5 Tips for Homeowners for Choosing the Ideal Roofing Contractor
Guest Blogger: Rachel Porter
We all need a roof over our heads, quite literally. Walls protect us from the elements, but it’s the roof that bears the brunt of harsh direct sunlight and heavy rainfall or snow.
Unsurprisingly, it’s also the roof that sustains a fair amount of damage, and at a much earlier time than walls or any other major part of the house. And since it's extremely important, we must do everything we can to repair or if need be, replace the roof. Thanks to roofing insurance, we can get repairs and replacements done straight away whenever we need it.
Of course, you can’t just hire any handyman insight to get up there and fix your roof. You will need a skilled and experienced roofing contractor to repair or replace the most important part of your house.
So how do you choose the ideal roofing contractor? Here are some tips that just might help you out.
Go for local roofing contractors
Getting roofers from out of state is fine, but going local has certain advantages. For one, local roofing contractors are familiar with the weather where your house is located and are therefore more knowledgeable in dealing with the challenges it presents. Local roofers can also attend to your roof immediately whenever an emergency strikes. They are also more likely to honor any warranty they might offer for their jobs.
Never hire “storm chasers.”
Sometimes, there will be people knocking at your door and introducing themselves as local roofers right after severe weather such as storms. They’ll offer to check your roof, then fix anything they say is wrong with it at very low rates.
These people are storm chasers, and you would do well to refuse their offer, no matter how cheap and tempting it sounds. In all likelihood, they’re not very good roofers and will deliver substandard results. They will even say that there’s something wrong with your roof when there is none. Storm chasers are scammers, so be wary of them. Red flags include vehicles with no business name and address and contact details, and these individuals asking for payment in advance.
Check for experience
Experienced roofing contractors—or any contractor, for that matter—tend to be better at what they do than those who are just starting out. More often than not, experienced roofers have already handled many different roofing scenarios and therefore know what to do. It’s also possible for experienced roofing contractors to have access to suppliers who provide materials at much lower prices.
Look at previous work
Ask for a portfolio of roofing jobs they have done in the past and see if you like their workmanship. Better yet, do your research online and take a look at the contractor’s website. Surely, there will be work samples there. You can also check for reviews from previews clients, who will likely express their satisfaction or dismay with the roofer who’s trying to win your business.
Check for insurance
Roofing is often listed as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Roofers are always in danger of falling from a certain height and possibly hurting not only themselves but also other people on the ground. Tools could also fall and hit someone or damage property.
These risks stress the importance of hiring roofing contractors with general liability insurance and workers compensation. Ask candidates if they have insurance, and don’t just take their word for it if they say yes. Always ask for documentary proof that they are, indeed, insured.
Don’t hire a roofer without insurance, because if something happens and the contractor is not insured, you, the client, will technically become the contractor, and will, therefore, be liable for any personal injury or property damage that may occur at the worksite.
These tips are in no way the only things you can do to ensure you’ll be hiring the right roofing contractor to repair or replace your roof, but they’re a good enough place to start.
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