It takes hard work, plus plenty of research and seeking information from the Internet or other sources, to find a good roofing company. Yes, it is true the roofing industry is full of too many contractors. In fact, looking at the Yellow Pages will leave you confused due to the huge number of contractors available for you to choose from. Nevertheless, one of the worst mistakes you can make is choosing the name of the first contractor you meet.
To avoid costly mistakes, below are the eight things to check before hiring a roofing company:
Check References and Testimonials
First, check the list of local references the roofing company provides. It is easy for the roofer to come up with any list. It is your responsibility to ascertain the authenticity of the list of references from other sources. Likewise, check the testimonies of the company’s customers. One of the best things you can do is to ask friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and insurance agents plus claim adjusters recommend the best roofers to you.
Check for Proper Documentation
A good, authentic roofer has the proper documentation in place. It is risky to hire a roofing company that is not duly registered or licensed. Remember, the roof protects the home, which is arguably your biggest ever investment. Therefore, you should not hire somebody whose credentials you cannot ascertain to work on it. Do not take the roofer’s word for it. Verify his license with the relevant licensing and registration authorities.
Check Roofing Credentials
Roofing credentials are just as important as any other quality. These credentials prove whether the roofer is qualified and trained to provide professional roofing services. A good roofer is one who has not only sat the relevant tests and exams but also passed them. A good roofer is a trained and well educated professional. Knowledge is crucial in an industry whose services and products could be the difference between life and death or a good return on investment and losses.
Check for Valid Insurance
A good, reliable and reputable roofing company has all the necessary insurance covers. First, the roofer must show you valid workers compensation insurance. General liability insurance is also mandatory in the industry. Remember, the roofer works while perched on the roof. Therefore, he can damage the roof further or destroy your property and assets. Without valid insurance cover, you might have to pay for repairs or medical treatment for your own financial resources.
Check for Written Manufacturer Warranties
Written manufacturer warranties are mandatory too. For the most part, you are likely to get roofers who do not use their own products. This is not a bad thing. However, you want to be sure the roofer uses products that come with full and valid manufacturer warranties. Anything less than this should make you alert to the likelihood of spending money on products that will fail after a few weeks or months; thereby causing you untold financial misery.
Check for Willingness to Sign Contract
It pays to hire a roofing contractor who is not afraid to sign a contract with you. Everything you talk about or agree on with the contractor should be in writing. Most contractors are honest and full of integrity. However, there is a minority that seems hell-bent on stealing from or defrauding you. It is from such that you need protection via a valid and legally binding contract. Where possible, sign the contract in the presence of your lawyer for a complex roofing project.
Check Payment Terms
Flexibility in payment is important when dealing with a roofing contractor you wish to hire. It is possible to find a contractor who wants you to pay upfront. Such contractors are not worth hiring or working with. Making a partial payment, or down payment is fine. However, being asked to pay the entire amount upfront is something you should never entertain. What is more, avoid making the payment in cash. Pay using a credit card or check, and only if satisfied with the work.
Check the Contractor’s Quotes Independently
It is important for you to check the contractors’ quotes from other independent sources. In the United States, you can do this through The National Weather Service. Such sources help you to verify hailstorm damage and the cost of restoration independently. The neighbors are equally good sources worth checking such information with before spending any money or hiring an expensive roofing contractor.