Do check for licensing and bonding.
If you find yourself needing a new roof after a storm or major event, you may find a lot of “contractors” knocking on your door offering their services. Weed out the less desirable among these by asking for bonding and licensure information. A licensed, bonded roofer is not going to take your money and run, in most situations. Certification also ensures that the roofer is fully knowledgeable in construction techniques and safety protocol, which are essential when working on your roof.
Don’t agree too hastily to a contract.
Some roofing contractors are quite experienced at pressuring homeowners into a contract. Take your time, call several individuals or companies, and read everything carefully before you sign. Make sure you get the best possible deal.
Do ask for references.
A quality roofing company will have lots of work to show you. Ask for local references, and check them out. The nice thing about roofs is that you can easily drive by and check out the contractor’s work. If possible, also call the homeowner to ask about the service and how any problems were handled.
Don’t sign too quickly.
If you do not understand the roofing contract, do not sign it. Once you sign, you are legally bound to the terms, and the roofer is exempt from anything listed in the contract. Read and understand everything in the contract before you sign, and ask questions about the parts you don’t understand.
Do get guarantees in writing.
Ask for guarantees on the work and the materials. If the roofing company agrees to these guarantees, get them in writing. This ensures that you have something to show if you do have a problem later on.
Don’t pay all upfront.
If a contractor demands full payment upfront, choose a different company. Partial upfront payment is fine, as this gives the roofer something to use to buy supplies and pay bills while the job is underway. A full payment does not give you the chance to inspect the work before the contractor gets his or her money.
Do make expectations clear.
If you have expectations about how you want your job completed, make these clear at the outset, and have them included in the contract. This eliminates the possibility of miscommunication, and also helps the roofers get the job done to your specifications.