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 DaleIf 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!
Fundamentals of a Roof Repair EstimateThere 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.