9 Factors to Look for When Selecting A Roofing Company
Roof is an investment and it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best one for your home. A good roof will last decades, so it’s worth investing in a reputable roofing company that has been around long enough to know what they’re doing. When selecting a roofing company there are several things to look out for:
Get it in writing
If the contractor is proposing a long-term project such as roof replacement, request a written quote and make sure it includes the details you discussed on the phone or over email. You can also ask them if they’ll be sending out sub contractors to complete any part of your job; this way you know who will be completing what work when (an important factor in getting paid for a completed job!)
Many contractors will provide at least one reference — get in touch with these people first to see how satisfied they were with the quality of the work and their overall experience with the contractor.
Make sure it’s insured!
There’s a reason they asked for your social security number when you scheduled that first appointment; they need to run a background check on you to make sure there are no outstanding warrants or judgments against you in order to get appropriate insurance coverage. If you’re applying for financing, most of them will also require proof of liability insurance from your roofing company before signing off on any paperwork. You can ask directly what type of coverage they have at this point…if they say “a lot,” see if you can put some numbers behind it (type of coverage limit, amount of deductible, etc.) No matter how well-established a company is, they will not be in business for long if their roofs are covered by a low-quality insurance plan.
Check that the materials meet your standards
Depending on where you live, this may or may not apply to you. In California at least, many roofing companies use CertainTeed products almost exclusively, so it’s easy to stay within what is legal and up to code when selecting them. Otherwise, ask questions about the company/product’s history — are there any instances where their work has been cited for code violations or other problems? Are there any testimonials from customers who have used this product before? If so, request contact information from these people and ask them a few specifics about their experience. These details will give you a good idea of what to expect from the company and their product/services.
Ask about warranties and when they expire!
A warranty is no good if you don’t have it in writing on paper, so make sure you ask for it and read all of the fine print before signing anything. If possible, meet with a representative from the company’s warranty department to go over all of your options; chances are they’ll be able to work out some sort of agreement for extended coverage or repairs without an additional payment required.
If your roof lets in water after just 5 years instead of 20, you’re still going to pay for the whole thing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get as much life as you can out of it!
Tear off or full removal?
If you have an older home, chances are good that its roof is made with asphalt shingles. These shingles are about as durable as a cheap pair of flip-flops — if they aren’t properly maintained and taken care of, they will wear down to nothing in less than 10 years. If your home’s roof needs to be replaced, the two most common options contractors give you are tear-off and full removal .
A tear off basically means that every last piece of old shingle/tar paper/sheathing will come off and be thrown away. The entire top surface of your house gets stripped back to bare wood (or metal if shingles aren’t an option) and your entire roof gets replaced. This means that you not only have to put up with all of the noise from construction, but also that your house is basically open to the elements for a large portion of time , as well as susceptible to damage (things falling off of trucks, birds making nests in them, etc.)
Full removal means that everything old (shingles/tar paper/etc.) stays on your house during the replacement process. It’s easier on you because there are fewer inconveniences involved, but can lead to more problems down the line if one or any number of shingles are damaged while being taken off. If they’re reinstalled at all, it will be after the new roof is complete, which means that they’ll be on top of the elements for just as long.
Get quotes from Different Companies
Get quotes from at least three companies, then compare their prices before making your decision. You can get quotes over the phone, but it is usually more effective to have contractors come out and look at your roof in person. This way you are getting an estimate on the exact project that you need done, rather than one based on a very basic description that only covers their most extreme case scenario (a tear off for example). Prices vary widely among contractors who do the same quality work, so be sure to ask why there’s such disparity between what they’re charging.
Good Customer Service
When you are dealing with a company to replace your roof, good customer service can make all of the difference in how smoothly the job goes. Nothing is more frustrating than getting stuck on the phone with an ignorant person who has no idea about what they’re talking about when you need them most.
Research the company’s reputation online
To help you find out if the company is qualified to do the work, look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s website and see what their ratings are. Also check for any complaints that have been filed against them. If customers are having major issues with a roofing company, it will probably show up there. You should also take a good look at the roofing company’s online reviews to learn more about their reputation. Customers aren’t always happy with how certain things have gone, so be sure to check those reviews before signing anything official.