Are you looking to repair or replace the roof on your home? Does it feel mind-boggling to try to figure out how to compare home roofing companies so you can find a good company to use?
Obviously you want a company that is reliable, efficient and reasonably priced. But there are many other things to consider as well.
Read on to learn more.
Comparing Home Roofing Companies
Not all roof contractors are created equally. Replacing or repairing your roof is a huge decision and the work needs to be done by the right people.
Let’s go over some of the important things to consider and what to look for.
Ask People You Know for a Referral
92% of people trust referrals from someone they know. So ask your neighbors, friends, and relatives for referrals. The added benefit of asking someone you know if that they will likely only refer someone they liked working and will tell you the truth about any of the company’s shortcomings if any.
If no one you know has had their roof repaired, ask them if they have used sites like Angie’s List, Yelp.com or other online services and found people they liked. If so, you may find good results too. But read the reviews with a grain of skepticism.
You can also check the Better Business Bureaus ratings.
Find a Local Company
The benefits of using a local roofing company are many. They know the weather conditions in your area and will know what types of roofs hold up well. They will understand things like where there is a lot of hot days versus roofing in the Pacific Northwest where they see a lot of rain will be different.
Another point is that if there is a problem with your roof later, the company will be local and getting someone out to fix warranty issues that arise will be quicker and easier.
Use a Licensed and Bonded Roofer
Sometimes roofers looking for work will contact you directly about your roof. Be extra cautious if this happens after a storm or other natural disaster.
Non-licensed roofers use this as a time to get work when people are desperate and don’t have time to do adequate research. They can show up, do inadequate work, then disappear once they have gotten paid.
Check with your state’s contractor’s licensing board to confirm the company who will be doing the work for you is licensed and bonded.
Make Sure Your Roofer is Insured
A reliable roofing company will have insurance. They should have both liability insurance and workers’ compensation.
But don’t their word for it. If they have insurance, they should be used to providing certificates of insurance to their customers. There should be a number for the insurance company on the certificate for you to call and verify the policy is in full force and effect.
Get the Agreement for the Work in Writing
Professional and reliable roof contractors should be more than willing to put the agreement in writing, along with any warranties that apply. Be leery if they want you to pay more than 1/3 of the contract price upfront or want you to pay in cash.
Contractors who have been paid in full have less incentive to return to do the work in a timely matter (or at all). The agreement should also state how long it will take to repair or replace your home roof take and whether or not they will be removing your old roof. Putting a new roof over an old roof may exceed the structural specifications of your house.
If you don’t understand the agreement, consult with an attorney to have them read it over. It can save you many headaches down the road if things go less than acceptable.
Be Diligent About Getting a Warranty
Your contractors roofing company should provide a warranty. You may have your roof installed in the summer and not realize there are leaks until it begins to rain in the fall or winter. Other problems may take a bit longer to reveal themselves. Five-year warranties are common.
Get Any Insurance Company Involved to Approve An Estimate
Have your roofing company confirm the work on the estimate covers everything they need to do to fix your roof. If an insurance company (yours or your roofers) will be paying for all or part of your new roof or repairs, make sure they approve the estimate. The time to know what they will cover is before the work begins.
Don’t Shop By Price
Price, either low or high, is not something to base your choice for a roofing company on. You can certainly compare prices between roofing companies, but you are often better off choosing the company you think is more reliable, has good references, and a good chance to still be in business years down the road when your roof needs corrective work. A warranty is useless if the company no longer exists to do the work.
Ask Who Will Be Doing the Work on Your Roof
Sometimes contractors hire subcontractors do work for them. Find out if this is the case with the roofing company you decide to hire. If it does, ask for the same info from the subcontractor as you did with the original contractor and get their license, insurance and, if applicable, warranty info.
Take Steps to Get Your Roof Work Done
The process of narrowing down your choices for home roofing companies can take some time. But if you start now, you may be able to get your roof done prior to the weather turning rainy or worse.
Keep the above tips in mind and you’re sure to find a great roofer to work with.
Want more great tips and tricks on home improvement and maintenance? We’ve got them on our site. You can find them all in our “Home Improvement” section.