Your roof is one of the most critical elements of your house. Its role is to protect you and your family from the weather and to contribute to the visual appearance and economic value of your property. Over time your roof may develop leaks, be damaged by heavy storms, or wear out after a normal life cycle, and you may be faced with the necessity of needing to have your roof inspected and either repaired or replaced. At which time you'll need to decide on a quality roofing contractor to complete the work. You'll need someone who is a roofing expert and also provides quality workmanship and good customer service. Here are some important questions to help you choose a quality roofing contractor.
- Do they have insurance and will they give you a copy?
This is a vital question, that usually usually gets overlooked more times than not, that you need to ask before hiring a roofing contractor. You will be checking to see that they have both workers comp (which protects you if one of their workers is injured on the job) and general liability (which protects your property should one of their workers accidentally damage it). You will want to get a copy of each policy covering the contractor. You may even want to contact the carrier to verify the coverage. If the roofing contractor can not give you a copy, it's best to move on and choose someone who can.
When was their business established?
There are some questionable roofing contractors out there, so make sure to choose one who has been around longer than the last hailstorm.
What is their standard warranty for labor and materials?
Standard labor warranties for new roofs range from 5 to 10 years. A roofing contractor who warranties his work for less than that may have a cheaper product or may be from another state. Standard manufacturer's warranties for roofing materials ranges from 20 to 30 years (and even longer) and generally includes a split between full coverage and pro-rated coverage. You'll want to know the warranty periods for both the materials and the labor and get copies of both warranties.
Where is their office and do they possess a valid state contractor license?
First off, you need to make sure your roofing contractor is local to your state by locating their office. It's extremely difficult to get a roofing contractor to come back out for any maintenance or repairs from an out of state location. Additionally, you need to make sure that they have a valid state contractor license by checking with your state's licensing division.
Can they give you testimonials from other happy customers?
You need to obtain a list of customer testimonials from your roofing contractor. The list needs to include phone numbers and street addresses from satisfied customers in your area. Quality roofing contractors ask their customers for testimonials because they want to know what they're doing right and any areas needing improvement. You'll want to follow up with some of these prior customers to see if their expectations were met or exceeded and you may even want to take a quick drive by a couple just to get a first-hand look at the contractor's work.
Bonus Advise: You always need to get at least three estimates for the work you need done on your roof. These estimates should be free of charge and delivered to you in person. They should be itemized so that you can see exactly what you will be asked to pay.
You can also check up on the roofing contractor by searching the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org. Be sure to make sure the contractor has a good track record regarding complaints. If the contractor is listed as a BBB Accredited Business, it's a plus.
Choosing the right roofing contractor is vital to you and your home. With the answers to these questions, you'll be prepared to make an informed decision about who goes to work on your roof.