When it comes to roof repair or replacement, choosing the right company from the get-go can save a lot of money and stress in the long run. It may be tempting to go with a roofer based on price alone, but this could end up costing you.
A legitimate reason company should be willing and able to provide:
- Local references from previous customers
- A business license
- Proof of insurance
- Written manufacturer warranties
When choosing a roofer for your project you need to be sure you are dealing with only licensed and insured contractors. Verify the track record of anyone you are considering hiring. Ask for a list of recent customers and call them. If they are not willing to provide references, move onto another company.
Start by getting recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers or insurance agents or claims adjusters. Be sure to check with your local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if any complaints have been lodged against any contractor you are considering.
Do not be in any hurry to sign a contract with any roofer. Quality roofing companies will not push you to make a decision, and will understand and respect the fact that you are shopping around.
Before allowing any company to provide you with an estimate, make sure there is no charge for this service. Be sure to get a written estimate that includes any promises the contractor has made to you verbally. Take the time to go over the contract and ask for explanations of everything, before you sign it. If possible, have someone who is knowledgeable, or an attorney review the contract to be sure everything is legally solid before you sign it yourself. Make sure you have a copy of the final, signed, contract before you allow any work to begin on your home. Keep copies of the documents and any receipts.
What to Avoid
Avoid working with contractors that ask for you to pay for the entire cost of the job upfront. This is a sign of trouble, as the contractor would have all of your money, and could easily refuse to work the job. However, it is important to remember that companies will typically ask for a deposit equal to ⅓ of the total cost of the job before starting on the project.
When you pay for the work, do not pay cash. Use a credit or debit card, so you have a paper trail and adequate proof of payment, should there be an issue. When it comes time to pay the final amount due on your account, do so only when you are fully satisfied with the work, again paying with a credit card or debit card rather than cash. This protects both you and the contractor.
Good contractors will not encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs, and will want you to spend the money on a permanent repair, rather than limping you along. If you suspect your contractor is suggesting too much on temporary repairs, it may be time to get a second opinion.