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? Garden City
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.
Garden CityEvery year, civic agencies across the country process thousands of complaints against housing contractors, and roofing contractors consistently rank among the top businesses being complained about. So be very careful when selecting someone to work on your house! Your roof is an important part of your home. You shouldn't trust it to just anyone. Getting honest estimates from roofing contractors can be confusing. Some have really high prices, and some are priced so low that you can't understand what's included and what's not, or if you're getting good value for your money. Some less-than-scrupulous roofing contractors play games with pricing, only to jack the costs up later during the job with unexpected surprises. That's why it's important to use care when selecting a contractor, and be sure you're dealing with someone honest. You want your roof taken care of quickly and cheaply as possible, but it pays to take the time to select a roofing contractor that will do a good job for a fair price. It's better to do it right the first time, instead of using the cheapest contractor available and later discovering you've made a painful mistake. Hiring a roofing contractor is more than just finding the cheapest quote. For the best results, you need to find a legitimate roofing professional. Consider the contractor's experience and qualifications, the duration of the project, quality of materials, and other factors. For example, GAF Master Elite Contractors, who by virtue of their excellent workmanship are granted special status and offer enhanced warranties. Get recommendations from your neighbors and friends - they're your best resource. After all, if they were happy with the work you will be too.One of most important things to find out before hiring a roofing contractor is that they are fully licensed and insured. Roofing is a dangerous occupation. Don't leave yourself open to a devastating liability by hiring an unlicensed roofer. Protect yourself!Make sure that your contractor is an actual roofing contractor, and not just a general contractor. Ask how long he's been in business and where his place of business is located. Take a look at his truck and if there is a magnetic sign on it, there is a strong possibility that he works as a subcontractor for multiple companies. Is he going to be in the roofing business for the full warranty on your new roof? And exactly what is the warranty, and what does it cover? Does he offer warranties for both Material and Craftsmanship? Make sure both materials and labor coverages are specified. If you get multiple estimates, get them in writing from each roofing contractor, and ensure that they're based on the same roofing project specification. Never, ever, rely on verbal promises. Insist on getting all guarantees, promises and warranties in writing. Including warranties from all the various manufacturers whose products will be used. And investigate their previous work; any reputable roofing contractor should have job sites for you to visit to see completed work.As the proposal moves along, ask yourself; are you comfortable with the roofing contractor? When reviewing the contract, does it spell out the scope of work in clear and understandable terms? Your contractor must obtain all required building, roofing or re-roofing permits, and he schedules the proper inspections. Make sure all project expectations are in writing and only sign the contract if you completely understand the terms.Larger contractors won't require a deposit, but if they do, never pay more than 10% down or $1,000. Never pay in cash. And if you make ongoing payments as the work progresses, don't let payments get ahead of the work. Keep a job file of everything relating to your project, including all payments. Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the job.Additional points to consider when deciding between roofing contractors: Was the contractor on time for your estimate appointment? If not, or if he failed to show at all, calling you later with some excuse, drop him from consideration immediately. If he's not on time when he most needs to impress you (before he has been given the job), then he surely cannot be relied upon after he gets the contract. Does he have an actual office, and a showroom for you to go visit? If not, does he at least have a secretary or paging service for emergencies? Trust your instincts. Do you feel comfortable with him working on your home? Remember, the person you meet with could just be a convincing salesman, and become totally different once the actual work starts. Call your city's building department, and ask if they are familiar with the contractor you plan to use, and see if they have anything negative to say about the company. And ask lots of questions. Don't let the contractor confuse you with strange words and industry jargon. Ask him to explain everything to you in detail. Remember, you're the boss! They work for you. The bottom line is, trust your feelings; you must feel comfortable. Ask about the process that the crew will follow when installing your roof. It's the roofing contractor's responsibility to see that the roof is waterproof at the end of the day, and if necessary, there should be enough tarps to completely cover the roof in case of rain! Take pictures as the work progresses, to document anything the workers do to cause damage to your property. And when the job is done, it's nice to offer the contractor copies of your photos, and give a nice testimonial for a job well-done.All this may seem like a lot of information to get from the roofing contractors giving you an estimate, but these are certainly issues that their clients already ask them about. All reputable, honest roofing contractors will already be prepared to provide this.
How to Find a Reputable Roofer to Fix Your HomeWhen 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.