You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Berthoud
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
BerthoudHere are the top 5 tips to finding good roofing contractors and understanding roofing estimates.Tip 1. Ask Friends And Family.Most people say they would prefer to use a roofer who is recommended by someone they know and trust. Such a recommendation significantly reduces the likelihood of a bad experience. But what If you don't know anyone who has used a roofer recently?Tip 2. Use A Referral ServiceYou can and should look for a recommendation from another trusted source such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or a contractor's association in your area, or use a service that pre-screens roofing contractors and schedules free roofing estimates for you. Typically pre-screened contractor referral services review local contractors in your area for required state license, insurance verification, background check and customer references, all at no cost to you. When you use these kinds of service you can have peace of mind that you're receiving a roofing estimates from a reputable, quality contractor. Tip 3. Ask For Proof Of License And Insurance.Whether you use a free referral service or choose to find a contractor on your own, you should ask the contractor how long they've been in business. Ask the contractor to see any required licenses and verify that the credentials are current and active. Ask for written proof of the contractor's personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage insurance and verify that the policies are current and active. You don't want to be liable for injuries and damages that might happen on your property while they are doing the work you need done.Tip 4. Ask About SubcontractorsFind out if the contractor is going to use any subcontractors. If so, meeting with them is also important. Make sure they have been paid on time by this contractor in the past, and check the subcontractor's licensing and insurance documentation as well. Tip 5. Get Several Bids, And If They're Different, Find Out WhyBe sure to get at least three bids. Ask the contractor to explain to you what you are getting for that price including information about materials and labor. If a bid is substantially higher or lower than another bid, don't make assumptions. Ask questions and get answers. You might end up going with a higher bid once you understand exactly what you're paying for. You will be able to compare roofing estimates only after you know exactly what materials and labor each bid includes and you can compare apples to apples.
How to Protect Yourself When Choosing a Roofing ContractorWhen hiring professional roofers you should confirm that they are able to match colors, style and material with adjoining homes. To prepare you to better evaluate the recommendation of your new roofer, use this guide and familiarize yourself with the many choices you have. But prior to your trip to the building supply center or the roofing supply, you need to carefully observe the roofing materials on the house you are trying to match. Later when you ask your roofing contractor to match the next door neighbor's roof as closely as possible, you can supply him with the results of your research.Visual InspectionThere are no rules, but it makes sense to start by observing the roof you need to match, the reference roof. Clearly your budget must be a key deciding factor, but take a close look at your reference roof and keep it in mind throughout the process. Note the color, type of shingles, and the texture. Roofing materials come in asphalt, wood, slate, metal, and other materials. Among asphalt shingles, there are plain shingles and those which are layered to simulate shake shingles. Knowing the nature of the material in addition to its color will help you narrow your choices more quickly. You might even want to snap a quick digital picture or two to take with you to the building supply center. When it Has to Match Another reason to check your neighbor's roof is to see if theirs needs to be replaced too. If you both work together you can try to negotiate an even better price with a roofer to do both roofs at the same time. Then you can use the same brand, style and color of shingles on both roofs. Talk about making your homes look more uniform and cohesive. But if you will be installing a new roof but your neighbor is not, you can still choose shingles that are similar in color and appearance to his. You can even ask your neighbor if he has records of the brand and color he used. Be sure to notice the condition of the reference roof. If the reference roof is old, the shingles are probably worn and the color faded from the sun and rain. In that case, it is best to chose shade slightly darker than the reference roof. That way when your neighbor later decides to replace his roof, the colors will be a be a better match to yours.When to Consider a Contrasting Roof Maybe you have always hated the color of your neighbor's roof and now that you are replacing your own, there is no way that you want to coordinate. In times like these, it is important to remember that even though your home is a twin, it is a unique house that can be decorated in any manner you choose. Perhaps those multi-brown shingles that you love will clash horribly with your neighbor's Spanish red shingles. If you are okay with how the house will look after your shingles are installed, then feel free to proceed. Just remember that your next door neighbor has to live with the look of the house, as well. By following this simple guide, professional roofers will almost certainly be impressed with your knowledge of roofing materials and your ability to properly judge their recommendation. More importantly, by doing your research in advance, you will be prepared to make an informed decision and can be happier with your new roof for years to come.