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? Milliken
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.
MillikenHere 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.
Evaluating Roofing Estimates and ContractorsThere is no such thing as being over protective when it comes to your home and your finances. There are plenty of roofing contractors out there that are willing to bend the rules to simplify things for themselves, resulting in problems for you and your roof. Even honest contractors make mistakes every once in a while. That's why it's important to know these 4 simple ways to protect yourself when choosing a roofing contractor.Workers Compensation Problem: You hire a roofing contractor to fix a leak on your roof. One of their employees decides not to use proper safety procedures and falls, breaking his leg. The employee holds you responsible to pay his medical expenses, because he was hurt on your property.Solution: Roofers Compensation is a type of insurance covering roofing injuries. If a roofing contractor has workers compensation, any injured employees are entitled to recover expenses for hospital bills and being out of work. Be sure that your roofing contractor has workers compensation so that you are saved the trouble and expenses of paying those bills yourself.Liability Insurance Problem: Your roofing contractor leaves your roof uncovered after removing your shingles. That night there is an unexpected storm. Water seeps into your home and damages your sheet rock, carpet and some nice furniture. Your roofing contractor has liability insurance, but there are exclusions preventing coverage of the interior of your building. You end up paying to fix the damages yourself. Solution: If damage occurs to your home or building that is the fault of a roofing contractor, you want to be sure they have good liability insurance. This will cover anything from broken windows to damaged interiors as mentioned in the situation above. Some contractors have liability insurance, but their insurance company offers so many exclusions that it is almost like there is no coverage at all. Look for coverage that doesn't exclude water damage resulting from leaving a roof open.Business License Problem: You hire a new roofing company to work on your roof. A few months later you notice a leak. You try to contact the company, but can't find their information. You try to look them up by their business license and you find that there was never a business license issued for that company. You are forced to pay for the repairs yourself.Solution: Check ahead of time that your roofing contractor has a business license. If they don't have a license, it could be a sign that they don't know what they are doing. The company could easily disappear or go out of business.In the state of Utah, your roofing company should have a shingle license and a general roofing license to install a pitched roof. A flat roof installation only requires a general roofing license.A general contractor is legally able to install a roof without a roofing license if they have a general contractor license. However, there have been a lot of cases of general contractors branching out and installing roofs themselves when they lack the proper training. This causes problems for building owners as well as home owners. It is ideal for a general contractor to have a roofing license in addition to their general contractors license.In Utah, the number for a general roofing licence is S280. The general contractors license is B100.If your roofing contractor is in the middle of working on your roof and you find that they have given fraudulent business license information, (in Utah) you have the option to terminate their service right away. You are not required to pay anything to the contractor because they were operating illegally. You can then find a qualified contractor to fix your roof and finish the job.Lien Waiver Problem: Your roof has been completed and you pay the contractor. However, a few weeks later, the contractor's supplier contacts you requesting a payment for the materials installed on your roof. You discover that your contractor did not pay his supplier and that you are now responsible for that payment. This has happened and can happen to you. Solution: Be sure to request a lien waiver when the job is completed and before you pay. A lien waiver simply states that if the contractor fails to make his payments to a supplier or employees, you are not responsible to cover them. It is ultimately in place to protect the home or building owner from paying twice. If you receive the lien waiver before you pay, it is conditional upon your payment. However, once your payment has cleared, the lien waver becomes unconditional without any additional paperwork.Protect Yourself Though it may be uncomfortable, it is important to protect yourself from issues like these. Ask to see proof of your roofing contractor's workers compensation, liability insurance and business license. Also, be sure they are willing to sign a lien waiver once your roof is completed.If you choose a trusted, experienced contractor, most of these issues will not be a problem in the first place. Find reviews and testimonials for your contractor to see what some of their other customer's experiences have been.