Finding a Contractor
Word of mouth is often one of the best ways to find the best contractors. One thing to keep in mind when going this route, however, is to try to stay away from hiring the family member of a friend. If things go south, the friendship could as well. Plus, the friend could be biased about their family member whether he or she is a skilled roofer or not. Simply ask friends and neighbors if they have had a good experience with a roofing contractor in the past, get the contractor’s information and then make the final decision on your own.
The internet is also a way to find contractors. Check out business listings and be sure to check the Better Business Bureau website to make sure the contractor has a good reputation.
Another option is local hardware stores. The folks working at these stores often know who the best contractors in the area are and what their reputation is based on talking to contractors themselves, as well as customers.
Get the Contractor’s History
This includes things like his or her education and training, how long he or she has been in business, their written safety plan, proof of their liability insurance and most importantly, references. When it comes to education and training, the contractor should be licensed by the city. It is also important to know which trade associations and national associations the contractor belongs too. Professional contractors with a history in the field will belong to associations.
Make sure the contractor has the $2 million liability insurance that is required. A written safety plan should also be readily available for customers to see. These indicate that the contractor values safety and a lower cost of doing business.
References allow the customer to talk to past customers about their experiences. These may be available on the contractor’s website, or provided when the contractor is doing the proposal.
The Job Plan
First, if the contractor wants to be paid upfront, walk away and check into a new contractor. A qualified and reputable contractor will set terms for payment that both he or she and the customer agree on. This will be included in the proposal which will also include any included warranties, the exact work to be done, total cost and time frame to fully complete the job.
All reputable contractors will obtain the proper permits prior to starting the job. These permits will be granted by the local governing agency.
Lastly, the agency that issued the permit will inspect the final product. This means that they will come out after the roofing job is done and make sure it was done properly and to code.