Important Questions To Ask When Choosing a Roofing Contractor
A new roof is without a shadow of a doubt a significant investment. When done properly, it can give you peace of mind and increase the value of your home. However, if done wrong, it can be a form of frustration that breaks your bank and results in expensive exterior and even interior damage. When it comes to replacing your old roof, you want to ascertain that you are hiring the best specialist for the job. Well, most people know the typical questions, but even the smallest of things can make a world of a difference. You ideally want value. That being said here are the top questions to ask your potential roofing contractor.
What Kind of Work Do You Specialize In?
This might sound obvious, but it is imperative to ascertain that the roofing contractor you are about to hire is an expert in roofing. Your home’s roof is the first and most important line of defence against external elements such as rain, debris, mold, and mildew. A new roof installation is not a project that you will want to hand over to a general contractor or a handyman. General knowledge about home improvements isn’t adequate to guarantee that the roofing contractor has in-depth knowledge to conduct an excellent job of installing a new roof over your head. The contractor that you want to hire should have a proven track record of installing new roofs.
Think of it in this manner: your family doctor has great general knowledge regarding the cardiovascular system, but you would not avail their services for a heart attack. Instead, you would go to a cardiologist, or simply a practitioner with extensive knowledge and experience in issues related exclusively to the heart. As such, your roof should be no different.
How Long Have You Been In Business?
Every contractor starts somewhere, but you don’t want your roof to be the guinea pig for a new roofing company. Ask your contractor how long they have been in the roofing industry and the amount of experience the people who will be handling the installation have. It is quite unfortunate, but some roofing companies open their doors, do their jobs and then halt their operations after a few years, either because they do not have adequate business to sustain themselves or because of lawsuits. If you work with such contractors, you don’t have recourse in case your roof starts to leak or you later realize that the installation was defective.
It is advisable to look for a roofing company that has been in the business for at least 5 years and has a well-established track record of providing high-quality services.
What Factors Determine Your Price?
The cost of installing a new roof or flat roof is certainly a major factor for every homeowner. You want a high-quality job and value for your investment. However, as with anything else, the lowest price does not always give the best value. For instance, you might save some money by going with the lowest bidder, but inferior roofing materials and poor installation could mean installing a new roof again down the road, as well as dealing with any interior damage due to leaks.
When it comes to getting roofing estimates, you should discard the conventional advice of getting only three estimates. Instead, get as many as possible to ensure you feel confident that you are getting the best service for a reasonable price. Be wary of bids that are very high or very low.
Ideally, it’s important to ask exactly what the roofing contractor’s price includes. Will the team take care of the old roof? Are they going to clean all the debris and remains once the project is done? What kind of roofing materials are they going to use? How does the contractor handle unexpected damage and repairs like water damage and rot? Is this included in the final quote or are you expected to raise additional funds to deal will the costs of repairing the hidden damage? These are all essential questions that can make a substantial impact on the budget of your project. You should avoid signing a contract until you have clear and concise answers.
What Type of Materials do You Plan to Use?
As an average homeowner, you might not be familiar with the several options in regard to roofing materials. However, your roofing company should have extensive knowledge of the available options and what kinds of shingles and other roofing materials are ideal for home, needs as well as location.
Ideally, you should look for manufacturer designations. Roofing materials manufacturers usually work with only the roofing companies that have a reputation for delivering high-quality installations.
Are You Licensed?
It goes without saying that any roofing contractor should be insured and licensed to operate in your area. Ask the company to verify all licensing requirements and to show that their staff is insured and covered by worker’s compensation. The last thing you want is being held liable for a personal injury that occurred on your property. Unfortunately, some companies bid lower as they perform these jobs without proper insurance coverage and licensing. An ideal roofing contractor will have all the insurance and licensing requirements in place before setting foot in your home.
Your area might require a permit for roof installations and again, this is something that the contractor should handle on your behalf. A reputable contractor will know which organization to contact and what kinds of permits are needed to ascertain you are compliant with the local and state laws and regulations.
What Warranties do You Give?
It’s also important to ask your roofing contractors about the warranties involved with the project. Warranties typically cover materials and labour and you may also get a separate warranty from the manufacturer for the roofing materials. That’s why it is imperative to work with a roofing contractor that delivers high-quality roof installations. Keep in mind that defects can void the roofing materials’ warranty provided by the manufacturer. The roofing company should ideally give you written copies of all warranties that apply to your project.