The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. If your roof is worn or damaged, it’s a good idea to replace it quickly to avoid further damage to your home.
Replacing your roof can be a significant expense, so you’ll want to hire a reputable company to do the job. But when there are so many to choose from, how do you pick one?
Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for a directory of reputable roofing contractors in your area. Popular sites like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor are another good source of information. These can help you avoid “storm chasers” – companies that go door-to-door after a large storm looking for people to sign a letter of intent to hire them.
Using a local contractor will allow you to inspect their prior work and talk to customers yourself (and you should). Don’t be afraid to ask questions – you’ll find that most people are willing to discuss their experiences.
Consider getting at least three estimates. Odds are, you won’t find a wide variance in price – but if you do, make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples. The cheapest quote may not provide something the others do. While cost is an important factor, it’s difficult to put a price tag on a good reputation and other non-tangibles.
Questions to ask a roofing contractor
- How long has the company been in business? You want to hire someone with experience, and who will be around in the future.
- Is the company licensed? Most states and some local governments require that roofing contractors be licensed in the area they do business.
- Are they insured? The contractor should be able to provide you with a copy of their certificate of insurance.
- Is the company authorized to install the shingles? Most manufacturers will not honor their warranty if the product was installed by a non-authorized installer.
Make sure that the roofing contractor you hire will obtain all permits and schedule any necessary inspections – both before and after the job is complete. Any additional fees should be itemized on your written estimate.
All job specifications and prices should be in writing to avoid any misunderstanding about what was agreed to. The estimate should include: start and finish dates, materials used, safety precautions, and clean-up expectations.
Make certain that your contractor understands that any budget considerations above and beyond your agreed upon price must be approved by you in writing as well.