Finding an experienced and professional contractor does not have to be an impossible or time-consuming task. Your home’s roof is essential and is what protects you and your family from the natural outdoor elements. In addition, getting a new roof is a major investment, typically running into the thousands so it’s worth doing a little homework beforehand. Unless water is pouring in overhead, take the time to ensure that you’re hiring a true professional.
Here are a number of factors to take into consideration when searching for a contractor.
-Research contractors and get recommendations- There are a number of online sites devoted to finding the right contractor for you. You can also obtain recommendations from a neighbor, friend or family member. It is always a good idea to line up several prospects.
-Availability- If the contractors you are contacting are booked for the next year, do not waste your time.
-History- Make sure that the contractor you hire has been in business for at least five years.
-Gather References- A professional will easily provide you with a list of references and volunteer this information from the beginning of the process. If certification is a requirement in your area, make sure to see their credentials.
-Call References- Call references directly and ask them the following questions:
.Would you use this roofer again?
.Did the roof leak? If so, did the roofer respond promptly, was he courteous and did he charge you for any additional work?
.Did the roofer damage any bushes or flowers, and did he leave nails in the driveway?
.Was a designated foreman available to address your concerns during both the tear-off and the installation of the new roof?
-Obtain an estimate and determine payment schedule- Make sure that you get an estimate. Break up the total due into two payments: one-third up front for materials, and the remainder when the roofing and clean-up are done to your satisfaction.
-Warranty- Make sure to obtain a warranty that covers leaks, flashing failure and other labor-related defects. A one-year warranty is the minimum, but two or three year warranties are best. Make sure to get all warranty and proof of purchase paperwork just in case you might need them down the road
-Get it all in writing- Get all details written down. For example, warranty information and what type of shingles/materials are being used and don’t sign a contract until you fully understand what you are getting into.
-Communication and control- Your home is your biggest asset, so you should have ultimate control over any home improvement projects. If you’re able to bounce ideas off of your roofer and get constructive feedback in return then you are more likely to get the roof of your dreams.