Roof Installation Contractors
Hiring the Best Possible Roofing Contractor
Hire the right roof installation contractor for your roofing project to make sure the project goes as smoothly as possible.
You need to find a qualified, professional roofing contractor. Observe some of the new roofing jobs in your neighborhood and then search around on the internet and before long, you’ll find the right company.
Call and talk to the owners of the companies you choose to get estimates from. They should get back to you with a proposal after sending their foreman/estimator over to inspect your property. Making enough calls that you’ll have at least 3 companies to consider.
Now the challenge is to choose the best one of the group for your project. How do you do that? By following three golden rules of hiring contractors:
1. Look for a long history and professionalism
Surfing a contractor’s website, you’ll want to see signs of professionalism, such as Better Business Bureau affiliation, trade magazine rankings, or maybe industry awards. Also, elite or master certification from a leading manufacturer or two shows a commitment to training and quality. If you really want to avoid surprises, pay close attention to the companies whose work has been officially recognized by the institutions that matter in the construction field.
2. Get references and check them all
Go with a well-established company that supports its claims to quality and supplies you with recent and past references. Online testimonials are good, but they’re not as credible as speaking directly to someone thats had experience working directly with a roofing contractor. Positive reports on a site like Angie’s List, Home Advisor or Yelp shouldn’t be ignored – just remember that not every good contractor worthy of consideration has been reviewed online. If possible, go out and personally visit roofing jobs completed by the companies on your short list.
3. All estimates are not created equal
A contractor must inspect the roof being considered before they can submit a credible bid. Expect each company being considered for your business to offer insights on the work that needs to be done, including your best options and the time that will be needed. If you interview a contractor that is not willing to explain their quote in as much depth and detail as you need, eliminate them and move on to the next prospect.
There are many unqualified people, calling themselves “professional roofers.” Some knowingly take advantage of people, using poor materials and hard-sell sales tactics. Others do substandard work because they don’t have the skills and experience or they just cut corners. The problem is, most homeowners can’t tell when a contractor is cutting corners or doing things wrong. However, if you’re prepared with the right questions to ask and you familiarize yourself with the items below the we’re describing, you’ll be able to quickly disqualify many “scammers” from the start. You’ll be saved from lots of headaches, overinflated charges and wasted time because you’ll have the information you need to help you hire a reputable roofing contractor.
Roof Installation Companies
7 Things You Need to Know Before You Get an Estimate
- Shingling over existing shingles is bad.
- The possibility of needing new plywood decking needs to be taken into consideration.
- How to protect yourself against being charged too much for new plywood decking.
- What is the manufacturer’s warranty?
- The 2 types of insurance every roofer needs to have.
- Is your roofer using subcontractors or their own employees?
- How much deposit to put down and when
1. Don’t Shingle Over Existing Shingles
Don’t hire any roofing contractor that recommends shingling over existing shingles. If they recommend this, they aren’t interested in doing a good job. You can never know the integrity of the decking under the shingles without completely “ripping off the roof” – even if you can see the underside of the decking from the attic. It puts stress on your roof because of the added weight and there are too many potential issues that could be hidden under the old shingles. Don’t be swayed by saving a few dollars upfront because it will cost you more in the future when you have problems.
2. Do You Need New Plywood Decking?
A good roofing contractor will want to strip the roof down to its decking to make sure there aren’t any hidden issues. The price you’ve been quoted for the job could change after the roof is stripped down to the decking.
Once the condition of the decking is checked, your roofing company will could proceed in several ways:
- If the decking is satisfactory, it can be re-shingled
- If damage is minimal, it can probably be repaired
- If the decking is bad, it might have to be completely replaced. This could be the only way to make sure your new shingles stay nailed down securely. Nailing down into soft, rotten, wood is a recipe for disaster later.
3. How Much Will New Plywood For Your Roof Cost?
Once the roof work is started and the roof is open to the elements, if prices have not been agreed upon and stated in writing, your roofer will be in control…and you could be shacked when they tell you it’s going to be an extra $2,000 to finish the project. When your roof is open and exposed to the elements… that’s a poor position to negotiate from. In the roofing industry, the customer’s cost for the plywood is usually included in the cost of installation. It’s in the customer’s best interest to negotiate that price before agreeing to the job, otherwise you’re at the mercy of the roofing contractor. You could ask the contractor up-front, “what’s the best price you can give me on new plywood, if I end up needing to replace the decking?” The more you need, the lower the expense should be.
It’s important to know what brand of shingles will be used and what the manufacturer’s warranty is. Going with established brands like GAF, Owens Corning and CertainTeed is a safe bet. If your roof installation contractor is certified by a reputable manufacturer, it’s another indicator that they take their work seriously and will stand behind it.
5. The Right Insurance
When you meet with a roofing company, ask if they carry proper “roofing liability insurance” . Then ask them if all of their employees are covered with workers’ compensation insurance.
Here’s why this is important:
Liability insurance will cover the homeowner or business owner if the contractor does something that results in damaging your home or property. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover the contractor’s employees if they injure themselves on your property. Without “workers comp” insurance, the property owner could be liable to cover those medical expenses. If you get a yes on both types of insurance, ask the roofing contractor to fax or email you proof of both types of insurance with their estimate. Asking for proof of insurance is standard practice for serious roofing jobs.
6. Ask if They Hire Subcontractors
Always ask the roofing company if they use their own employees or if they hire subcontractors. One of the ways big roofing contractors are able to take on many roofing jobs at one time is by subbing out work to others. These subcontractors can be smaller companies or individuals hired from pools of roofers with different levels of skill and experience. Quality could suffer because it’s not the priority. Contractors that hire subs usually have shorter waiting lists and better prices, but beware…You really won’t know who is actually working on your roof and you won’t know if they’re properly insured unless you get proof.
7. How Much of a Deposit Should You Put Down?
Many roofing companies will require 10% of the total job cost to be paid upon delivery of the materials, which is usually the day the job starts. If a contractor does require a deposit from you to secure a commitment, if you trust them, we recommend no more than 10% down. A request of anything more for a roof replacement could be a red flag for you as the customer. A company without cash flow might not be around in the future. So if you ever have a warranty issue, you wouldn’t have any recourse.
Roof Replacement Contractors
Here at Mikku and Sons Roofing, (623) 465-1068, your questions are always welcome. We understand that your new roof is a major investment, and we want you to feel comfortable every step of the process. Our business relationship are always based on honesty, trust and a serious commitment to quality.