Looking for a good roofer isn’t always easy. For one, there are so many contractors out there, and each one will probably have their own unique take of your project. It can get very confusing, especially if you don’t know a thing about roofing. Not to mention there are cowboys in the industry or those infamous fly-by-nights.
The good news is, there are good honest roofers in existence, but you have to do a bit of work to know which ones they are. The question is, how do you know a quality roofer?
Get at least two or three estimates from different roofers with exactly the same project specifics. You could find dramatic differences in their services and pricing.
When you compare estimates, don’t look at the price alone. Remember that the cheapest isn’t always the best, but neither is the most expensive. Different contractors may price their work differently, depending on materials and installation techniques.
Ask people around you for roofer references – friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. – who may know someone who’s good enough to recommend. If you can’t get any, you can always read reviews online, but be sure to stick to reputable consumer websites, or you could be misled.
Meeting the Roofer
Prior to hiring a roofer, make it a point to meet them in person and discuss the work at hand. You want to know how the roofer plans to approach the project and what materials will be used.
Also, just because a roofer sounds very technical doesn’t mean he will give you honest and quality work. And don’t be fooled by appearance. A good roofer isn’t always in a shiny truck with an attractive logo.
There are contractors who hire subcontractors, which isn’t necessarily bad for your project. But you need to know who will actually be doing the work.
Warranties and Guarantees
Find out the roofer’s policies regarding issues that arise once the work is complete. Ask if you will be given a warranty or guarantee for the work, and if not, be careful. You don’t want someone who isn’t confident about their own work, because that means you have no reason to trust it either.
It’s a must to hire a roofer who is insured with both workman’s compensation and liability insurance. In most states, roofers have to register, which means they will need insurance as a requirement.
Lastly, whatever you and the roofing contractor have agreed on, make sure it will be in writing. Everything, from the materials to be used to their individual costs to the project start and end dates etc. should be clearly stated. It’s not wise to take any detail for granted.
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