Local Roofers: Get a Good Roofer for a Great Roof
Six Simple Steps to Find the Right Local Roofers for Your Roof Replacement or Repair Project
Where do you need services?
If you charted roofing prices across the United States in a graph, you’d end up with a final product that looked something like the output of a Richter scale during an earthquake. From one area to the next, roofing prices can soar. Take two homes, one in Boston and one in Albuquerque, with the same square footage and same roofing material and the Boston price could run twice as much. Why? Roof slope, pitch, skylights, chimneys, and other workarounds can change price nearly as much as location.
Therefore, when trying to find a roofer you can’t reliably compare the prices of local roofers to roofers outside of your area because location plays such a big role in cost. So when you shop around among local roofers for the best price, remember that just because friends in Albuquerque got their roof done with a quality installation for $5,000 doesn’t mean you can do the same.
To get more information about roof shingles prices and replacing roofing, check out our roofing prices article here.
Nonetheless, when you’re shopping around for local roofers, it pays to perform background checks when you find a roofer to make sure you pay the lowest price possible without sacrificing quality.
SIX STEPS TO FIND A ROOFER AND GET A QUALITY ROOF
1. Get estimates
Get as many estimates as possible. Industry experts recommend you get four estimates at the very least. There are several reliable methods for seeking estimates from local roofers:
- Use internet services that match you with professional, licensed contractors in your area
- Ask your local friends and family
- Call around
Matchmaking services have a network of established contractors throughout the United States and can find a roofer who fits your project needs. These should always be free. Never pay for estimates from local roofers through a matchmaking service.
You may know people who can recommend a local roofer. Recommendations from people you trust are an excellent method to find a roofer.
You can call local businesses, but you may want to check community reviews on-line first. Remember, a low estimate from a local roofer doesn’t always mean a quality roof installation.
Step 2. Verify that the contractor has a permanent place of business
This may seem obvious, but it’s a bright red flag of a questionable roofer that some homeowners don’t check until it’s too late. Anyone you hire should have a permanent address, phone number, and tax ID number.
Step 3. Verify that your local roofer is insured
Any injuries or damage that occur during a roof installation fall on the homeowner if he or she hires an uninsured roofer. Ask to see paperwork verifying the roofer has current liabililty and worker’s compensation insurance.
Step 4. Get referrals
Most contractors know their past is a key cog in the marketing of their business and therefore collect referrals from satisfied former clients. Ask for client references. Some industry experts recommend asking for ten references and randomly choosing at least three to call. Others say this many references is unnecessary. Whichever way you go, remember that references can say a lot about local roofers' quality.
Step 5. Compare warranties, guarantees, and contracts
Once you find a roofer, get the full scoop on his or her warranty. Be wary of local roofers who don’t offer service warranties, which are often separate from warranties on materials offered by the manufacturer. Check for provisions in the contract or warranty that could hurt you or nullify the warranty. Check whether the warranty transfers after you sell the home, which could boost the value of the home, although it will only play a minor role in selling price. Lastly, make sure you’re able to cancel the contract up to three days after the project begins in case work isn’t done according to the original agreement.
6. Get a timeline
Most professional roofers can swap in a new roof in four days or fewer, but it can take longer for large roofs, heavy roofing materials, and inclement weather. Be wary of overly lengthy installation schedules, which can leave your home vulnerable to the elements. Also ask whether the local roofer will finish your roof before tackling other projects. If a contractor is overburdened with projects, it may take longer to finish yours.