5 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Roofer (And the Right Way to Hire Them)
If you want to hire the right roofing contractor and need some tips on how to do it the right way, then you need to avoid some common mistakes most people make when they hire roofing contractors. Along with the mistakes, we’ll mention what you should do — usually the opposite of the mistakes — to get professional work done on your roofs at an affordable price.
1. Not Seeking Out References
This is one of the most important things you should do before you start business with a roofing contractor. Speak to all of the contractor’s references to determine the quality of the work they have done in the past. Any contractor that does good business and is worth it will share contact information for previous clients willingly so that you can talk to them and find out more about previous work they have done.
It doesn’t end there, however. You should also look through various industry sources like the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders and various resources online like Facebook, Angie’s List, Google and Yelp to find out about the reputation of the roofing contractor. Because the internet is a place that promotes anonymity, it’s easy to find people to leave unbiased opinions about a roofing contractor. That allows you to gather important insights about the contractor with whom you’re just about to do business.
2. Not Getting Things in Writing
It can be easier than you might think to forget to get the important details of your relationship with the contractor in writing. You should get written contracts, warranties, bids, estimates and other guarantees. If you don’t do that, the negative consequences could be overwhelming. Without a clearly defined contract, for example, the roofing company could disregard material requirements, ignore warranties and inflate budgets to take advantage of you. It’s nice to think the roofing contractor is honest and has your best interests in mind. However, you shouldn’t take the risk.
That’s why you should never skimp getting guarantees, contracts and estimates in written form. Most reputable roofing contractors will readily provide these and even insist on it sometimes. The written documents will clearly define such things as the timeline, budget, materials and scope of your project. This makes it much easier for things to run smoothly going forward. Once you’ve prepared something in written form, you and the contractor will both have to append your signatures to the document. You should also ask for a valid copy of the signed documents and keep them safe for future use.
3. Not Getting Multiple Bids
When you have a problem with your roof, and you want to get a roofing contractor, are you likely to go with the first contractor that is recommended to you? Most people do that and, in the process, they lock themselves out of getting better deals in terms of bids for the project at hand. When you’re building a new roof or even just repairing the one you have, you should reach out to as many contractors as possible to get different bids. Even a difference of a few dollars will save you money, and you should go for the most effective and affordable roofing contractor you can get.
However, while you’re at it, remember that it’s not always about the money. When roofing contractors send you their bids, they will probably include the full details of the project, the materials required and so on. You should also consider these so that you can weigh the cost of the contractor against the quality of the work done. Only then will you be capable of making an informed decision.
4. Not Checking the Contractor’s Certifications
This is one of those things that you absolutely cannot compromise on. You should never go for a contractor that is uninsured, uncertified and uninsured. Many homeowners get fooled by a company that sounds professional during the interaction and forget to look into these things. Just because they talk a big game and sound like they know what they are talking about, doesn’t mean they’re going to give you’re the right roof for your house, that will provide you with the right amount of protection. Many states have requirements for roofer that dictate they should be licensed, have proper compensation for their workers and liability insurance to cover the unexpected.
Always ask for some proof of the certifications, licenses and insurance that the roofing contractor has to make sure that their work is backed by a trustworthy third-party and you are well protected in the event of a catastrophe, such as workers getting injured while on your property. Again, this is a case of covering your bases and not blindly trusting anyone to have your best interests at heart.
5. Approving Incomplete Work
No matter whether you are living in a luxury condo in the city or at the beach or an old farmhouse in the country, never approve unfinished work. A contractor should never ask you to sign any completion papers before the work is done and you’re fully satisfied with. You also shouldn’t hire a contractor that doesn’t offer a warranty for the quality of work done on your roof. You should take the warranty documentation and read the fine print on the terms and conditions carefully. Check out the nature of the warranty and the coverage. You should also check the duration of the warranty and whether there are any exemptions that block you from benefitting from the warranty.
If you approve the work before it is complete, there is nothing stopping the contractor from doing poor quality work for the remainder of the project. You’ve already paid them, haven’t you? The worst-case scenario is that the contractor takes their tools and takes off with your money. You could lose a lot of money in the process. On the other hand, a roofing contractor will be less likely to do a shoddy job if you haven’t yet signed the completion papers because they are working hard to impress you.