One of the biggest challenges homeowners find when planning a roof replacement or repairs is choosing the right company to do the work. Especially when there is storm damage, most homeowners want to quickly return to normal and have roofing repairs completed as soon as possible. But it would be a mistake to go with the first contractor who comes to their door. Some homeowners may be inclined to do so because finding a company that is trustworthy, honest and professional can be a seemingly overwhelming challenge. However, it could cost them later on if the workmanship isn’t up to quality standards or the work isn’t completed as promised. To prevent costly problems, we have comprised a list of 10 important tips for homeowners to follow when selecting a qualified roofing contractor.
10 Tips To Choose The Right Roofing Company
Get local referrals
Be aware of scams from companies who want too much money before starting the job and who don’t have good references. Unfortunately, some homeowners have lost thousands of dollars by going with the first company that comes along, wants payment upfront and then doesn’t return to do the job. Talk to your neighbors and realtors in your area to choose a reputable company. Companies who have done work in your community will be familiar with local rules and regulations and can provide qualified crew and material suppliers.
Look for manufacturer certifications
One important tip is to check the company’s certifications by researching with well established industry roofing manufacturers such as GAF, which is the largest and longest standing product manufacturer in North America and maintains a database of certified installation contractors. Certifications ensure a company has passed specific requirements to be factory-certified. GAF only allows 2% of roofing companies to be designated as Master Elite® Contractors. You can be sure that a Master Elite® Contractor has been screened and certified to work in your storm area.
Research a company’s standing online
The Better Business Bureau in your area is a good resource for researching a qualified roofing company. If a contractor knocks on your door after a storm, check the BBB website to see if the business is on it and has a satisfactory score. A GAF Master Elite® Contractor must maintain good ratings to remain certified so avoid contractors who aren’t listed on the BBB website.
Get an extensive warranty
Be selective and choose a contractor who offers manufacturer warranties that cover the workmanship of the company. A good extensive warranty will ensure that if there are problems with the roof installation, which may not show up until much later, you will be covered for the necessary repairs. In such a situation, it is unlikely that your insurance company would cover it. On the other hand, if you select a company without a warranty and the company is no longer in business or refuses to correct the situation, you will have to pay for the repairs. Remember, by choosing a certified Master Elite® company you will have the option to choose from a number of warranties which will protect your investment and give you peace of mind.
Get a written estimate
A reputable company will discuss your material options and pricing and provide you with a written estimate that should include labor costs and time estimates. If there are any changes discussed, they should be documented as well in an updated quote to prevent any miscommunication. As roofing costs can be significant, you don’t want any surprises when the job is completed.
Check for proper licensing and insurance
To ensure against liability issues, homeowners should select a company that can show you proof of insurance which covers its employees and subcontractors, including workers compensation. If a company can’t provide this certification and there is a work related injury on your property, you could be found liable. Contractors are required to be licensed and have insurance certification in most states, however there are cases where unscrupulous contractors will attempt to work without these certifications. You should be able to check a company’s certifications on your state’s website or with the Better Business Bureau. A GAF Master Elite® Contractor is required to maintain workers compensation, a minimum of $1 million for General Liability coverage, and the appropriate state licensing.
Pay your deductible
A red flag is when a company tells you they can cover your insurance deductible within the total cost of the job. This is illegal and you could be involved in insurance fraud if you agree to this proposal. If you are dealing with storm damage and your insurance company is involved, the deductible is your responsibility. Make sure the company providing the quote includes your insurance deductible when calculating the total cost.
Handle your own claim
It is against your best interests and potentially illegal to sign over your insurance benefits to any company that says they can handle your insurance claim. It is illegal in many states for a contractor to negotiate an insurance claim for a homeowner. This could lead to you losing control of the benefits you deserve and insurance fraud.
Don’t give in to pressure
Despite the stress of needing repairs quickly, don’t sign a contract with a company before your insurance company assesses the damage. Yes, there are contractors who will tell you they will accept your insurance company’s estimate, but you need to be certain the amount includes everything that is needed. Have the roofing contractor inspect the damages and compare their quote with your insurance company’s estimate to see if anything has been overlooked.
Know your material choices
If you are looking at a roof replacement, take the time to review the different types of materials available. Especially if your insurance company will cover the replacement cost, it is a good opportunity to maybe improve the style and quality of your roof. Select a company who will take the time to review the various types of shingles, designs and color options with you so you can make a choice you will be happy with for some time to come.
If you are local to the greater Charlotte region and looking for a high quality, professional and affordable Charlotte roofing company, look no further than Southern Star Roofing. We will provide you with a FREE estimate and can offer amazing financing options. Contact us today!