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Working With Green Roof Contractors

Home improvement projects and specialty projects like putting in a green roof can be extremely difficult, both physically demanding and mentally taxing, depending on how large a job you have ahead of you. Following directions, installing and building correctly, and fixing any mistakes can be a demanding job. For most people it is less costly (from redo's) and less hassle to hire professionals to help with the job.

Local contractors, depending on your area and how populated it is, may or may not specialize in green roofing of any type. If you do have one in your area, chances are it is the only one available. Though this reduces your ability to shop around, it also gives you security in knowing that you do not have to chase after several people to do the job. If there are any mistakes, the one person you hired can handle who did it.

There are several steps of a green roof project that require different expertise – roofers, general contractors and landscape architects or specialists. In hiring someone to do the work, you have a few options. The first option involves hiring a general contractor, one who will do the majority of the work and all of the administrative work, hiring the other two tradesmen under them. Another is to hire a landscaping professional who, through his / her networking contacts, can subcontract work to the other specialties. Finally, there is always the possibility of hiring separate professionals for each branch of the work. Each option has pros and cons, but no matter which you choose there are some general tips for working with the professionals you hire.

To begin finding your professional help, narrow the list down to three candidates (try our article on finding a green roof contractor). Before you do anything, make sure each of your potentials is licensed to do what they do in your area – not all contractors get their license in the town they work in. Each candidate should offer you references, and you should take advantage of that by following up on them. The attention to detail, speed, efficiency, price and completed work should be asked about with each reference to make sure you're making the right decision.

As your candidates give you bids for your green roofing project, it is important to do things the correct way to make sure you're getting exactly what you need and want. Have your contractor describe to you as he / she goes along what will need to happen and what he / she plans to do about it, all the while thinking of aspects of the job that could prove tricky or surprising to the contractor so it can be included in the bid. Make sure to fully analyze each bid for mistakes, and check for the timeline, overall price, and warranties on their work. After you have chosen a bid to accept, make sure you get an official write-up contract of the job to be done, including others he / she will hire, a start / end date, price including any permits or taxes, and cleanup. Make sure your contractor is assured and ask for any follow up paperwork like lien waivers at the close of the job.

Once you have hired your professional (s), do not just sit by and let the job happen. Be proactive in the work and building as you go along. Make sure the materials the contractor is using are the ones specified in the contract you've signed. Make sure to ask about anything you are confused about, like a substitution of materials and why it was made. If you are concerned about anything, get it in writing for your file, signed by the contractor him / herself, making sure to ask about the additional (if any) cost.

Anything can happen on a project, including a contractor resigning or an emergency coming that means the project could not be finished. For this reason, make sure to only pay for work that is completed. Go along in the contract with the bidding prices and pay for what is finished as it gets finished. Never pay for half-done or not-started work.

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