A job done on time saves nine! There could not be a phrase truer than this when it comes to tackling roofing woes. Typically, re-roofing is a chore most homeowners do not think much about until it is too late. And when they are looking for a contractor, the urgency of the situation often leads them to make a wrong choice. Emergency or not, following are a few things to consider before choosing a professional roofing contractor;
a) Credentials: Are they accredited to an association or a manufacture contractor program? Make sure that the contractor that you choose is a member of a local trade body or contractor program. This provides better accountability when things go wrong. It also ensures that all roofing jobs are in accordance with local codes.
b) Inspection: Most roofing contractors offer a free inspection to determine the scope of the project and make an estimate of the costs involved. Does the contractor undertake a thorough inspection by checking your attic, chimney and other places where the roof penetrates? The inspection process should give you an idea about how the contractor's work mechanism.
c) Explanation: The contractor should explain the job process in detail. Would he be charging for the defective shingles on a prorated basis or otherwise? What would be the labor charges? Is there a warranty for his service? Would the job also include a thorough clean up of the roof? Who would be responsible for the cleanup after the job's done, including cleaning of the yard and disposing surplus material.
d) Quality Materials: If choosing a contractor who is a part of the manufacturerducted program, materials would not be an issue as their quality would be controlled by the manufacturer himself. But if it is not so, you will have to determine the quality of the materials including the warranty and guarantee.
e) Insurance: All licensed and approved contractors should offer comprehensive liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. Before choosing a contractor, ensure that all of these certificates are current and valid. Workers who are injured when working in your property are your liability unless they are covered under the workers' compensation insurance or other relevant insurance cover.
f) Costs: Contractors who adhere to mandatory regulations like workers insurance charge more than those who do not. Simple workers' compensation insurance can increase costs by almost 20%. If they are licensed they would normally be offering insurance cover that would reflect in the final costs. But not all states require their contractors to be licensed. Thus, the first thing to do is to check if your state requires contractors to be licensed.