How do you know when you are getting a qualified roofing contractor? You can ask your family and friends for references, you can check online and in the yellow pages, but when two or three contractors have come out to your house then how do you know which one to pick?
- Ask how long the company has been in business. After a few years they have usually established their business practices and have a good understanding of the roofing systems.
- Be sure the contractor has a permanent place of business. A business phone, tax ID and if applicable a business license and bonded.
- Ask to see copies of their liability insurance. A professional roofer will always carry copies of their insurance and workers compensation papers.
- Call the Better Business Bureau to check for any complaints against the roofing company. You can also ask the contractor for references and call those customers to determine if they were satisfied.
- Price is not a very reliable indicator of which company to pick. Sometimes you are offered discounts and rebates which will lower the price. Spend a little time making calls and looking over the written estimate and contracts and get all your questions answered so you can feel confident in your final decision.
- Ask about roofing warranties. Roof repair and replacement can be costly so it is always a good idea to find a contractor that can offer a warranty for the work. Contractors typically offer full warranties for new roof and roof replacements, but may not offer any warranty for repairs. You should always get a copy of the warranty information once the work has been completed.
- Preventative maintenance. As a homeowner you are responsible for conducting preventative maintenance on your home. Look for damaged or missing shingles, and replace any that are not satisfactory. The flashing and underlining should always be intact and in good shape. Just a few minutes each month can reduce the chances of needing major repair or replacement and save you thousands of dollars down the road.