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!
Evaluating Roofing Estimates and ContractorsGetting a roof repaired or replaced is something most of us homeowners dread, and when the roof does need repair, it is important to get not only the finest quality materials available but the best price on installing those materials as well. Most of us will start the process by getting an estimate of roof repair from a few local contractors, and it is important for all homeowners to learn how to read this important document properly.Of course every estimate of roof repair will look somewhat different, according to the company who prepared it and the nature of the job. The estimate for patching a hole, or replacing a bank of shingles, for instance, can be a fairly simple and straightforward document, while the estimate for installing or replacing an entire roof can be quite complex in nature. No matter what the cost or complexity of the job, however, there are a number of things to keep in mind when reviewing all those competing roof repair offers. Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure that each estimate of roof repair is bidding on the same job. Before you go out to get those estimate, it is important to write up the requirements of the job, including when work must begin, when the repair needs to be complete, and any preferences you may have as to roofing materials. Spelling out all these requirements ahead of time will help you to make sure you are comparing like to like as you sort out the prices of the various estimates.It is also important to consider the reputation and reliability of the roofing contractor. Not all roofing contractors are equally reliable, nor are all equally skillful and knowledgeable. If you have a specialty roof, such as a tile roof, a rubber roof or a metal roof, it is important to choose a contractor who has expertise in that specialty material. A general roofing contractor may not have all the skills, tools and expertise needed to complete a complex repair on the more unconventional roofing materials on the market. After you have reviewed all of the roof repair estimates and narrowed the choices down to just a few, it is a good idea to take a couple of minutes to chat with each of those candidates. It is often possible to get a real feel for the quality of the work someone will do just by meeting with them, and roof repair is no exception. While the estimate of roof repair can give you an idea of the price, only a face to face meeting can give you the gut feeling that can be so important in the world of business and in the world of roof repair.