1. Insurance is a Must
Make sure that your contractor has worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see the certificates and actually call the insurance carrier to confirm that they are valid. This keeps all bids on a level playing field, knowing that part of the cost of the roof and the service being provided to you is protected with the security of coverage.
2. Choose a Local Contractor
Make sure that the company that you choose is local. This means that they are not just operating locally now, but have an established business and reputation in the community. We have heard from many people that have problems within the standard five-year warranty period. The company that they chose to install their roof closed, moved or vanished. It is very easy to provide a piece of paper, but the warranty is only as good as the longevity, reputation and availability of the roofing company.
3. The Lowest Price Isn’t Always the Best Deal
Never choose a company based on price alone. Cheap bids drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance has to establish pricing to cover such costs. Those that do work on the side or are just working out of a pick-up truck can always do the work cheaper. But in the long run, you get what you pay for. Customers that are sold on price as their sole criteria ultimately end up spending more money to fix problems, and many of these problems would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee by a reputable established roofing company.
4. Avoid Storm Chasers
Steer clear of the knock-on-the-door, “We were in your neighborhood” roofers. This is just canvassing and selling. Choose your roofer from a referral or a sign in your area that has a satisfied client on the other end. If you are approached by this technique, get local referrals that you can speak to. The majority of these roofers will tell you that you have storm damage and have you sign a letter of intent. Don’t be pressured by forceful tactics. You never have to sign an intent letter. Wait to see the contracts and take your time in reviewing.
5. Get Job Details in Writing
Get a detailed description of the work to be performed and you cost before writing a check. Don’t give funds until the work is complete. Make sure that you are satisfied with the result and that the terms of payment were discussed prior to the job and adhered to by both parties. Make sure that you ask how long a job will take. You need to have a clear idea of what size crew that they have and a completion day.
6. Communication is King
Did they return your calls? Did they send the documentation that you asked them to send? Did they follow through? If you answered “no” to these questions, then make sure you communicate your concerns to the company representative. If they still can’t make good, walk away. Communication is key to every business. If you aren’t getting what you need on the front end when they are trying to get your business, what will happen once you have committed the work to them?