- Avoiding paying more in roofing prices than you need to
- Doing the research and shopping around once and for all, not over and over
- Not getting ripped off or feeling like a fool afterwards
How do you go about this difficult task? How do you filter through the roofing companies out there and pick a good roofing contractor?
The first point you need to have in mind is that cost, licensing, and quality always go together. If the roofer is licensed, he or she can charge more. Also if he or she does excellent work, which comes only from experience, then that also allows them to charge more.
The areas that you need to find out about and deal with fall into categories of the roof contractor, the job, the quote/bid, the materials and the workers, and you yourself.
The Roofing Contractor
You need to assess the contractors you’re thinking about. That means you need to examine factors like whether they have worker’s compensation and other insurance to cover the workers, accidents, and the job itself. This is to protect you, the homeowner, from any liability issues.
You have to make sure roofing contractors have the experience to perform the work involved. What are their qualifications and credentials? Look for licenses, and also for contract agreements with local government organizations.
You can find further clues in the contractors’ business philosophies and their companies’ takes on ethics. You can tell this by the company cultures of each contractor that you can pick up through your contacts with them.
Of course, you will want to know about any business credentials that the contractors may have.
The Roofing Job
Related to the job, you want to find out a track record of time lines for the way past projects were completed by each contractor or company.
With this historical information, you’ll want to get hold of copies or information about contractual agreements from previous jobs. We all know that the contract and its fulfillment is the heart of the way contractors conduct their business.
It is also an assurance to you that protects you from unnecessary or unfair liability and risk.
The Quote and The Bid
You also need to know about bids, warranties, guarantees, and expected prices for materials, labor, and equipment. You will want to compare bids in terms of cost of labor, material cost, and length of time.
You should expect that any problem on your roof resulting from the workmanship will be repaired by the contractor at their expense.
A reputable roofing contractor will have standard prices for most kinds of roofing jobs, and provide free estimates for projects to give you an intelligent idea of the upcoming roof cost. Included in their estimates will be the materials, labor, and equipment costs you need for comparing the bids. You should have typical product costs to refer to, so you can make your own comparison of bid costs based on that knowledge.
The Materials and Workers
You’ll want to know about the materials that will be used during the work. A good roofer will be able to give you advice on products, materials, roof types, gutters, downpipes, and coatings. You have to investigate the equipment and materials needed whether for repair, replacement, or restoration.
You will usually have a better experience if the workers on your roof are qualified trades workers rather than cheap laborers. The reason is semi-obvious. The more trained and experienced the roof workers are, the better workmanship and fewer problems you can expect.
It’s true that some laborers are equivalent to trades workers in their experience and results, while some trades workers turn out to be incapable. But most of the time, you will get what you pay for, as I said at the start.
You have a big role to play in the success of your roof job. You have the homework and legwork to do to gather all the information you need to make a good informed decision. It matters a lot to you because you’ll have to live with the results for years, in terms of both the roof and your reduced bank account.
You’ll want to check out previous customers, local building associations, and former customers of each roofing contractor. In addition you should look for professional references from others in the roofing field. Third party information is very powerful. You might even dig into bank references and other credit related references.
You also need to get more than one quote from different contractors, as part of your shopping around. You should measure the roof area to be worked on as well as looking at the roof design, especially the steepness of the pitch. You can use this information as a basis to price out the materials yourself and figure out the kinds of materials that will be needed for the work.
Benefits To You
Once you know the basics and the numbers of the project, you will be able to do an informed examination of the contractors bidding on your job and the bids themselves.
If you do this homework and legwork, you will avoid a lot of the pitfalls and end up with a good roof that will last you for decades as well as keeping more of your hard-earned money. You’ll have the feeling of achievement that comes from successfully managing the project and making sure you got your money’s worth.
And you will have a new contact in the community who you know you can trust and refer to others. Finding this kind of roofing contractor is something to value.