A new roof installation is among the biggest and most expensive home improvement projects you can undertake as a homeowner. 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.
Contact more than one roofer.
If you talk to at least three or four contractors, you will be able to spot an honest and logical price range. If anyone makes a remarkably low or high bid, you should be suspicious. Of course, this is also an opportunity to know how well you’ll go along with different roofers. This project won’t be done overnight, and you don’t want to feel stuck with people you don’t feel good around. Don’t worry – it’s easy to find roofers who are both competent and likable.
Know the contractor’s credentials.
You’d like to know as much as possible about the credentials of your prospective roofers. First of all, they have to be licensed and willing to provide at least three client references whom you can call and interview about their work. You can even drive by and take a look at some of their past projects, preferably from around 5 years ago.
Of course, they should be insured with both worker’s compensation and liability coverage, freeing you from liability when a worker gets injured on site or when there are accidental damages to your property.
Examine the warranties and everything else in the contract.
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, if you find certain parts confusing, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Good contractors are always eager to provide answers. One crucial part you shouldn’t miss is warranties. The roof itself should be covered for 20 to 40 years, and the materials and workmaship for no less than five.
Don’t settle your balance until the work is finished and you’re happy with it.
This is the rule for all big projects. If a prospective roofer demands you pay the entire quote upfront, go look for another contractor. Of course, you will have to make a down payment and follow a payment schedule, which is totally understandable, but don’t pay in cash. In a worst-case scenario, your credit card will let you recover your money without spending a fortune on 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). When filing a claim on your roof, follow all necessary procedures and obtain all required approvals before starting work on your new roof.