If you are building a new home or renovating an existing how then choosing a roofing contractor will likely be an important part of your project. Not only does your roof keep you warm and dry, an attractive new roof can also add value to your home. Choosing a roofing company is not always easy so here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Businesses often say that referrals are the best source of customers, however while that is true it can also be the best source of contractors too. Asking your friends, work collections and neighbors who have had their roof done recently who they used and whether they were happy with them is a great source of leads for a roofing contractor. Ask them questions like what was their price like? Did they use qualified tradesmen? Was there any quality controls and guarantees? Where are any problems and if so where they smoothly resolved? What was their customer service like? These kind of questions will give you good feedback of what you should expect from a roofing contractor and what to look for to meet your requirements.
Next it is important to ensure that the roofing contractor has the relevant licenses, uses qualified tradesmen and are fully insured. This is very important in the event of any issues such as injuries or accidents. Calling or visiting the website of any local builders or trade associations such as Master Builders is another good place to find a reputable company as there associations usually insure members meet certain quality standards and possess the relevant licensing.
By now you should have started to gather a list of contractors who you are going to call for your job. Usually its a good idea to have three or four quotes. Typically you will find there will be one high ball quote, a low ball quote and a couple in the middle. While price may be one of your determining factors remember that cost can often be a reflection of quality. In the roofing industry often low cost operators substitute qualified tradesmen with inexperienced laborors and cut costs and corners on the job. It is important to look at what you are actually getting in the quote from the company and guarantees are an important aspect of this.
Make sure you have a look through the fine print and actually understand the warranties given to you by your vendors. Many warranties may sound similar, you'll be surprised at what they do and do not cover when you read the fine print! A good warranty should offer to fix any leakages or problems free of charge with some obvious inclusions such as major natural disasters. Further more once you have had someone inspect your roof, they usually will show you some of their recent work. This is important as you can often go and see the jobs for yourself. On some occasions companies will even have a revolving list of references you can phone.
Other things you will need to know are:
- how long they have been in business
– do they require a deposit upfront
– does the company require the money upfront (likely red flag)
– are they qualified to remove asbestos safely (if applicable)
– are they liable for any damage caused to your property
– are their any financing options
– what their warranty covers
– are they insured
– do their staff have work cover
It can also be a good idea to check with local authorities such as the BSA (Building Services Authority) to see if their were any complaints and how they were resolved. While complaints may happen from time to time how they are resolved is a better measure of what it will be like to deal with the company.
While it may seem like a lot of work to go to all this trouble it is a lot easier than it sounds and remember the roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Your roof keeps you warm, dry and safe and improves the overall look and value of your home.