Before you embark on a roofing project that costs thousands of dollars, know that you're hiring the best company for the job. These basic statements will help you determine if the contractor you're hiring is worth the money.
They should be licensed.
Most states require some sort of certifications, but the requirements vary by location. Make sure the contractors your talking to met the criteria for certification and make sure their license is up to date.
They should carry workmen's' compensation and general liability insurance.
While the insurance isn't cheap, it's necessary for both the workers' safety and your financial well-being. If a worker is injured on your property and the contractor doesn't carry workmen's comp or the contractor messes up and damages your home, you could wind up footing the bill.
They should remove your old roof.
While it may save time in terms of manpower, not removing the old roof won't give you an accurate understanding of any deeper damage to your roof. If you have rotting supports or soft spots under the shingles, you'll be in for a nasty surprise later down the road.
They should install drip edge or edge metal when you install the new roof.
A drip edge is a small piece of metal, usually aluminum, that extends beyond the roof and directs water into the gutters when it rains. Often times, these are skipped unless explicitly asked for, and not installing these can lead to water damage.
They should use ladder stabilizers or standoffs.
Stabilizers and standoffs are simply pieces of metal that keep the ladder from resting on your gutters. If they say that they don't use these, ask what the will do to not ruin your home's gutter system.
They should explain how you'll be disposing of your old roof.
Their answer should include some mention of a container into which they'll throw the old shingles, where they'll park it, and what they will do with it when the job is finished. You should not be responsible for disposing of your own room tiles, and the container should not be parked on certain types of driveways as they can break.
They should have a plan in the event of rain.
The easiest and most common answer is to cover the roof with a tarp or plastic sheeting. Obviously, this is to protect your valuables inside but it's an important question to ask. Be sure to press for details about what happens if the weather doesn't let up for a few days, and whether the company will check on the cover during extended rains or high winds.
They should have a local phone number and address.
This allows you to easily follow up with them in the event of damage before the warranty is expired or if something wasn't installed correctly. If they're not local, the question should be addressed of how tentative they'll be in the event they have to come out again.
There should a warranty of at least 25 years.
Advances in modern roofing technology means that the materials should last 25 years before needing replaced. Getting this in writing may save you hassle in the event that you need work done before then.
They should be able to include much plywood costs.
Once a roof is laid, it's hard to negotiate the price of things like this, and some more backhanded roofers might purposefully ignore this detail. Getting a dollar amount per sheet in writing gives you better negotiating leverage as well as a more accurate estimate.
There should be a manager on-site.
A non-site point of contact is a necessity when it comes to large projects like this. Most projects encounter at least one hiccup, and having someone who has answers on site will save you the time and stress of having to call the office and dig for your answers. If the first day of the project rolls around, ask to speak with the project manager. If they can't answer, call the company and ask before any work starts. If they still refuse, send the crew away until there's a supervisor on-site.
They should give you a written estimate.
A verbal agreement is nice, but it doesn't hold up well if there's a dispute. Before you sign a contract, make sure that the prices of everything are written out as well as all of the work that will be done.
Claim Consultants, LLC's team of claim specialists, storm damage inspectors and manufacturer certified installers provide a level of delivery and responsiveness unparalleled in our industry. Learn more about our services today: www.claimconsultantsllc.com
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