Finding a good roofer may not always be easy. For one, you will find a lot of contractors out there, each one having their own suggestions or recommendations for your project. It can get confusing, especially if you have no background in roofing at all. 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 can you tell a good roofer from a not-so-good one?
Ask for at least two or three estimates from different contractors, but make sure the project specifics are exactly the same. You could find dramatic differences in their services and pricing.
When you compare estimates, don’t look at the price alone. Keep in mind cheap isn’t always best, but neither is expensive. Contractors may price their work in different ways, depending on what installation techniques they use or the materials that the client’s budget permits.
Ask for referrals from people around you, such as your relatives, friends, neighbors or colleagues – they might be able to recommend someone. 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 Contractor
Before hiring a roofer, make sure you meet them personally, sit down and talk about the work that must be done. You’d like to know how the roofer plans to take on the project, including the materials he intends to use.
Also, just because a roofer sounds very technical doesn’t mean he will give you honest and quality work. And don’t let appearances fool you. A quality roofer doesn’t always come in a shiny truck with a well-designed logo.
There are contractors who hire subcontractors, which isn’t necessarily bad for your project. You you have to be aware of who’s doing the work on your roof.
Warranties and Guarantees
Know the roofer’s policies when it comes problems that occur after the work is done. Ask if you will be given a warranty or guarantee for the work, and if not, be careful. When a contractor isn’t confident about his own work, no one else should be, including you.
You need to hire a contractor who has both workers’ compensation and liability coverage. In most states, roofers need to be registered with authorities, which means they will have to get insurance as one of the basic requirements.
In Black and White
Finally, whatever you and the roofer agree on, put it in writing and leave no gray areas. All pertinent details should be there, such as materials and their costs, project start and end dates, etc. Never take any detail for granted.