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? Mead
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.
MeadIf you need a roof estimate, one of the first places some people look is in the phone book. But if you want a GOOD roofer, that's not the best place to find him.Sure, he probably has a small listing there if he's been in business for longer than a year or so. That's just part of being professional, so prospects and customers can find you. But unlike the companies that depend on big, expensive ads to make the phone ring, he gets most of his business from referrals.His name is on the hearts and minds of his happy clients and raving fans. His business card is in their wallets and purses or hung on their refrigerator. He has earned their trust and they wouldn't call anybody else.So where can YOU find this guy for your roof estimate? Actually, it isn't all that difficult. If you don't know him, you probably know somebody who does. Heck, they say everybody on earth is connected by just six degrees of separation. Joe Girard (The World's Greatest Car Salesman) figures the average person knows about 250 people. If each of them know 250, that is a pool of 62,500 people right there. Everybody but the homeless have a roof overhead and they were all installed by somebody. Here are five places to look for a good roofer for your project.1. Ask your friends, family and coworkers if they can recommend someone for a roof estimate. This is one of your very best sources because these are the people you know and trust. They will probably give you the WHOLE truth about roofing contractors they know. Even if they can't recommend someone, they might tell you who to avoid!2. Ask your neighbors. Find out who they used and if they would use them again. Some homeowner associations even keep a list of reliable contractors.Pay attention to roofing work going on in your neighborhood. Look for yard signs and company names on the vehicles. What's the condition of their trucks? If they don't care about their own equipment, how much do you think they will care about your roof? What about the roofing crews? Do they go about their work in a quiet professional manner... or does the jobsite resemble a wild roof party, complete with beer and music blasting from a boom box? Do they keep the jobsite clean... or are shingle wrappers and debris blowing all over the neighborhood? If you get the chance, talk to the homeowner after a hard rain. Is he a happy camper?3. Call the roofing suppliers in your area or drop by for some product literature. Talk to the manager, tell him you need a roof estimate and ask for the names of a few good roofers. The suppliers deal with all the roofing contractors in town on a daily basis. They are plugged into the grave vine and have a pretty good idea who has a good reputation and who doesn't.4. Call the building inspector for your municipality and speak to a roofing inspector. Ask about the permit and inspection requirements for your project. While you have him on the phone, tell him you need a roof estimate and ask for a few names of good roofers in your area. It's his job to check roofing work, so he should know better than anyone who does it right and who doesn't. He probably can't make an official endorsement, but he might give you a few names to check out. 5. Finally, check out your prospective roofers online. The internet has made advertising cheap and easy, but it has also made it more difficult for the bad guys to hide. Google the names of the roofing companies you are considering and see what comes up.It's also a good idea to check the names of the owners of these companies. A common practice when roofing companies get in trouble is to shut down and then open back up under another name.See what Angies List (www.angieslist.com) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) have on them. Check their status with the local and state licensing boards.By now you should have several companies to choose from for your roof estimate. Select the three with the strongest reputation and give them a call. Be sure to tell them where you got their name. Us roofers who depend on "word of mouth" advertising know how important referrals are and we will try especially hard not to disappoint you!
Evaluating Roofing Estimates and ContractorsWhen 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.