When homeowners are having problems with their roof or intend to install a new one, they think of three options: do the project themselves, hire the neighborhood handyman, or find a good roofing contractor. However, the first two options have disadvantages. Unless you’re an experienced roofer, there’s little hope for you to get the job done by yourself properly. The neighborhood handyman might be able to do a better job, but hiring a handyman can expose you to needless risks that you wouldn’t face if you were to hire a good roofing contractor instead.
Finding a reliable contractor to fix up your roof can be quite a challenge, however, if you don’t know where and how to look for one. Here are some of the reasons why you should find a good contractor and how you can go about it.
The Importance of Hiring a Good Roofer
If you know you can’t do the job on your own and you’re sensible enough to avoid risking your investment and the safety of your family by hiring the neighborhood handyman, then finding a good contractor is of utmost importance. Here’s why.
A big portion of the contract price is bound to go towards labor, or, the; ie., the man-hours it takes to complete the job. A good contractor will have highly-experienced roofers working on the project so it will definitely take them less time to complete the work, meaning you get to spend fewer man-hours on labor.
Moreover, with a highly-experienced roofer, there is less chance of unintentional damage to the roof or to surrounding property. Unplanned repair costs are highly possible should you try to do the job yourself.
Another reason why you should hire a good contractor is that they know the right types of materials to use. If you want quality work, then you need to use quality materials and good contractors know this all too well.
Lastly, time is gold. The longer it takes to repair or replace your roof, the more expensive the project gets because of indirect costs that always seem to spring up — often catching you by surprise. Good contractors will complete the project as fast as they can without compromising quality.
One of the added benefits of hiring a good contractor is that if there’s something else that needs to get fixed other than the primary objective, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to have them do the repair work at less cost.
The Qualities of a Good Roofer
Now that you’re convinced you to need a good roofer, the challenge is to actually find one. Here are some distinguishing characteristics of good roofing companies.
They have an actual office.
Roofers that are serious about their business will have an actual brick-and-mortar office. Some companies may have virtual offices that are often run informally out of a basement somewhere — so make sure that you’re dealing with a company that has a real business address.
They are licensed.
All roofers must be licensed. However, not only should you check if the roofer you intend to hire has the necessary permits and licenses, you’ll need to make sure that the documents haven’t expired.
They are insured.
Anything can happen during a roofing project — and good roofers know this. This is why they obtain workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Insurance protects both roofer and homeowner from potential costs arising from accidents or incidents on the job. If you don’t want to take any chances with your roofer, make sure that they are properly insured.
They offer warranties.
A good roofing contractor will ensure that their work is performed in compliance with the highest standards of quality by offering both product and labor guarantees. If a certain company can’t provide you with such guarantees than walk away and find a better roofer.
They can provide homeowner references.
Perhaps the best way to find out if a roofing company really does a good job is to ask for references and actually call them. If the people they provide as a reference can give you a thumbs up on the quality of work, then there’s a good chance that the roofer will also do a good job on your project.
Questions to Ask References
Reliable roofers can provide references without hesitation. But gathering references is only part of the equation; make it a point not just to call the reference provided, but also to be prepared to ask the right questions such as, would they hire the roofer again? or, did the roofer stay within budget? Did he complete the project on schedule?
You’ll also need to find out if the roofer addressed all the problems listed in the contract and any related problems that were identified throughout the job’s duration.
You might not have the skills to micro-manage the job, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of what’s going on at all times. Ask the reference if there was a project manager onsite throughout the duration of the project. If there was one, then you can expect that the roofer will have one available to keep you updated on your project as well.
Bob Baker is the owner of Hinkle Roofing. Hinkle Roofing has served the Birmingham, Alabama and surrounding area for more than 100 years, helping both commercial and residential customers sleep a little easier at night knowing that they have a quality roof over their head. The Hinkle Roofing name is synonymous with quality and value.