Roof repairs and replacements help maintain the structural integrity of your roof and home, curb energy loss and increase your chances of selling your home at a good price. And it is your roofer’s job to see to it that all these goals are achieved.
To verify your roofer’s ability to provide good results, ask them for the following things before the start of the project:
Complete Credentials & Proof of Experience
- Most states require a roofer to be licensed, although exact requirements may differ from state to state. Some cities—such as Austin, Texas and Newark, New Jersey—require roofers to be licensed at the city level. You can verify whether or not your contractor is licensed by visiting the Contractor’s License Reference Site at www.contractors-license.org.
- Insurance and bond. General liability and worker’s compensation insurance will provide protection in the event of damage or injuries incurred during your project. It is strongly recommended that a contractor carry both types of insurance at the very least.
- Comprehensive portfolio. Contractor experience is important, but the scope of that experience is even more so. Check your contractor’s past projects to gauge their competence and quality of workmanship when it comes to projects like yours.
- Factory certifications. Certifications from roofing manufacturers like GAF are earned through specialized training. Contractors who have earned these distinctions can also offer longer and stronger warranties.
Everything on Paper
Everything you and your roofer will agree upon must be clearly stated in the contract. Both parties should have the opportunity to review and sign it before the start of the project. Your contract should include:
- Project scope. Will your roofer take care of cleanup and disposal after they’re done with your roof? How many team members should you expect to be on site on a given day? Task assignments, the amount of labor needed to complete each task, the tools and materials involved, and everything else vital to your project’s successful completion must go into the contract.
- Project schedule. This doesn’t just mean getting the start and end days right. The schedule should cover all the days that the roofing team is required to work, as well as possible exceptions (such as unfavorable weather). Provisions for handling delays should also be stipulated.
- Pricing and terms of payment. The full price and applicable taxes should be laid out in your contract, along with the complete breakdown of project costs. Dates for settling balances should be established ahead of time and overdue fees decided accordingly.
- Warranty information. Always discuss your warranty options with your contractor, especially when you’re having your roof replaced. Never sign your contract without reading the fine print.
These are just some of the things you need to bring up with your roofing contractor during consultation. You won’t need the finalized contract during this initial meeting; in fact, I strongly recommend against signing anything until you’ve had a chance to check and double-check all these details.
Use your initial consultation not only to ascertain whether or not the contractor is right for the job, but also to ask for advice on streamlining the process, maximizing your savings and getting the most out of the project.
Bryan Karel is the general manager of Garlock-French Corporation, a company that has been serving the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area since 1932. As a professional roofer, Bryan is committed to providing quality customer service and to educating property owners about roofing and home improvement.