Knowing which roofer to hire and which ones to avoid can be a tricky task for a first-time homeowner. Here’s a list of considerations to help you select the roofing contractor who’s most likely to get you the best service for your money.
Make sure their work is insured
The contractor you choose needs to have worker’s compensation and liability insurance. At your request, they should present you with certificates and call their insurance provider to confirm they are valid. This approach evens out the playing field and guarantees that a share of the cost of materials and service is protected with insurance coverage.
Don’t insist on low price
You shouldn’t choose a contractor based on price. Cheap bidders drive down the market, and every serious contractor with overhead and valid insurance needs to establish pricing to cover those costs. Those who work out of a pickup truck can always offer to do the work cheaper, but in the long run, you get what you pay for. Homeowners who are guided by the price solely end up spending additional money to fix problems, many of which would’ve been covered by the workmanship guarantee by a reputable and insured roofing contractor.
Avoid storm chasers
These shady roofers are literally chasing the storms to find work resulting from the elemental damage in a particular area. These knock-on-the-door roofers are canvassing their neighborhood, often working without any liability insurance or workmanship coverage, and most importantly, without much care for the quality of their work, since there is a small chance they’ll ever see you again. Upon telling you that you have dangerous storm damage, some of them will try to have you sign a letter of intent. Don’t fall for this forceful tactics, and instead wait to see the contract and let your agent check their credentials.
Choose local contractors
If possible, make sure the company you go with is local. It’s not a rare case that customers are filing complaints about the standard five-year warranty period to companies that closed, moved or vanished, which is less likely to happen with companies which have an established business and reputation in the community. For example, experts behind A-1 All American Roofing have been serving the residential communities and businesses in Southern California for over 20 years, taking pride in each licensed and bonded job they’ve done in the area.
“I’m have a few extra guys”
While you should definitely choose a locally established contractor, avoid handymen who are doing another job just a few blocks away. This is the second most popular scam after the storm-chasing. A roofer might knock on your door offering to repair or replace your roof dirt-cheap since they’re doing another job in the area and happen to have a few extra guys and materials, and since they are already here… Your money is likely to disappear quicker than the groundhog at the end of the fall, while your roof will stand witness to the scam you fell so easily for.
Get job details on paper
Make sure you understand the contract have warranty details and ask any questions before you sign any document. Failing to do so you risk ending up with a lien against your house, sub-standard warranty hardly worth the paper it’s written on, or unsolicited changes during the job. Make sure you’re satisfied with the documentation and to discuss the terms of payment before the job is signed.
With an abundance of online resources and references, it’s surprising to see there is little shortage of people who still get burned hiring the wrong roofers. If you’re looking for a pleasant experience and professional workmanship, make sure you do your homework and hire local experts whose reputation and customer satisfaction are their best branding tools.