New Bern 1

Choosing A Roofing Contractor

Initial Search
The first thing to consider when forming your shortlist of contractors is location. Ideally, you should aim to hire a local company, which helps to eliminate the potential missed appointments, late arrivals and rushed jobs from the off. Use Google or another search engine to find roofers that often work in your area. Not only will this ensure you hire a local firm, but they should also be willing to provide you with previous work references for your viewing.

Assessment
Before contacting a roofing contractor, look out for a few points that indicate how established the firm is. Unfortunately, if you are looking for the cheapest fix, you will likely get a very temporary, and relatively over-priced job. Some initial things to look out for are: years in business, insurance, previous work photographs and presence (online and in print). Another key point to consider, is whether the roofing contractor has their own staff, regular subcontractors or if they are subcontract in mass. The latter would not be ideal as the actual workmen could be of a lower quality or be smaller roofing businesses in themselves. The balance between local and well established small businesses and massive businesses is key. The large businesses are very likely to subcontract in mass.

Making Contact
It will always be necessary for a roofer to arrange a viewing appointment, and any rough quotes given over the phone should be disregarded. For this reason, you will not need a researched knowledge of your roofing problem (unless you are thinking of re-roofing, when having a rough idea of ​​your required coverage is helpful). Most roofers are willing to make appointments for early mornings before you set off to work, or Saturdays in some cases.

Estimate or Quote
It is most common in the roofing industry to work on estimates rather than quotes. This is mainly due to the hidden problems that may lie beneath a flat roof, or underneath your roof covering. Add-ons are uncommon, and usually relatively inexpensive. Be aware of the following known cons:

  • Removing pitched bay window roofs and replacing them with flat roofs
    – Claiming that materials have increased in price since estimate (within 3 months)
    – Inventing new work whilst on the job

    You could always ask for a quote, with the job description clearly detailed, which gives you the option of proceeding with any extras or not.

    Quote / estimate Comparison
    2 or 3 estimates should be enough for you to understand the average cost of the required works. In obtaining a few quotes, you can filter out any chancers that are pricing too highly. Compare the quotes you receive to the assessment of the business's, and remember that the cheapest option is not always the best.

    Contracts
    Contracts are not usually necessary for domestic roofing, but if you would feel happier, then by all means ask for a contract of works. For larger jobs, or jobs that require stage payments, asking for a contract is more than acceptable. You should both have a copy of the contract and both copies should be signed by both parties. If the contract reiterates to 'as per quote' or similar wording, you should attach a signed copy of the quotation to the contract. For most domestic roofing jobs, the quote or estimate is fine to work off of.

    Payment
    Payment will always be due upon issue of the invoice for roofing works without stated otherwise in advance. Cash or cheque are still the most common payment types, but be sure to ask for a cash receipt if paying by cash. You could also ask your contractor to detail the cash payment and sign it off on your copy of the estimate. When paying by cash, always ask for an official receipt to be posted or emailed to you. Bank transfers are starting to rival the other payment methods, and are a better way of payment all round.

Conclusion
1. Search locally using Google or trusted media
2. Perform basic assessment on shortlisted contractors
3. Contact your choices and gain estimates
4. Decide whether a contract is required
5. Have payment ready upon completion

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