the roof off, is a good time to plan this.
- Valleys should be replaced with a new layer of felt paper and flashing. Special membranes are also highly recommended at this critical transition.
- Plumbing vents should have code lead flashings installed. Never allow plastic and neoprene booted flashings to be used. This is one of the most common areas that unscrupulous roofers sacrifice quality at your expense to present a lower price. If you allow it to be used, you will be building a future repair job into your new roof.
- Make sure all A/C, water, electrical, alarm or other lines are at least 3 inches from roof deck before work begins. Did the representative even look into your attic?
- All wall and chimneys should be reflashed using step flashing. Never allow J flashing to be used.
- Never trust a contractor that says they will cover any portion of your deductible. Mis-representations to the insurance carrier on the final cost of replacement, “advertising credits”, and inflated proposals are against the law. Would you trust somebody willing to break the law with the security of your home and family?
**This information is intended to help you in selecting a roofing contractor who will install your roof for a fair price, using quality materials, with as little inconvenience to you as possible.
We want to be that contractor.