How to hire a roofing company – 4 steps to make a difficult process easier
Rain. Wind. Tree limbs. You may love life in Arizona, but our summers can wreak hell on your roof. When a monsoon storm hits town, so do scammers, along with out-of-town roofers who might be perfectly legit, but also are less experienced with the challenges roofs face here in the desert. They also won’t be around when the roof is five years old and needs repair. But, it’s also a fact that local, reputable roofing contractors can have their schedules completely booked. Whatever the reason that you need a new roof, the process of getting it replaced can seem like its overwhelming. Here is some basic advice for hiring the right contractor for your job.
1. Get the basics for your roof and avoid roofing scammers
If an unsolicited salesperson knocks on your door, don’t let them into your home or up on your roof. Ask that they leave you printed information and make an appointment so that you can do some research on them. If you suspect they are really scammers, record their vehicle’s license plate number to give to local authorities. If they offer a great deal on your deductible or they put any kind of high pressure on you to decide now or to sign anything, just refuse.
Roofing contractors should be willing to supply you with the following information. Eliminate anyone who can’t or won’t.
• A permanent place of business, telephone number and tax identification number. If a contractor gives you a license number, check it with the Registrar of Contractors.
• Liability and workers’ comp insurance certificates. Ask to see them. Make note of the coverage end dates to make sure their policies will be in effect through the duration of your project.
• Membership in the National Roofing Contractors Association or the Better Business Bureau. While these aren’t required, solid, competent roofing companies will usually be a member of at least one of these two organizations.
• References – get name and phone numbers of customers where the roofing contractor performed work at least a year ago. You’ll call these references later, but at this stage of the process, you can eliminate companies who don’t have them.
Roof Installation Companies
2. Get and compare roof replacement estimates
Choose three companies who pass the above requirements. Let each one do an inspection and give you a proposal and estimate in writing. You can limit the quotes to the work your insurance company has said is necessary, or ask that they prepare separate estimates for that work and any other repairs outside of your claim. This will allow you to make more careful comparisons between estimates and ensure that your roofing contractor is coordinated with your insurance company.
Consider impact-resistant and flame-resistant roofing in your decision. Roofing materials have advanced a lot recently – and so have insurer incentives to use them. A roof that isn’t impact- resistant could cost you more in premiums or deductibles.
The investment needed for the project shouldn’t be the only factor in choosing a roofing company. Ask yourself these questions: How did each contractor treat you? Did they answer your materials questions completely and in language you understood? What’s their record of complaints with the BBB?
Call your three prospective roofers’ references. Try to call people close to your neighborhood and whose project sizes are as close as possible to your job. Ask open-ended questions: Were there any problems? How were those problems handled?
Based on your research and interviews, choose your contractor and ask them to create a contract for the project.
3. Carefully examine the roofing contract
The contract is a binding document for you, as well as the contractor, so take your time to review it before signing. Make sure that it has the company’s name, address, tax ID and phone number printed on it and includes all of the following:
• A detailed listing of all the work to be done, including the removal and disposal of old materials; the entire scope of the work; any work on flashing or additional venting that needs to be done.
• The exact materials to be used, including the type, manufacturer and color of the roof covering, the type of metal for the flashing, any underlayment, any protective membrane, plus the installation methods to be used.
• The parties responsible for repairing or replacing any exterior landscape or interior finishes damaged during the project.
• Approximate start and completion dates.
• How and when you or your insurer will pay for each stage of the process.
• What are their refund and cancellation policies.
• The length of warranty and what is covered under it — workmanship, water leakage? The warranty needs to be in writing.
• How disposal of project waste (packaging, unused materials) will be handled.
• Notification that you have the right to rescind the contract within 72 hours and receive a refund of any deposit, deducting the amount of any work already completed. You can also rescind within 72 hours of the claim being denied by your insurance company, with the same stipulation applying: you’re responsible for any work already completed, assuming that it was done correctly.
New Roof Installation
4. After work begins on your roof
Congratulations – you’ve hired a roofing contractor. There’s still some things you’ll want to do:
• Check how the work is being completed and that it’s being done with the materials specified — or other materials you and/or your insurance company approve.
• Wait to sign a certificate of completion until the work is truly finished and all the construction waste is removed. You can request that your insurance adjuster to inspect the work before you sign off on the project.
For a comprehensive inspection, consultation and free estimate, call Mikku and Sons Roofing and Repair for all your new roof and roof repair needs at (623) 465-1068.