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? Virginia Dale
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.
Virginia DaleHere 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.
Roofing Estimates for Roof Repair or ReplacementNeed a new roof? If your living room or kitchen sports large buckets for catching rainy drips, the answer is probably "yes." Assuming that you are unable or willing to replace it yourself, you will be looking for a reputable roofing contractor to handle the job for you. The question then becomes, how do you find a dependable roofer?The answer may not be as hard as you think. Here are a few possibilities to consider:1. Check the telephone directory's yellow pages. Browse the section called "roofing" for the names of local persons you can call for an estimate. Sometimes the ads will reveal key information about the person, such as location, hours of operation, and specialty areas. You also might find out whether the person accepts credit card payments, and whether he or she provides free estimates. Call two or three names, at least, for an idea of available contractors. 2. Contact the Better Business Bureau. While this organization will not provide a list of names for you to call, it can give you an indication of someone's response to complaints so that you get an idea of his or her character and reputation.3. Locate roofer-related organizations. There may be a roofers' group or construction companies that can tell you what to look for in a roofing contractor, and perhaps recommend a few local names.4. Ask local home building supply stores. Often they keep a list of specialists they recommend to area folks who are looking for consulting or hands-on help with building projects. Occasionally the store might sponsor a workshop or seminar featuring one of these experts. Attending a session may give you a better idea of the roofer's credentials.5. Browse online websites. Building companies and contractors as well as independent roofers are increasingly advertising their skills on the Web by hosting a website. Some offer free newsletter sign-ups or updated FAQ's that help to answer visitors' questions.6. Ask for referrals. Wherever you get the name of a possible roofer for your project, ask for referral letters from clients, and then follow up by contacting these people. You may even want to take a glance at the workmanship. 7. Pay in portions. Never pay for a roofing job (or any type of home construction or remodeling project) up front. You can pay a third or a fourth as a down payment if you really want to, but make an agreement to collect partial payments in two or three intervals. Get a written estimate first, and if the person does not follow this or tries to change the terms of your agreement, report him to the Better Business Bureau or local authorities.Having your roof done is an important job. Don't let just anyone tamper with your roof. It is an important part of your home's structure, and only an expert should tackle needed repairs and updates. For more information, contact your local Chamber of Commerce or building supply store.