Installing a new roof is one of the largest, most expensive and most critical projects you’ll have as a property owner. Your roof is the first line of defense for your property against the weather, so it’s important that you hire the most competent roof installation contractor you can find. There are many roofing companies, so it’s important to follow a few basic guidelines when locating, choosing, and hiring a professional, roof installation contractor.
Homeowners should follow these tips to guide them in finding a roofing company that is reputable and can be trusted to protect their home and their investment.
1. Get local referrals. There is less chance for potential issues or of being ripped off when you choose a roofing contractor from your local area. They’re more familiar with local rules and code regulations and should have relationships with local crews and suppliers.
2. Look for manufacturer designations. Manufacturer designations are important because the contractor has to pass certain minimum requirements to become factory certified. However, you need to realize some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others.
3. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Some so called contractors show up right after a violent storm trying to find work, so it’s critical to look them up at the BBB website and be sure they have a good score. Reject contractors who do not exist on BBB.org.
4. Get extensive warranties. Not all contractors offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor poorly installs the roof, it could take months or years for the problems to show up – and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor refuses to fix their installation issues, or worse, they’re no longer around, your only recourse will be to pay for fixing their poor installation yourself.
5. Check for proper insurance. The contractor needs to have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate to you to validate it. If they don’t have adequate insurance, it could potentially lead to legal issues between the contractor and property owner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the job site.
6. Pay your insurance deductible. Any roofing contractor that claims they can do the repairs without having the property owner pay their insurance deductible is committing insurance fraud and putting the property owner in danger. The insurance deductible is the insured’s responsibility, and the contractor should reflect that in the estimate without inflating the quote to cover all or part of the deductible.
7. Handle your own insurance claim. In most states, it’s not legal for contractors to act on behalf of the homeowner when negotiating an insurance claim A roofing contractor that says they are “claims specialists” or can “take care of your insurance claim” could be breaking the law. Any contractor who exposes the customer to potential legal problems is not acting in their customer’s best interest.
8. Don’t give in to high pressure sales tactics. Be wary of contractors that pressure you to sign a contract before your insurance company has estimated the damage to your roof. Some say they can work with whatever amount your insurance company agrees to, but the property owner must make sure it’s not just any amount, but the correct amount. The contractor should thoroughly inspect the property and check that the insurance adjuster didn’t miss any obvious damage.
8. Be familiar with your materials. A contractor who doesn’t offer you different shingle or tile options isn’t watching out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles and tiles you install will affect the resale value of your property. If the insurance company is paying for the roof to be replaced, it could be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more attractive style and color that perfectly suits your taste.
Another tip is to go online and check the company’s reviews, their rating at the Better Business Bureau and anything else you can find online. This will give you a good idea of any red flags the company may have with unresolved recent customers. Better to be safe now than sorry later.
Next, do a drive-by inspection of some of their recent jobs. Visually make sure spaces between individual shingle tabs, known as water gaps, line up perfectly straight as they alternate the shingle rows. See that the shingles are trimmed in a clean line along the valleys when overlapping the flashing. On the roof ends, shingles should also be neatly trimmed, aligning with the edge of the roof. Ragged lines mean poor quality workmanship. Also look for neat, tar-free flashing at the roof valleys and eaves.
If the roofs you inspect look good, call their references and ask them these questions:
Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors (512) 333-7663 is a roof installation contractor and roof installation company serving Buda, Texas and the surrounding Austin, TX area cities. We have been providing quality professional roofing services since 2001. Call us for straight advice you can trust about your next roofing project.