We recently discussed how to go about finding a roofing contractor. All potential roofing contractors should fit the following criteria:
- Licensed and insured
After you’ve put together a short list of reputable contractors to choose from, you’ll need to make the final decision on which company will be working on your project. But how do you make that final decision? How do you know how you’ve found the right contractor to work on your home?
In this post, we’ll talk through some of the ways you can gather more information about potential roofing contractors so that you have everything to make the best decision for you and your family.
Ask Potential Roofing Contractors for References
Ask any prospective roofing contractors if they can provide you with references. Ideally, these should be homeowners who have had similar work done to what you need and within a reasonably recent time frame (6 months – 1 year). Reputable contractors should be happy to provide you with a reference. When you contact references, make sure you ask careful questions about how satisfied they were with the work on their roof.
Some potential questions you may want to ask references about their roofing contractor are as follows:
- Would they recommend this company to their friends and family? (Why/why not?)
- Was the work completed as agreed?
- Did the work come in on budget?
- Were there any issues, and how were they resolved?
- Was there any damage to their property as a result of the work? Were workers careful about cleaning up after themselves?
Ask to Visit a Roofing Contractor’s Worksite
Another great way to get more of a feel for a roofing business and how they work is to ask if you can visit a current work site. This gives you the opportunity to see a company and their crew in action. Reputable businesses should be happy to let you see them at work.
On a site visit, you can see for yourself whether or not a crew is following safety standards, keeping the worksite tidy, protecting the property, etc. You should be able to get a feel for whether or not the work is being conducted professionally or not.
Get a Detailed Quote From Each Potential Roofing Contractor
Ask for a detailed quote from all the roofing contractors you are considering working with. This quote should be written and should include a full description of the work to be done. The quote should also have an itemized breakdown of the materials and labor costs, so you can see exactly where your money will be going.
Focus on Quality Over Price
When comparing quotes, don’t focus solely on getting the lowest price. Of course, price is going to be an important factor for any homeowner. Though remember – price isn’t the same as value. If you end up working with a roofing contractor whose work isn’t up to standard, you may find yourself paying more over the long-run. If a contractor comes in with a slightly higher price but you feel more comfortable with their expertise and references, don’t automatically rule them out.
Red Flags to Watch Out For When Choosing a Roofing Contractor
Even if you’ve done your research, you may still find yourself talking to a contractor who you’re just not entirely sure about. As you talk to potential roofing contractors, here are some red flags to be on the lookout for:
1. Unnecessary Upsells
If a roofer starts to tell you the scale of the job you’ve brought them in for is much bigger than you expected, proceed with caution. Ask the roofing contractor to provide photos of any damage they’re claiming needs repaired. Check with other contractors you’re considering to see if they’ve also identified the damage.
A roofing professional finding additional damage as a result of their inspection isn’t unusual, so this doesn’t necessarily mean a roofer is trying to scam you. However, it is worth double-checking to protect yourself before you sign-off on additional costly work.
2. Large Down Payments
Be cautious of roofing contractors who request a large down payment to cover material costs before the start of a project. You should limit any down payments to a maximum of 10% of the agreed costs, and never pay out the full amount until the work agreed upon has been successfully completed.
If a bid seems too good to be true, it more than likely is. This could be a sign that a roofer is cutting corners on materials or labor costs. Some unethical roofing companies will bid low to win work, and then pile on the costs mid-project. If a bid is coming in much lower than other roofing contractors you are talking to, beware.
4. Pressure Tactics
An ethical roofing contractor will not try to rush you through your decision, or use pressure or scare tactics to get you to agree to work.
Get it in Writing
Before work begins on your home, get a written contract from your chosen roofing contractor to protect yourself and your home. This contract should contain everything you’ve agreed upon verbally with your chosen roofing contractor. It should also detail how any disputes or difficulties will be handled.
Choosing the right roofing company for your home can be daunting. In this series of posts, we hope we’ve helped de-mystify the process for you and find the confidence to pick the right roofing company for your home.
At A & J Reliable, we make a commitment to every project we work on. We are happy to answer questions and find the right solution for each of our customers. Contact us to learn more about our services.