How to choose the right roofing contractor
Owning a house means keeping a tidy roof. This quick guide will teach you how to choose the best roofing contractor.
Start looking for a contractor locally
With plenty of poor-quality contractors out there, starting locally is the safest bet that you’ll be getting a job well done. The best place to start is by word of mouth — your neighbors have most likely had the same issues in the past and know someone that is well-suited for the job.
Along with this, look for factory-certified contractors, who are much more experienced and have to pass minimum requirements to receive their certification. They’re also subjected to frequent vetting checks to make sure their work remains of the best possible quality. You should also always make sure your contractor is listed on the Better Business Bureau site and has a good score in order to avoid any issues. Everything above will help ensure the roofer you choose is the best possible person for the repair.
Cheapest isn’t always the best
With roofers, you tend to get what you pay for. While being on a budget may mean you have to compromise with choosing the right contractor, be aware that hiring the cheapest one may not bring you the best quality repairs. When it comes to roofing, you’ll be given estimates rather than a finalized price.
With that in mind, always make sure all estimates are written down. They should also include the cost of materials, scaffolding, and any other expenses. If a contractor offers deals on their work, double-check their past work and experience. Always question availability. Most popular contractors are often booked in advance, which could have an impact on your choices, depending on how fast you need the work done.
Have everything in writing
After you’ve decided on a roofing contractor and made the first contact, there are several things you need to discuss in order to finalize the fees. Everything that’s agreed on should always be written down in order to avoid any future disputes, hidden fees, and potential lawsuits. Roofers should have a clear answer on the following topics:
- Possible extra charges
- Penalties for late work
- Weather disruptions
- Working hours
- Material use, supply, and guarantee
- Labor outsourcing
- Customer satisfaction with the finished work
After discussing the above points, a clear and precise contract should be written and signed by both parties. While this may seem like a common practice for bigger businesses, you may notice smaller contractors skipping steps in order to get the job done faster. Should you notice this, consider it an immediate red flag.
Never pay the full fee upfront
Your contract should also consist of the contractor’s payment policies. While many contractors secure their payments by having their customers pay the full fee before the job is started, this is considered a risky move, especially with low-experience roofers. During your research, you will notice that payment policies vary depending on the contractor, their experience and expertise, and the size of their business. In order to avoid potential issues with a poorly done job, choose a contractor who doesn’t require more than 25% upfront.
While it’s fairly normal to pay a deposit, it should never exceed the above percentage unless both parties agree on the common reasoning behind the higher deposit. Roofing experts also claim that the best way to check if the repair was well done is to wait for rainfall. Confident roofing contractors will have no problem with delaying a full payment until you are 100% satisfied with their work.
Beware of scams
Roofing contractor scammers will appear the moment the storm ends. They offer free inspections and often make even bigger damage in order to convince you of the work needed. As mentioned above, they will insist on a large up-front sum without any negotiations possible.
They will often be skilled salesmen, convincing you that their low price is the best on the market. Roofing scammers will try to pressure you into making a decision on the spot and often be extremely persistent until you say yes. While this all may seem tempting when you’re looking for the cheapest option, it may also mean you’ll only be wasting your money on a poor roof repair.
If your brand new roof gets you inspired and you want to upgrade your home even more, make sure to check out these awesome ideas for transforming your house into the coolest home ever. And remember — never jump into anything without doing your research, especially when you’re dealing with a damaged roof.