Roofing 101: Contractors, Contracts & Warranties
If you are a homeowner looking for pointers on starting a roofing or reroofing project, you've come to the right place!
Here are the key things you need to know and consider when it's time for a new roof.
PART ONE: The Five Steps to Finding a Professional Roofing Contractor
Finding a reliable contractor is the most important part of a roofing project. Being confident that you have selected the right roofing contractor will help ensure that you have a quality roof overhead and that your hard-earned money has been wisely spent. Here are five easy steps that will help you compile a list of potential roofing contractors.
1. Post a call for referrals — Referrals are the best place to start when commencing a search for reputable contractors. With the proliferation of social media, you no longer have to limit your research to neighbors and close friends. Alert the local audience on your social media platform of choice that you are looking to replace your roof and ask if they have a contractor who they would recommend. When you receive a referral, be sure to follow up by asking these five questions:
- Would you hire this contractor again or recommend them to a family member?
- Were you satisfied with the quality of the work?
- Was the contractor responsive to questions and provide regular updates as the job progressed?
- Was the job completed on time (barring weather delays) and at the estimated price?
2. Search online — Most businesses now have a presence on social media so check out sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to peruse reviews and photos of a contractor’s latest work. Be cautious if a site is not regularly maintained or the photos seem dated – it may indicate a lack of interest in maintaining a professional image. Location and reviews for roofing contractors also can be found on sites such as Google, Yelp and HomeAdvisor.
3. Investigate professional organizations — Local roofing trade associations – whose members are actual contractors – can be excellent sources of information. Take a look at organizations like the National Roofing Contractors Association and its affiliates, and regional roofing contractor associations like the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (http://www.wsrca.com).
4. Locate manufacturer referral services — Established manufacturers typically have their own base of preferred contractors, such as CertainTeed’s Find a Pro. Here you can find contractors and builders who can skillfully install CertainTeed roofing products. Find a Pro searches for contractors within the United States and Canada by region and provides you with a comprehensive list that includes their location, customer ratings and service/credential updates.
5. Visit your local distributor/dealer — The first stop in this case is not the large home center or retail store chain, but instead the professional building material distributors that work with reputable contractors on a regular basis. These local distributors often can recommend contractors with whom they have good working relationships, do quality work and pay their bills on time.