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? La Salle
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.
La SalleEvery 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.
Evaluating Roofing Estimates and ContractorsNeed 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.