The roof on a home protects both the structure itself and everything inside. Unfortunately, every house needs roof repair or replacement eventually because of damage due to weather, accidents, or simply the passage of time, and with an abundance of roofing contractors competing for their business, homeowners may find it difficult to choose the right roofing company for them.
Picking the right roofing contractors is important, partly because roof repair tends to be a major investment. New roofs cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, and that money needs to go to professionals who will do the job properly and provide a roof that will be trouble-free for many years to come. Otherwise, the consumer can end up ultimately spending a lot more to hire professionals to fix what the original roofing company failed to do properly the first time around.
Fortunately, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has provided guidelines to help consumers select reputable, dependable roofing companies. Customers who follow them should be able to make sound choices among the various roofing contractors under consideration.
Guidelines for Choosing the Right Roofing Company
Checking Out the Roofing Contractor
Begin with the basics. Make sure the roofing company’s basic information is available and all as it should be. Roofing contractors should be able to provide potential customers with their permanent business addresses, phone numbers, business licenses, and tax ID numbers.
Then go deeper. Ask to see the roofing company’s financial records to make sure they’re stable. The warranties roofing contractors provide for roof repair are useless if the companies go out of business before problems arise.
Also make certain the roofing company has proper liability and workmen’s compensation insurance. Obtain copies of the roofing contractor’s insurance certificates and call the insurance company or companies to confirm the coverage amounts and that the premiums are up to date. It’s important that coverage be in effect while the roof repair on the customer’s home is underway.
Find out if the roofing company is a member of an industry association like the NRCA, and check with the association to make sure the membership is current. Such memberships are a sign of professionalism and a commitment to ethical practices.
Ask what industry education and safety training programs crew members have attended. Providing such training is likewise a mark of a roofing company’s professionalism.
Consult the Better Business Bureau to find out if anyone has filed a complaint about the roofing company.
Look at reviews and other local resources for additional insight into how satisfied previous customers were with the roofing company.
The Roofing Contractor and the Particular Job
Having identified roofing contractors that are stable and reputable, homeowners will still need to make the best choice for their particular jobs.
One obvious and necessary step is to obtain estimates. These should include specification of what work will be done, start and completion times, and payment procedures.
But the lowest price shouldn’t be the only or arguably even the most important deciding factor. It’s important to remember that roof repair or replacement is a long-term investment, and homeowners’ whose sole concern is price can end up ultimately spending more money down the road.
Read and compare roofing warranties, and ask any questions that remain afterward. It’s important that customers fully understand all the provisions, especially ones that would render a warranty null and void.
Find out if the roofing company itself has been trained, licensed, and/or approved by the manufacturer to install the particular roofing application under consideration. Additionally, make sure the crew members who will work on this particular job have the proper training.
Ask who will be the on-site supervisor for the roof repair and how many employees will work under that individual’s direction.
Finally, find out what quality control methods will be used at each phase of the job.
Consumers who do all the above should be well satisfied with the roofing company they hired and avoid an expensive case of buyer’s remorse.