Unfinished contracts, poor workmanship, substandard materials, and outright scams are among the most common roofing horror stories that we might hear. Fortunately, as a homeowner, there are things that you can do to ensure that a roofing job will turn out the way you envisioned it. You play a huge role in this equation: your relationship with your roofing contractor can determine the project’s success. Check out these following tips to establish an excellent working relationship with your contractor.
Choose a contractor wisely
To develop a good business relationship with your roofing contractor, you first need to make sure that you’re comfortable working with him. Choose wisely; don’t rush your decision. While you may be in dire need of a roofing contractor, it won’t do any good to choose blindly.
Make sure that the roofing contractor you are looking to hire is, in fact, certified and has the necessary permits and licenses to operate in your area. As part of your due diligence, it is also highly recommended that you check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to confirm that the contractor is properly certified and accredited.
The BBB also recommends that you obtain several bids and review them carefully before making a choice. Low bids are certainly enticing, but keep in mind that the lowest isn’t necessarily the best. If the bid is too low, you should be concerned. Moreover, if the contractor appears unwilling to negotiate a high bid from the outset, it may be best to back away: take it as a sign that you may be unable to negotiate any other future concerns with them. If you can’t discuss financial issues and your budget with the contractor freely, it may be a challenge to establish rapport as well.
Spend time with the foreman or contractor representative before and during the project
Before the job starts, make sure that you spend some time with the foreman to familiarize yourself with how the project will proceed. Doing so will let the contractor know that you intend to stay on top of the project. However, make it a point to show the workers that you recognize and respect their expertise and have no intentions of telling them how to do their jobs. Make them feel that you’re just there to make sure that, should they need anything, you will be accessible and approachable, and able to respond quickly.
Show your appreciation
A smile and a pat on the back will always go a long way when it comes to developing working relationships. If the contractor performs beyond the scope of the contract, then show your appreciation. However, don’t give the impression that you’ll let anything slide. If the contractor drops the ball, or you notice something that’s obviously not right, let him know of your concerns right away. Bear in mind that some contractors may try to cut corners to save on costs. If you notice this happening, make sure that you have any faults corrected immediately.
Be aware of your contract responsibilities
A contract always works both ways. If the contractor has contract responsibilities, you’ll certainly have some too. It’s best to know what those are and make sure that you follow through, especially when it comes to the terms of payment. If there are additional items you need to take care of to ensure that the contractor can do their job properly, then make sure that you meet your contractual obligations.
If you wish to build and maintain a good business relationship with your contractor, remember that communication is key. Find a contractor who will listen to you, and make it a point to also listen to them. This way, you ensure smooth sailing through to the conclusion of your roofing project.
Jason Bradley is President of Crown Roofing. Together with the company’s staff, he brings experience and quality to the table. Apart from leading the company, he enjoys sharing his ideas and knowledge through writing blogs.