Most people don’t look forward to the big, expensive home improvement jobs that have a way of popping up at inopportune times, (Really, is there ever a good time to replace your siding or your roof?), but if you’re a homeowner, chances are you will have to deal with them. One such job is a roof replacement. If it’s time to replace the roof on your home, here are a few tips to help you pick out a roofing contractor that you can trust.
Tip #1. Do your research. How do you find a reputable contractor? One of the best ways is by word of mouth. Ask neighbors who have recently reroofed which company they used. Ask friends and family if they have any recommendations. Drive around and look at any signs in the yards of people who are reroofing. Can you talk to them? Also check your yellow pages to see which companies are advertising.
Tip #2. Get estimates. Meet each roofing contractor you are considering. Make sure their estimates are in writing and detail exactly what materials will be replaced and their cost. How does the contractor present him- or herself? How long have they been in business?
Tip #3.Check the legal requirements. Does the contractor have the proper licensing and bonding required by your state? Also, check for insurance. Your contractor should carry worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. What type of warranty is carried on the materials and the work?
Tip #4. Check references. Check the roofing contractor’s references. Drive by the homes of previous clients and check out the work. Talk to the homeowners and see if they are satisfied with the completed job.
Tip #5. Use the BBB. Call your local Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no unresolved complaints against the contractor.
Tip #6. Does the contractor seem competent? Is your contractor up-to date on materials, brands and all your options? Make sure he or she is knowledgeable in the industry.
Tip #7. Consider the cost. Usually, you can rule out the lowest bid and the highest bid. One of the bids in the middle will often be in line with industry averages.
Tip #8. Make your choice. Be sure you specify payment terms on the contract. Usually payment terms require a deposit when the contract is signed with the rest of the money to be paid upon project completion and your final inspection of the project. Don’t ever pay the entire amount up front. Be sure the contract also specifies start date and estimated finish date as well. Understand the site procedures. For example, will the contractor pick up the job site at the end of each day?
Doing your homework ahead of time can help you avoid unscrupulous businesses and will ensure you get a job that will give you your money’s worth and last for years to come.