Where To Begin
Hiring a roofing contractor can be tricky. Your roof is an indispensable part of keeping your home warm, cool, and dry, which means you need any work done to your roof, whether that be a roof repair or new roof installation, to be completed correctly.
When you ask the right questions and conduct extensive research before signing any contracts, you can avoid headaches and scams that many other people, unfortunately, encounter every year.
Finding The Right Roofing Contractor
Start by asking friends or family for recommendations and advice or reading reviews of local roofing contractors online.
A roofing contractor typically can do a variety of jobs but usually specialize in roof inspections, roof repairs, roof replacement, new roof installations, re-roofing, residential roofing, and commercial roofing.
Questions To Ask Potential Roofing Contractors
When deciding who to hire, you should talk to several roofing contractors. Be sure to ask some (or all) of the following questions: How long have they been in the business? What roof types and roofing materials do they specialize in? How much do you charge for X service? Do you offer any warranties? Do you have any references I can call? Do you offer emergency roofing services?
For a new roof installation, there is no harm in taking a walk around your neighborhood or doing a Google search to see what roof style you might want to install. Before signing any contracts, you’ll want to make sure you know the actual cost of the roof you plan to get.
Getting a Roofing Quote
Roofing contractors will typically need to come to your home to provide you with an accurate quote for your roof.
The roofing contractor should have no problem giving you complete and detailed information about the project you are looking to have completed. Especially regarding the timeline they say they can get the job completed and the breakdown of costs. Professionals who have done similar work in the past should be able to provide you with a fairly accurate quotation, as well as any unexpected surprises that may arise and raise the price.
The best time to hire a roofing contractor, if you can wait, is during the industry’s offseason (from late summer to early fall).
Make Sure They Are Licensed, Insured, and Bonded.
Never hire a roofing contractor that isn’t licensed, insured, and bonded. If someone gets injured while working on your home, licenses and insurance can protect you. If the contractor is bonded, you may be able to get some money back if something goes wrong with the project.
The roof of a house is an essential structure that keeps your house cool and protects it from natural disasters. That’s why it is vital to hire someone you trust, even if it’s just to inspect the roof.
Moving Forward With A Contract
After you have done thorough research and feel comfortable with one of the roofing contractors, you can ask them to provide you with a contract.
Make sure you review it carefully before signing. When reviewing the contract, make sure the following information is included in writing: The initial quote they gave you, a payment plan or structure (that they should have already discussed with you), and proof of their insurance, license, and bonds.
After both parties have signed, please keep this contract in a safe place. As the project progresses, you may need to look back at it for reference.
Keep Your Own Records
Once the contract is signed and a payment plan is made, your work isn’t finished. It is very important to document and record the roofing contractor’s progress and keep receipts of everything.
Along with your contract, you should keep the following detailed records: The date certain project milestones were completed, bills and receipts for any materials, and any additional costs, fees, or contract revisions (i.e. creating and signing a new contract).
It also doesn’t hurt to take progress photos along the way as the work is being completed, especially if delays come up and push the project’s original timeline back.
You, the Homeowner, Have Rights
As soon as you enter into a contract with a roofing contractor, you have rights that you will want to be aware of. Depending on the language of the contract you signed, if the roofing contractor misses any deadlines or the quality of the work is poor, you may be able to back out of the agreement. That being said, if something goes wrong, voiding your contract or not paying may lead to arbitration or small-claims court, but this is why having an extremely detailed contract is so important.
If they do not complete the work, pay the suppliers, or do unsatisfactory work, you may be entitled to getting some money back through the roofing contractor’s surety party if they are bonded.
Avoiding Roofing Scams
Roofing scams are an unfortunate part of the roofing industry. Things like low bids and undocumented damages that they then add to the total price of the project after the work has already begun.
The “storm chaser” is also a common trick. These people go door-to-door, trying to persuade people to contact their insurance to repair multiple poor-quality roofs at once after a storm has come through the area.
This is why taking the time, upfront, to research the right contractor is so important and the best way to avoid these scams altogether.
When the Project is Completed
All that remains to be done after the roofing contractor has completed the job is to pay for their work. If you opted to finance the roof, you may be paying it for the next few months or years.
How did they do? Make sure to leave them a review online to let others know of your experience. The process of installing or repairing a roof is a process that you want to have completed right the first time, so by leaving a review, you help others find and hire a quality roofing contractor just like you did.