How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
When you experience minor leaks with the first rains of the season, or, even worse, you suffer major damage from a severe storm – you need a proven, professional roofing contracting firm you can trust. You need a company who will give sound advice, transparent explanations, and deliver solid results. While it may be difficult to judge the capabilities of a roofing contracting firm by first impressions, this helpful article should assist you in finding the roofing company that’s right for you.
STEP 1: Starting the Search
A roof is a complicated collection of elements working together to provide shelter from the elements and assist in the support of a structure. The effectiveness of a roof depends entirely on the materials, the techniques, and the overall skill of the roofers themselves. This is why finding the right roofing contracting firm is so important. Making a mistake, and hiring a less-than-reputable company, could cost you far more than money over the lifetime of your structure.
The best way to find any service provider is through referrals from friends, neighbors, and coworkers. You may also try calling your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for their recommendation, but, and this applies no matter where you live, remember that the best, most successful companies won’t rely on that type of lead generation. No, in this day and age, you’ll have more luck finding the company for you by using Google or one of the other search engines. Companies who can afford to advertise their services online, with a web presence and marketing arm, obviously can handle your project – and more than likely have an extensive online review history you can comb for information.
STEP 2: Meeting & Selecting
It’s time to start making calls and setting meetings with the companies that make the grade. Tell the companies you’re most interested in having a meeting with that you’re only interviewing three companies in total, and that they’ve made your shortlist. This gives you the best chance at getting the meeting you want with the right companies. If they know you’re meeting ten roofers, they may just avoid the meeting altogether. When you finally meet the representatives of each company, pay very close attention to their body language and energy level. A landed roof project is a high-dollar transaction, and if they seem disinterested or unenthused it’s best to move on to the next meeting. The last thing you want is working with that type of outfit.
When you have your finalist(s), ask them to provide some relevant information about their company. You can go into as much depth as you like here, and, if they’re reputable, they should have no issue with producing whatever documentation or information you require. Here are a few key items you may want to inquire about:
- Business Name, Address, Phone – A professional roofing contracting firm will provide the company’s business address and telephone number upon request. These are essential when checking the company’s prior business dealings.
- Work Experience – The training and experience of a contractor, as well as the age of his or her company, will help you determine their ability to successfully complete your roofing project.
- Licensing & Bonding – Many states require licensing for roofing companies. Request license numbers and information on company bonding contractor. Check with authorities to verify the company complies with regulations.
- Insurance – Any reputable contracting firm will have insurance policies covering general liability and worker’s compensation. Request the name and address of the insurer and a copy of the insurance certificate. This is why some bids seem outlandishly low – they have incomplete insurance coverage.
- Company References – The best way to confirm your feeling about a contracting firm is through contacting their supplied references. These can include their creditors, banking institutions, completed projects, and prior clients.
- Organizational Philosophy – The best contracting firms, like Chicago Roofing Solutions, stand behind their work 100%. This is communicated through warranties and guarantees in writing.
STEP 3: Request an Expert Opinion
So, the company has been selected and you’re ready to set the project parameters. It’s time to put the contractor’s expertise to good use. They have all the knowledge you need to find the perfect solution to your roofing issues. As you’re already paying for a service, it only makes sense to use it to its fullest potential, so discuss all of the product options at length before deciding on the final selections. After all, roofing materials are just as important as the roofing company, so make sure you’re comfortable with the choice before proceeding.
STEP 4: Anything Else to Add?
The best time to add special enhancements and additions to your roof is when a contracting firm is already there working, so do yourself a favor and include any and all related projects you’ve been thinking about. When any functional design elements or purely aesthetic additions are done in conjunction with a roofing job, the overall expense will be lessened and any inconveniences can be minimized. So, make sure you go over all the possibilities with your roofing firm before beginning your project.
STEP 5: What’s in a Contract?
The first phase in your new project is an estimate or proposal from the contractor. This document is normally a vague, rough estimate of the labor, materials, and timeline for your job, and is not the final contract for service. The final contract is much more detailed and thorough and provides specific descriptions of the work involved, the materials to be used, and a completion date. It is very important that you get everything in writing. Verbal assurances are great, but they rarely hold up in court, so protect yourself with a document containing all of the following:
- Building Permits
- Start and Completion Dates (including potential for weather delays)
- Products Materials
- Project Inspections
- Site Procedures
- Right-to-Rescind (usually three days)
STEP 6: Job Well Done
All of the time you put in before your roof goes up can save you untold time, money, and frustration later on. So long as you found a good company to work with, you should have no problems and enjoy the results of the work for many years to come. If you’re in Chicago or the surrounding areas and need a reputable, industry-leading roofing contracting firm, save yourself all the time and trouble and call Chicago Roofing Solutions at (312) 588-6969 for a free inspection and estimate addressing your specific roofing needs.