Finding a reputable and reliable roofing contractor can be difficult for a number of reasons. In general, roofers tend to be rough around the edges, and often are known to have a shady reputation. Some roofers avoid standing by their work. With the customer often unable to see the roof, a roofer has an opportunity to be dishonest about the repairs he has done.
While there are some roofing contractors performing shoddy work and/or trying to scam customers, there are many more honest roofers, who will provide quality roofing services and products along with standing by their work. The difficult choice for the homeowner is deciding who to trust. Here are some ways to help choose a good, honest roofer when you need a leak repaired, or are ready to get a new roof:
-Get referrals and recommendations.
You could ask the roofer for references of work he has done in the area. You could also simply ask friends, neighbors, and relatives for their opinion on roofers who did work for them. Don’t forget to check online for reviews.
-Compare estimates carefully.
Try to get a few different estimates if possible. This isn’t just to avoid being ripped off. There are many different roofing options available and you may be missing out if one roofer offers a unique roofing system that another doesn’t. When looking over multiple estimates, you may find a large difference in price and options. When comparing estimates, don’t make your decision based on price alone. A high price doesn’t always mean quality, and a low price doesn’t necessarily mean shoddy work will be done. Different roofers may price their work in a different way, or may be using different materials or installation techniques. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Ask questions on how the roofer will do the work, and what materials will be used. Keep in mind that just because a roofer knows technical roofing lingo, doesn’t mean he will do honest, quality work.
-Don’t be fooled by appearance.
A shiny truck with a fancy logo doesn’t always equal a quality roof from an honest roofer. While outward appearance may be one of your determining factors when selecting a roofer, keep in mind that sometimes appearances can be deceiving.
-Find out who is actually doing the work.
Some roofers will use subcontractors, instead of doing the work themselves. Subcontractors are not necessarily a bad thing, it is just helpful to know who will actually be doing the work on your roof.
-Find out about guarantees and warranties.
Ask your roofer if he offers any guarantees or warranties for his work. Ask about his policies regarding any problems after the work is completed.
-Find out if the roofer has insurance and is properly registered/licensed (if applicable).
Make sure the roofer is fully insured. Many states require contractors to register as contractors. The registration process usually requires the contractor to provide proof of insurance.
-Be wary of door-knockers and unsolicited calls.
While it may be possibly true that the roofer “is working in your area” and “noticed damage on your roof”, make sure you get a second opinion on what roof work needs to be done before signing any contract.
-Don’t pay in full up front.
Many roofers will ask for a deposit on larger jobs. This is often 1/3 to 1/2 of the total job cost. Be wary of a contractor that asks for cash and/or the full amount before the job is completed.