Roofing Specialists - Six Rules to Keep You Covered When Hiring
Six rules to follow when hiring roofing specialists to weed out questionable roofers and ensure a quality new roof
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Buyer’s remorse takes on a more frightening meaning when it’s caused by a shoddy roof replacement. Your roof is the highest priority in home renovation. It’s the first and best defense against the elements, protecting everything in your home down to the house itself: the support beams, walls, foundation, and more.
A complete roof replacement performed by a roof specialist costs an average of $6,000, but varies widely depending on roof size, materials used, placement of chimneys and skylights, and numerous other factors.
If your estimate is well below that amount, consider it with caution. Bottom-dollar estimates are the most common culprit for disputes between homeowners and roofing specialists. Extremely low estimates often come with contracts that neglect potential changes in cost or lack key protective measures for the homeowner.
Here are some rules to follow to ensure you get quality work with a low estimate.
KEEP YOURSELF COVERED BEFORE YOU HIRE ROOFING SPECIALISTS
Rule 1 - Reject roofing specialists who are not licensed and/or lack worker’s compensation and liability insurance
This may seem obvious, but not all homeowners verify whether their roofing specialists are licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, so you may want to check up on local laws before requesting proof they’re licensed.
Any roof specialist you hire should have general liability and worker’s liability insurance. Without this, all liability falls on the homeowner. Quality roofing specialists will be willing to give you proof of insurance.
Rule 2 - Reject roofing specialists who are unclear about pricing, payment schedules, and cost changes.
The initial estimate will be subject to changes. After a roof specialist surveys your roofing project, they’ll give you what is usually called a proposal. This should outline the total cost, payment schedule, and any deposits due before work begins. Deposits should be small. Quality roofing specialists expect the bulk of the cost to be paid after they’ve completed your roof.
Rule 3 - Reject roofing specialists who can’t or won’t provide professional references
A roof specialist should be willing to give you contact information for up to ten former clients. Recent clients are a better indicator of objectivity. You don’t need to contact every contact they refer, but information for more clients can indicate a happy customer base. Pick a few to call randomly and ask how the service was, how long the project took, whether they’re happy with the roof installation, and how the roof expert corrected any problems that arose.
Rule 4 - Reject roofing specialists who don’t offer a service warranty
Many manufacturers void warranties on materials if a roof is improperly installed, underscoring the importance of a service warranty from a roofer. Generally, a roof specialist should offer at least a one-year warranty on roof installation. Hidden problems tend to arise within the first 12 months.
Rule 5 - Reject roofing specialists who want you to obtain permits
A quality roof expert will obtain permits to perform the work and include the costs associated in the proposal. There are no legitimate reasons that contractors can’t get the necessary permits themselves.
Rule 6 - Experience and track record goes a long way
Every roof specialist was new to the roofing business at some point, so being new to the field isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You may strike a better deal with a roofer who recently entered the business. However, a long track record of success suggests a quality roofer. Membership with trade associations, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association, suggests further commitment to the industry.