Tip 1. Ask Friends And Family.
Most people say they would prefer to use a roofer who is recommended by someone they know and trust. Such a recommendation significantly reduces the likelihood of a bad experience. But what if you do not know anyone who has used a roofer recently?
Tip 2. Use A Referral Service
You can and should look for a recommendation from another trusted source such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or a contractor's association in your area, or use a service that pre-screens roofing contractors and schedules free roofing estimates for you. Typically pre-screened contractor referral services review local contractors in your area for required state license, insurance verification, background check and customer references, all at no cost to you. When you use these kinds of service you can have peace of mind that you¡¯re receiving a roofing estimates from a reputable, quality contractor.
Tip 3. Ask For Proof Of License And Insurance.
Whether you use a free referral service or choose to find a contractor on your own, you should ask the contractor how long they've been in business. Ask the contractor to see any required licenses and verify that the credentials are current and active. Ask for written proof of the contractor's personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage insurance and verify that the policies are current and active. You do not want to be liable for injuries and damages that may happen on your property while they are doing the work you need done.
Tip 4. Ask About Subcontractors
Find out if the contractor is going to use any subcontractors. If so, meeting with them is also important. Make sure they have been paid on time by this contractor in the past, and check the subcontractor's licensing and insurance documentation as well.
Tip 5. Get Severalids, And If They're Different, Find Out Why
Be sure to get at least three bids. Ask the contractor to explain to you what you are getting for that price including information about materials and labor. If a bid is substantially higher or lower than another bid, do not make assumptions. Ask questions and get answers. You may end up going with a higher bid once you understand exactly what you're paying for. You will be able to compare roofing estimates only after you know exactly what materials and labor each bid includes and you can compare apples to apples.