1. When taking bids, don’t accept the lowest offer just to save money.
There are other reasons to do that. Lower bids might indicate lower work quality, inferior materials, or even substandard work. However, a roofing company might be able to offer a lower bid because they have a low overhead or access to supplies at lower-than-industry rates. It’s always best to ask a contractor how they were able to produce the estimated rates.
2. Ask about experience.
How long have they been in business, and do they have a good rapport with the community? A well-established business is more likely to be around when you need them. If the job comes with a warranty, you want to be sure that you’ll be able to cash it in, if necessary.
3. Make sure the roofing company is licensed and insured.
In some jurisdictions, contractors are required by law to obtain licenses and insurance through the state. This protects consumers from predatory practices and ensures the contractor satisfies the experience requirements as determined by state officials. Also, ask about workers’ compensation. A roofing company without insurance can open you up to all sorts of risks, including potential lawsuits in the event an injury occurs.
4. Ask for references.
Ask them to provide you with work samples and a list of previous customers. A reputable business is always willing to provide their customers with this kind of information. However, be aware because you’ll more than likely receive a list of satisfied customers, so be sure to investigate a little further.
5. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
This is where you’ll find those unhappy customers if any exist. Any business that handles a lot of customers is sure to gain a few complaints here and there. The BBB will help you determine how those issues were dealt with.
6. Remember that communication is key.
Be sure the contractor has good communication skills. You’re going to want clairvoyance without Google. In fact, if the foreman pulls out his smartphone every time you have a question, that might be a good indicator to choose someone else to do the job.
7. Make sure you get a guarantee on the work.
Many roofers are willing to offer these. Don’t settle for a company that isn’t willing to stand 100% behind their work.
8. A company is only as good as its employees.
A roofing company is no different. Be sure to ask about certifications and awards obtained by employees. Seeing these will give you an idea about the level of talent working on your house.
9. Verify that the company provides cleanup.
Believe it or not, some companies are not clear about cleanup responsibilities. Make sure your contract clearly states who is responsible for daily cleanup and cleanup upon completion of the job.
10. Get everything in writing.
While an old-fashioned handshake can make everyone feel better, make sure the conditions of that handshake are clearly stated in the form of a contract. This includes the scope of the job, the materials used, the hours in which work will be performed daily, total time from start to finish, and the total cost.