How to choose a roofer
Buying a new roof system is an important investment. Before you spend your money, spend time learning how to evaluate roofing contractors. You should insist on working with a professional roofing contractor. New Image Roofing wants to assist you in getting the kind of results you expect, a quality roof system at a fair price. All roofing contractors are not alike, and New Image Roofing recommends that you pre-qualify roofing contractors to get the job done right the first time. The following guidelines will help you select a professional:
- Check for a tax identification number. This lets you know that the company is registered with the IRS and files taxes under the business name. Fly by night roofing companies usually work under a persons name “Smith Roofing” and hire illegal labor and therefore do not pay taxes.
- Don’t hesitate to ask a roofing contractor for proof of insurance. In fact, insist on seeing copies of his liability coverage. Make sure the coverage specifies roofing. Most contractors have general contracting insurance and are not covered for roofing. Many building and home owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured or under-insured roofing contractors. Also, if a contractor is not properly insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property.
- Insist on a detailed, written contract and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.
- Have the contractor list the roofing manufacturers with which his firm is a licensed or approved applicator. Most roof systems require special application expertise to achieve lasting quality.
- Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge of your project, how many workers will be required and estimated completion time.
- Carefully read and understand any roofing warranties offered, and watch for provisions that would void it.
- Choose a company committed to worker safety and education. Ask the contractor what type of safety training he provides for his workers and what industry education programs they have attended. The best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who install the roof system.
- Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors’ below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured, do not pay taxes, perform substandard work and will not be in business long term with less than market value pricing. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism, experience and quality workmanship should weigh heavily in your decision.