After building our house this past year, which my husband actually GC’ed (ha ha and trust me, I think the builders would have preferred a professional general contractor over him, lol), I learned quite a bit about roofing. It snows a lot where we live, so we initially wanted a steel roof, so the snow could slide off easily. But this was cost-prohibitive, and our friends said “Wait till your first rainstorm, you’re going to hate it!”. We went with basic architectural shingles, and they great but I have truly learned more than I ever wanted to know about roofing in the process!
A new roof isn’t something you buy very often, so feeling awkward and uncomfortable with the process is normal. The most important component is to find a roofing contractor that you can trust, as this will prevent you from wasting your money on a fly-by-night company that doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
Start by identifying the type of roofing service you need – is it residential or commercial, repair or replacement? Once you know that, there are certain things you need to find out from your roofing company to ensure that they can deliver the services you need.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether a roofing company is trustworthy is to find out if they belong to any professional roofing associations or any other professional body that can offer some form of regulatory service. Too many people search for “roofing contractors near me”, only to be met with poor service delivery and workmanship, and these professional bodies are the first line of defense against this.
I need to find a roofing company near me – how do I do this?
Contractors that are worth their salt will be responsive to quotations and queries, and you should never feel like you have not been given the full truth about a company, their history, their work ethics or their availability. Meet with as many companies as you can, get your quotes, compare what they do, and make an informed decision.
Your roof is not only vital to protecting everything you have, it can also have a long-term effect on the integrity and value of your home. Asking the right questions can be the dividing line between a successful project and a failure, or a solid job vs years of unwanted repairs!
What questions should I ask?
Doing the homework is a pain, but not something you are likely to regret. If you put in a bit of time to learn as much as you can about roofs and roofing practices, the better the quality of the questions you’ll be able to ask the contractor in preparation for the work that needs to be done on your house.
Try finding out a little bit here and there about roofing components, their estimated lifespan, and so on, to give you a better shot at understanding the conversation.
Ask for visual aids, like photos or drawings, to help you understand how different challenges will be tackled. Ask about the process, and how they run their project management system. You can also ask what you can do to better prepare the worksite, to help the process run more smoothly.
What else should I look out for?
Licensing that is valid and up to date is a cornerstone in the process of finding a reliable roofing contractor. The licence should put them in a position to apply for a building permit under which to do the work. You should also double-check any paperwork and contracts, to understand what you are liable for, and what insurance is required, what is covered, and what the vulnerable points in the contracts are. Get as many estimates as you can, and never sign the first best deal – research, and make sure that you have a 100% grasp on what you are letting yourself in for!
Does the same apply when I am looking for solar roofing near me?
Structurally unstable areas will be a problem for regular roofing and solar roofing alike, so make sure that your quote includes checking for vulnerability and clearly states what it would cost to fix it. Confirm the type of maintenance you would need to do, and ensure that you are able to uphold that requirement.
The move to a greener and more sustainable way of living is vital, so it will be well worth it to find out as much as you can if you are considering combining your roof repairs with a solar installation.
References – always
No marketing campaign can outdo the power of a real-life testimonial, so hit that social media and see what people have to say. This is also a good way to understand the company culture and the type of work they do.
Skimping on the vetting of contractors is a step most often regretted by homeowners, leaving them to deal with sub-par workmanship, poor professional relations and more importantly, a compromised roof. You will never regret putting in the time to research. Steer clear of specials that are too good to be true!