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? Laporte
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.
LaporteEvery 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 ContractorsThere 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.