Roofing contractors are the right people to call when your shingle blows away or a tree falls on your roof. They are also the ones to do the job if you are building a new garage or an addition. It's important to do a little comparative shopping before you sign on the dotted line. You want to make sure that you hire a qualified and experienced contractor. Here's how to do that.
Depending on where you live, there may only be one or two qualified companies in town. But, if you live in a larger metropolitan area, try to interview at least three different professionals before you choose one.
A phone interview might be all that is necessary. But, if you want to compare prices, have them come out and make an estimate. If they do not offer free estimates, call another contractor if you can.
The licensing and certification requirements in North America vary. The Canadian provinces generally allow a contractor with a license in one province to take a job in another. In the US, a different license may be required by each state. For some jobs, no licensing is required.
So, the first step is to check with your local government to find out what certifications roofing contractors should have, if any. At the very least a business license should be required.
Check Experience and References
It probably sounds like you are conducting a job interview in the process of hiring a new employee. Ultimately, that is what you are doing.
Although this will not be a long term relationship, it is an important one. Your roof protects the rest of your home from damage. Its stability is paramount to your family's safety.
When you are interviewing roofing contractors ask what kind of experience they have working with slate, tin, ceramic or other alternative materials. A contractor that stares at you blankly when you mention anything other than standard shingles does not have much experience.
He or she might not work with the alternative materials. You probably do not want them, either. But, it's helpful to know that a contractor has worked with a variety of materials.
If any of your friends or neighbors have had roof repair work done recently, you can ask them for a recommendation. Experienced roofing contractors will be prepared to provide a number of references. They are used to the questions. So, do not be afraid to ask.