The biggest obstacle homeowners face when looking to fix or replace their roof is choosing the right person to do the job. After a damaging storm, they need to quickly get back to normal and perform the necessary roofing repairs. But that doesn’t mean they should just choose the first contractor who knocks on their door! Finding a contractor who is trustworthy, honest, and professional may sound difficult, but follow these tips to determine if your contractor is reputable and can be trusted to protect your home!
Get local referrals.There is less chance of potential issues or scams when you choose a contractor from your community. They are more familiar with local rules and code regulations and have a relationship with area crews and suppliers. They also have most likely did work for someone you know, so you will be able to get an honest evaluation of their work quality and skills.
Look for manufacturer designations.
Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be factory-certified (although, some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others). For example, GAF strictly enforces their top designation by only allowing 2% of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Master Elite® Contractors. CertainTeed, Tamko, and other manufacturers also have high designations that can aide in the decision making process.
Look at Google Reviews.Reputable roofing contractors will have numerous positive reviews on Google, and a high star rating. These reviews can be extremely helpful in determining the quality of customer service provided, however, don't let this be your sole determining factor. One negative review from a disgruntled customer doesn't always accurately represent the company.
Get an extensive warranty.Not all contractors can offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it (or worse, has gone out of business), your only recourse is to pay for their mistake yourself. For example, A GAF Master Elite® Contractor can offer one of the longest workmanship warranties on the market—the Golden Pledge®Warranty.
Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings.Some contractors blow in right after a storm looking for work, so it’s important to look them up on the BBB website and make sure they have a good score. Stay away from contractors who do not exist on BBB.org.
Be concerned about safety.A contractor without a training or safety program may not be the best person for your job. There are certain standards laid out by OSHA that roofing contractors must follow in order to stay in business and avoid hefty fines. If your contractor doesn't follow these safety rules, they may not be completely qualified for the job.
Check for proper licensing and insurance.The contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate for validation. Not having adequate insurance could potentially lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the home. Most states require licensing for contractors, but that does not stop unlicensed contractors from attempting to do the roofing work. In states where licenses are required, make sure your contractor provides you with a copy of their license and confirm their status online.
Know your material choices.A contractor who does not offer you different shingle options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles you install can affect the resale value of your home. If the insurance company is paying for a new roof, it may be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more unique style that suits your taste.