How to choose a roofer the RIGHT way?
First of all – when you get a roofing estimate, ask if your estimator is a roofer (preferably company owner of a small to medium size outfit) Also ask if he/or she will be on the job, managing the installation. While this is not critical, having the company owner on the job gives you a much better chance of getting the best roof for your money.
It’s simple – An owner cares the most, that your roof is installed correctly, and does not leak, as he/she is responsible for it. Having them on the job, or at least stopping by throughout the day, means the installers are going to do the job right. They know if they dont, they dont get paid. The company owner wants the job done right the first time. They know that word of mouth is the best or worst advertising. A great job will turn into more business.
Secondly, - dont mind asking to see their license. If they have one, they will have no problem providing you a copy of it. Same with insurance. Keep in mind, a company that has a license and insurance may cost you a bit more than "two men and a truck" but they are providing qualitity services to you and run a professional, above board business. Which would you rather have work on your home?
Roof Price negotiations:
This is a very important part of choosing the contractor for your roof. Here are some things to consider: Consider going with a price quote somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, and choosing a contractor you are most comfortable with. Low-ballers are usually not licensed/insured and will rush through your job like a hurricane. Once the job is finished they are nowhere to be found again should there be any problems. Roofers with VERY high quotes are usually just ripping you off by selling some “vapor benefits” such as brand name, 100 years in business, million years warranty, etc. The contractor quoting somewhere in the middle of this spectrum generally is trying to provide a quality product for a fair price. After you decide on a roofer, ask for a proposal in writing. Once you have been provided with this proposal, you may be able to negotiate the price. Always keep in mind the quality of the materials and workmanship as part of the value of the service you will receive when negotiating. If you negotiate lower prices, it could be reflected in the roofing company selecting poorer quality materials and or a less experienced subcontractor that provides them with a lower bid.
Hiring the Right Pro for the Job:
You roof is one of the most important elements protecting your home, and when roofing problems arise you need to hire a professional that will resolve them in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Roofing systems are not all the same, and depending on the type of roof you have, you need to be working with someone who has experience installing the specfic type of roof you are interested in. As a rule of thumb you definitely want to avoid contractors that advertise themselves as “repairing all types of roofs”, these are unprofessional roofers who are praying on customers who are not knowledgeable about roofing. A new roof is expensive and it isnt something you do very often, so consider our suggestions on how to find the "Right Pro for the Job".
About experience, references, types of roofing materials used/recommended, licenses, insurance, warranties, and do they take credit cards? It may not sound like a big deal, but if you are working with a reputable company, they will have credit card service available.