What Should I Look for in Roofing Companies?
by Ed Roman on Aug 2, 2021
With so many roofing companies from which to choose, how do you narrow down those choices and find the best contractor for your home or commercial structure? While there is no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to choosing a residential or commercial roofing contractor, note a few simple suggestions on what to look for and what to avoid. These tips will help you find a qualified contractor while reducing the risk of ending up with poor-quality roof repairs or installation!
Ask For Referrals For Roofing Companies
Never underestimate the value of word-of-mouth referrals when it comes to roofing companies! Don’t be shy about asking family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they’ve had roofing work done recently and if they could recommend their contractor.
While referrals can help you find a quality, reliable roofing contractor, use caution when someone recommends their own friends or family members. A roofer’s friends or family might not be concerned with, or even know about, the quality of work he or she offers and might simply be trying to “drum up business” for them. However, if you know someone who recommends an outside company they’ve used in the past, you should definitely consider calling them for a quote!
Look Online For Well-Reviewed Roofing Companies
Never assume that a fancy website or ads and links on sites like Home Advisor and BobVila.com mean that a roofer is reputable and reliable, as a contractor might simply pay for a website or ad space. Instead, check roofers with links to their Google or Angie’s List reviews, and other online customer reviews.
Once you do that, weed out contractors with anything less than 4 out of 5 stars. An occasional negative review can be explained away but several poor reviews are a red flag, signaling a company to avoid! Stick to companies with the highest reviews and most positive comments from customers.
Do Your Research on Roofing Contractors
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few top candidates, start doing some research. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or agency that licenses contractors, to ensure each company is properly licensed. Check for local addresses as well, so you know an out-of-town company won’t be subcontracting to potentially unreliable workers.
You’ll also want to check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints, grievances, and other negative information. You might even visit their Facebook page and other social media sites for comments left by either satisfied or disgruntled past clients!
Meet a Roofing Contractor in Person
There are two reasons you should always meet a roofing contractor in person before deciding to hire him or her. The first reason is that a contractor should always inspect a property before offering a final quote. He or she might offer a “ballpark” rate over the phone or note their hourly rate and other general information, but a reliable roofer will always need to inspect a property’s condition before offering an actual quote.
The other reason to meet with a potential roofer in person is that you want to evaluate his or her approach to the job! A roofer should seem knowledgeable about a structure’s current roofing materials, repairs needed, and various options for new roofing tiles or shingles. He or she should also be professional and courteous, answering all your questions throughout the inspection process.
A roofing contractor should also be happy to inform you of how long needed repairs or new roof installation will take, how much liability insurance coverage they have including worker’s compensation, the size of their crew, and if they will pull all needed permits. If you encounter a roofer who hesitates at any such questions, this can be a red flag that something about their company or work is not quite in order and you might want to move to another candidate.
Note What a Roofing Contractor Puts In Writing
A roofing contractor should put their quote in writing, but note what they include and how that quote is worded. Ensure that there will never be any hidden fees or added charges. They should also put an expected completed time in writing, along with that price.
They should also note their cleanup methods, roofing materials to be used, and how much they expect upfront and at the end of the job. A property owner should also request a waiver that releases you of liability if the roofer doesn’t pay their workers or subcontractors.
Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Decision Based on Price
While homeowners and commercial property owners need to consider their budget when it comes to roof repairs or reroofing, price should not be the determining factor when it comes to hiring a roofing contractor. One reason for this is that an underqualified contractor might purposely lowball their quotes, hoping to entice clients to overlook poor reviews or a lack of work history.
A lowball quote can also be a red flag that the contractor will be using poor-quality materials. While these materials might be cheaper to purchase, off-brand roofing materials typically don’t last as long as higher-quality, dependable options. In turn, you might pay for roof repairs or new roofing more often over the lifetime of property ownership!
On the other hand, a skilled and experienced roofer confident in their work will usually charge clients accordingly. They know that their roof repairs or new roof installation will last longer than work done by a less qualified roofer, so their costs are a better investment over time! While a roofer that quotes a price far more expensive than average might not be the best choice, don’t let a higher price scare you off from hiring an otherwise qualified and well-reviewed roofing contractor.
Note the Warranty and Guarantees Offered
A roofer should also offer a warranty or guarantee for their materials and work. While the length of their guarantee might vary according to roofing materials chosen, it should extend for years and not just months! Reputable roofing companies ensure quality work you can trust, so ensure you check their guarantee and opt for a contractor who offers a written guarantee for all their roofing work.
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