What to Know Before You Hire Roofing Contractors
When your roof is damaged in a storm or starts to get old, you most likely need to call for professional help. Roofing is a tough, messy job, and most people in Plano, McKinney and the surrounding communities look for roofing contractors they can trust.
When you’re hiring a contractor to work on your home – especially for a big job like your roof – you need to do some homework first. Before you take the plunge, here are three things you need to know:
- Never hire someone without insurance.
- Only hire a company that has a reputation you can trust.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – as many as you’d like.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
#1. Never hire someone without insurance.
The contractor you hire absolutely must be insured – there’s no getting around it. There are two types of insurance to look for: Worker’s compensation insurance and liability insurance.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Worker’s compensation insurance covers the company’s employees if something happens to them while they’re working on your home.
Liability insurance covers you if the roofing company you hired damages your home or your property. While some homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage caused by workers, some don’t – and if yours is one of the policies that doesn’t, you can’t afford to hire roofing contractors that don’t have liability insurance.
#2. Only hire a company that has a reputation you can trust.
Whether you need roof repairs or a complete roof replacement, it’s important that you hire a company with a solid reputation in the community. Unfortunately, many roofing contractors hop around town and close their doors when they begin getting complaints – and that’s why longevity is so important.
Established roofing companies have worked hard to build their reputations, just like all other longtime businesses within the community. If you can’t find references or testimonials on a company that has approached you about your roof, it’s best to steer clear.
#3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Good roofing contractors welcome their clients’ questions. They understand that you don’t invest in roof repairs or roof replacement every day – in fact, most people will only have one roof replacement in their entire lifetime.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think they’re silly. Roofing experts don’t mind sharing their knowledge, and they want you to understand the whole process and the products you’re investing in – especially when you work with us. Any good roofer will tell you that the client’s happiness is the first priority, and the best way to make a client happy is to understand what he or she needs while answering questions and explaining the process.
If you don’t already have a trusted roofing contractor, below are 6 important questions to ask a prospective contractor:
1. What is your office address and phone number?
To avoid hiring just any random guy with a pickup posing as a roofing expert, start by requesting a business card or brochure with his company address, phone number and website.
Make sure you verify the information on Google Maps and Facebook. Both are core locations for business listings and a reputable, real roofing contractor will have a profile on both platforms and positive reviews to go along with them.
2. Are you providing an estimate in writing?
Do not accept a verbal estimate. The estimate should be provided in writing. It should detail the nuances of the job in terms of labor costs, material costs, the cost of roof removal, the cost of replacing items like rotten plywood, the estimated time for completion and other important matters.
3. Does your roofing company have workers compensation and liability insurance?
The presence of workers compensation and liability insurance are critical to confirm before you let a crew on your property and roof. These policies will protect you in the event of an accident or damage to your property. If you feel it’s necessary, ask to view the contractor’s proof-of-insurance certificates. Don’t worry about your request being intrusive. Every homeowner should request proof of insurance and the contractor should be used to providing it on a daily basis.
4. What if we get rain before the new roof is installed?
Maybe it’s human nature, but homeowners tend to watch the weather very closely once crews begin to strip the old roof off! Make sure the roofing company is prepared to cover the entire project with tarps to protect the deck and underlayment from moisture.
5. What kind of warranty is offered on the new roof?
Unless the new roof comes with basic 3 tab asphalt shingles, your new materials warranty should extend at least 25 years. Ask about warranties that cover the craftsmanship/labor portion of the installation.
6. Who is my day-to-day contact during the project?
The roofing company should provide an on-site point of contact for the length of the project. Expect the contact to be the crew leader or the project manager.
Secrets to Working With Your New Roofing Contractor
Whether it’s repair or replacement, you’re going to end up with a roofing contractor and a project that needs to run smoothly and end well.
If you haven’t had work done recently, be ready for these 3 major project milestones:
Be Ready For Delivery of The Roofing Material
Before the project begins, your roofing contractor will have materials dropped off at your property. Shingles, nails, vents and underlayment will be included at a minimum.
Clear out as much space as possible for the delivery crew. If possible, dedicate a specific area for the storage of materials. If you instruct the crew to drop supplies in a grassy area, know that the materials will reside there long enough to damage the grass.
Concrete would be the optimal choice for material placement. Crews often request access to the driveway. If that is your plan, be certain to have the vehicles removed from the garage or your car will get trapped inside for the length of the project!
In preparation for the project, just before the crew arrives, trim your grass to the lowest reasonable length. This will make it easier for the final clean up and the magnetic roll that picks any nails that the initial clean up might have missed.
Your Property Will Resemble A Construction Site
Let’s be direct. A major roofing project is going to temporarily make sections of your property look like a construction zone.
The job has to be done properly and there is serious labor involved in a roofing project. Give the crews time to complete the project and soon your roof will look like a million bucks!
There’s going to be a lot of pounding and early on there will be old shingles being removed and dropped to the ground.
If you have pets or small children, the new voices and sounds of construction could be stressful. Be prepared to give them the reassurance that everything’s okay.
Be cautious walking out the front and back door when the old roof is being removed; the team is climbing ladders and gutters are being replaced. It’s a work zone.
The top roofing contractors always pride themselves on performing a robust, final cleanup.
Expect a crew to pick up unused project materials and perform a final sweep of the property. Quality roofers use a special magnetic roller to extract any small metal pieces, like nails, that have fallen into the grass and become hidden.
The magnet will catch 99% of the small parts, but take a walk around the property once to catch those pesky pieces that were missed.
Spend More Time Discussing The Roof’s Warranties
A full roof replacement is a major financial investment, even if insurance supported the cost.
Set aside quality time to understand the details of your warranties and ensure you’re getting proper protection for your investment.
If a prospective roofer fails to offer a warranty that covers leaks or defects related to labor or flashing failure, dig deep to understand why.
Regarding shingles: always consider the highest quality shingles available. The luxury or designer shingles are a bit more expensive but the quality and beauty are exceptional and the warranties are equally impressive.
Do You Need to Hire Roofing Contractors for Repairs or Replacement?
If there’s something wrong with your roof, or if it’s just getting old and may need to be repaired or replaced soon, we’d love to help you. Schedule your free roof inspection today.