Top Six Tips to Choose a Roofer
Choosing a roofing contractor is not a decision to take lightly. After all, your roof is a big investment and affects your home in many ways. Take time to do your research when selecting a roofer, as this could save you money and headaches in the long run. Here are six useful tips for deciding which roofing contractor to hire.
- Get at least three written estimates. However, be careful not to immediately accept the lowest bid. All promises made verbally by the roofer should be included in the written estimate. A low bid can mean that cheap materials will be used, or that the roofer may not do a thorough job. However, not all low bids are scams. If a bid seems too good to be true, ask the roofer for a breakdown of how the price was calculated.
- Verify that the roofer is insured and bonded. A reputable roofer will carry liability insurance as well as worker’s compensations for potential injuries. Contact the carrier of the contractor’s insurance and verify coverage. You can also verify the roofer’s license by checking with the state licensing board. You can also ask for a business license if you have doubts about the legitimacy of the company.
- Beware of roofers who ask for full payment up-front. The industry standard deposit amount for roofing jobs is about one-third of the total cost. Also, don’t pay in cash for any roofing services or other contract work.
- Ask for at least three references and check them. Verify the contractor’s reputation on review websites such as Angie’s list or Kudzu.com. Ask friends and relatives for referrals. Ask the contractor for a list of recent customers, and call them.
- Make sure the roofer is insured. This can save you from becoming liable for injuries to workers or others during a job or for damages to your property that may occur during roofing work. It’s important that roofers carry both workman’s compensation and general liability insurance to cover you in either situation.Prior to hiring a roofer for work on your home or business, verify their insurance coverage by requesting an insurance certificate or contact the insurance company and have a certificate provided directly to you. The certificate will list your name and address as an additional insured on the policy, providing you the assurance that you are covered should any accidents occur.
- A reputable roofer carries the insurance necessary for the job and does not pass the liability for their work onto you. Take the necessary steps to verify insurance before hiring a roofer in order to protect yourself and your property.
- Get a detailed contract before the job begins. The contract should include any promises previously given verbally by the roofer.The below are some important elements that should be included in the contract:
- The scope of the work that will be done. For example, will the old roof be removed or simply covered over? Will flashing be repaired, or replaced completely? Will new roof vents be added? All of this information should be found in writing in the contract.
- Materials that will be included in the job. The cost of the underlayment, roofing felt, and all other materials used should be accounted for in the initial contract. This will prevent the contractor from charging anything additional during the course of the job.
- Approximate start and end date of the project.
- Length of any warranties offered and specific breakdown of what is covered in that warranty.
- Payment procedures. The contract should stipulate how much you are expected to pay as a deposit, and when the remainder of the payment will be due.