If your home is in need of a new roof or you have major repairs to fix after a storm, finding a roofing contractor can be more difficult than expected. For example, your homeowners insurance or business insurance will have a list of requirements that will need to match your roofing contractor’s list of services. In addition, there are at least six vital tips that are often overlooked that can help you find the best roofing contractor in your area.
1- Are they Bonded?
Many customers will focus on the price or the materials that a contractor is offering, but remember to check and see if the roofers are actually bonded. In simple terms, this means that there is a surety bond that is purchased by that contractor, and it is a form of backup if the contractor does not finish the job. This is also a form of insurance in case unforeseen circumstances cause the contractor to do more repairs after the job is complete. Being bonded also gives the contractor access to extra coverage in case they are working with other subcontractors, and one of them fails to meet a required financial obligation such as paying for a permit.
2- Are they Licensed?
The National Roofing Contractors Association has a document on their website to help homeowners and business owners called the “Residential Roofing Contractor Qualification Form.” In this document, they ask for the state license of the roofing contractor, and this is key in getting reimbursed by your property insurance company. For example, if your work is not done by a state licensed roofing contractor, they will not be able to get the construction permit required to get you reimbursed for storm damage to your roof.
3- Are They Insured?
Can you afford to pay for an uninsured roofer who gets injured while working on your home? Unfortunately, when homeowners attempt to cut corners, they often pay the cost in lawsuits as well as the debt from paying someone else’s medical bills out-of-pocket. Fortunately, if a roofing contractor carries full coverage for all of the people working on your roof, you will not need to worry if there is an instance where one or more person is injured on your property.
4- Are They Local or Connected to Other Contractors?
Although you may have a personal referral for your roofing contractor, it pays to know if they are associated with any local or national organizations. For example, they may be part of a local trade union with other contractors. They may also be a part of The National Roofing Contractors Association. Depending on the organization, being affiliated will mean your roofing contractor needs to remain in good standing, and these standards work toward your favor as a consumer.
5- Do They Offer a Warranty?
If you ask your roofing contractor about a warranty and guarantee on parts and labor, they may hand you a form with a lot of fine print. Along with the basics they discuss when they visit you for a roofing estimate, one important aspect to consider is what will forfeit or cancel the warranties. For instance, in some circumstances, having solar panels installed on top of a roof will cause you to forfeit the warranty. For this reason, be careful to discuss all aspects of the future use of your roof with the contractor before you sign up for major repairs or reroofing.
6- Are There Any Hidden Charges?
Unfortunately, since most roofing contractors assume the insurance company will pay for everything, they may not be aware you are paying out of your own personal bank account. For this reason, in addition to transparent prices for labor and roofing materials, you will also want to get an estimate of labor and other prices included in a re-roofing worst-case scenario. In fact, while you are gathering all of the other information you need from a roofing contractor about an estimate, also get their top prices in writing. For instance, if they run out of the roofing materials you want, what would the Alternatives be? If, for example, there is a major storm in the area and you need to start the roofing process over, would there be a surcharge? There may also be surcharges for extremely damaged roofs that require extra clean-up and up-charged schedule extensions if the weather is bad for an extended period of time.
One final piece of advice is to do your research and take your time before you go ahead with a roof replacement. Instead, get the basic repairs done that you need, and when you have found the right roofing contractor with the right prices, you will feel confident about moving forward with your decision. To learn more about our transparent pricing and options for payment plans, give us a call today for a free inspection. We are also available for emergency repairs, regular maintenance or inspections, and whole roof replacements.