What Should You Know Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor?
It’s important to be careful when you are selecting a Delaware roofing contractor. It is one of the most valuable, and expensive parts of your home. It requires a meticulous decision before deciding which roofer you should trust your home to.
(1) Getting estimates and understanding them in entirety can be overwhelming
You may wonder if you’re getting good value for the price, and may be confused about what’s included, what’s necessary and what isn’t. You want to look to referrals and recommendations for whom others have worked with. Reviews can help indicate the experience and qualifications of the contractor whose writing your estimate.
Multiple estimates in writing from each roofing contractor can allow you to clearly visualize and see what you are getting. It is ill-advised to simply rely on verbal promises of a roofing company, get it in writing! Get all guarantees, warranties and promises in writing – as that can be the first thing a contractor “forgets”.
(2) Take your time!
It’s better to take your time to do your research to select a quality roofing company than simply going to the first company that shows up, or to the lowest bidder. It is cheaper to do it right the first time, than it is to accept the cheapest bid, and have to re-do your entire roof 2 or 3 years later.
(3) Find out if your roofing contractor is licensed and insured!
Roofing can be a dangerous trade. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of liability if your roofing contractor is not insured or unlicensed. If something awful were to happen, such as someone falling off of a ladder, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable for liability – where insurance could cover those risks.
Licensing and insurance is also a reflection of the professionalism and trustworthiness of the contractor. While a one-man roofing crew may not be licensed or insured as a way to keep costs low, a larger roofing contractor will likely have all of these aspects covered. This may allow the uninsured roofing contractor to underbid everyone else – but this is a true “buyer beware” type of situation.
(4) Is your contractor a roofing contractor – or a general contractor?
You want to work with a roofing contractor that specializes in roof replacements – someone who does roof repair and installations all day, every day. A general contractor is likely doing multiple trades. You want to ensure this is someone who will be in businesses for the full warranty of your roof.
(5) Understand your warranty
Your roof is the most expensive part of your home – and needs to be protected for the long-term. It is advisable to understand the terms of your roof’s warranty. What is your roofs warranty? What does it cover? Is just the material covered? Or is it just the craftsmanship and labor? Make sure materials and labor coverage are clearly spelled out.
It’s important to think about your relationship with the sales rep that comes out. Do you feel comfortable with the rep or roofing contractor that you’re meeting with? Do you feel they are being honest and everything is clearly laid out in understandable terms? Has your contractor mentioned anything unscrupulous about not needing to pull permits (if necessary), or about paying deductibles if it is an insurance or storm damage claim? Your contractor needs to obtain all required roofing or re-roofing permits and schedule proper inspections.
Did the company show up on time for your estimate – or did they have to reschedule several times with troublesome communication? Think about how they may treat you after you’ve paid in full. If they cannot impress you before they’re hired – it is alarming how they may treat you after they get the contract. You can even ask your city’s building department if they are familiar with the roofing company.
Trust your feelings and gut.
(7) Payment Terms
Is your roofing contractor requiring upfront deposit or money down? If so – this is something worth thinking about. Many large roofing contractors won’t require a deposit, as they do not rely on the initial deposit in order to buy materials or start work. It is never a good idea to pay in cash upfront, but if you do pay a deposit, keep a file of everything relating to your roof replacement project. Do not make any final payments until you’re completely satisfied with the job.
(8) Ask about their roof installing process
Your roofing contractor will bear the burden of ensuring your roof is waterproof. How long will the contractor take? Can they do the roof in one day, or will they take 2 or 3 days? How will they protect your garden, or cars, or belongings? Will they put a tarp up, will they take a magnet around to clean up your property at completion?
Take pictures as the work progresses to document if anything were to happen to your home.
These guidelines will help you to get a quality new roof replacement at a fair price – where you will be happy with the results!