The roof of your home or commercial structure is the last thing you’ll want to leave in the hands of an unscrupulous contractor. Doing this may result in situations where you need to fork out more money for repairs or a total roof collapse that leaves your home uninhabitable. As you think about ‘how can you trust a roofer,’ look for these key qualities.
1. References and Client Testimonials
One of the first questions to ask yourself when thinking, ‘how can you trust a roofer’ is, ‘What are previous customers saying about the contractor?’ References say a lot about a roofer’s quality of work and customer service. The ideal roofing service will provide testimonials from past clients and give you their contacts so you can ask about their experience directly.
Besides references, you can read customer reviews to better understand a contractor’s character. If you encounter too many complaints or negative feedback, do yourself a favor and move on to the next commercial roofer on your list. You can find reviews on the contractor’s website or from a reliable source like Google Reviews.
A great tip is to source for reviews from different platforms. Doing this will give you a more comprehensive answer. Stay away from roofers with no references and reviews or those who won’t let you access their reviews.
2. Verified Licenses, Permits, and Insurance
Whether you’re looking for a commercial or residential roofer for your project and wondering ‘how can you trust a roofer,’ one of the answers is they should hold a valid license. It shows that they have met the minimum standards, like state-related training. A professional roofer should also have a valid insurance policy and bear the contractor’s name.
Besides that, check whether it’s from a reliable source. With liability insurance coverage, any costs due to losses or injuries that result from a mishap while working on your roof will fall on the contractor’s pockets. Before the project begins, a reputable roofer will proudly display their credentials, including their license, insurance, and any verifiable permits.
3. Experience and Proven Track Record
When it comes to your roofing, you don’t want anything less than excellent results. One of the most effective ways of ensuring this is by working with an experienced contractor. To gauge a contractor’s experience level, you can inquire about their years of active service in the roofing industry.
Go with residential roofers with the most experience, as they’re more likely to deliver quality work. They’ll have dealt with numerous problems and worked on various unique properties. Always check the proven work history of each contractor you’re considering.
You can typically find this information by visiting their website. When did the business start, and how many clients have they served to date? What about images of earlier work? Do they appeal to the standard you’re looking for in a roofing contractor?
Engaging the contractor in a conversation can also help you learn more about their experience and offer a clear answer to ‘how can you trust a roofer.’ Make sure you learn everything there is to know about the contractor. After concluding your research, you’ll most likely find the best candidate to work on your roof.
If you’re looking for a contractor to work on your metal roofing, ensure they have experience with the material. If you have a flat roof, specifically look for commercial flat roofing contractors.
4. Great Communication Skills
Just like in friendships and romantic relationships, clear communication is key to making the most of your interactions with a roofing contractor. A roofer should make you feel comfortable before, during, and after the project. Pay attention to how they talk to you during the initial consultation, and you’ll soon have an answer to the question, ‘how can you trust a roofer.’
If they’re harsh, hiring them will make for a frustrating experience. They should be willing to answer your questions, such as ”what a wind vented roof does? ” or ”What are the benefits of spf roof coatings for your home?” regardless of how trivial they seem. Another way to assess their communication skills is by gauging how quickly they respond to emails and calls.
Ask pertinent questions, such as how much the job will cost and how long it will take. Only work with contractors with good communication skills and eagerness to clarify complex concepts. If you feel a contractor is withholding information, avoid them like the plague.
Quotes can also help you with the dilemma of ‘How can you trust a roofer.’ If you receive an ambiguous quote or a flat fee, avoid them completely. They may be setting you up for an unpleasant surprise of hidden fees during and after the project.
A reputable commercial roofing company will provide a detailed and accurate estimate. They’ll typically include important information like approximate materials, and labor costs, and other relevant expenses. A comprehensive quote will help you determine whether a specific contractor will fit within your budget so you don’t end up paying more than you intend.
With the current state of the economy affecting even the prices of groceries, you may be tempted to go with the company that offers the lowest estimate. However, you must be careful as such roofers will likely use subpar materials to outbid competitors and save money. Hiring them may result in more expenses in the long run and, in some cases, total roof failure.
Another crop of roofers to steer clear of are those who only provide verbal estimates rather than written ones. A reputable roofing business will provide a written breakdown of the cost estimates at the conclusion of your consultation. Give it a thorough read, and if you have any questions, let them know.
Don’t feel pressured to make a decision by your contractor. Take as much time as you need; it’s your home, and money on the line at the end of the day. A business that coerces customers into signing a contract is likely not interested in providing excellent services but only aiming to close the sale and get a fat cheque.
6. Located Locally
A local roofer offers unique benefits that an out-of-state one simply can’t. For example, you can count on them for a short-notice roofing inspection or consultation. You can also rely on them during roofing emergencies, which can mean the difference between quick fixes and extensive roof restoration.
After a storm hits the area, you won’t have to worry about delays if you hire locally. This is beneficial since processing your insurance claim will take longer if you wait too long to submit all the necessary paperwork. An expert local roofer can work as your representative and ensure you receive fair compensation for your insurance claim.
Local roofing businesses also typically cater to a smaller customer base. If you do some research, you may even find that one of your acquaintances owns a roofing company in the area, or they’ve installed or performed commercial roof repair jobs in the area. Such businesses are known to provide friendly and personalized services, making for a better customer experience.
You’ll always know who’s working on your roof from the initial consultation to the installation and the final quality inspection. Every construction and restoration project must adhere to the regulations outlined by building codes, both local and international, and the HOA in some areas. Noncompliance can get you in trouble, including hefty fines and expensive do-overs.
You can avoid all this by hiring local roofers. They’re familiar with local regulations and put your project at a lower risk of unexpected costs due to noncompliance. If you live in an older home that has been passed down from generation to generation and complied with now outdated codes, these roofers can help you make necessary adjustments to comply with recent codes and rules.
Shopping at your local farmer’s market isn’t the only way to support locals. Another benefit of working with a local roofing company is you’ll be contributing to strengthening the local economy. Your neighbor and community will benefit, and you can refer more people to them with your home’s roof as proof of the quality of their work.
Reputation is one of the most valuable assets for local roofing contractors. They have a greater degree of obligation to their customers since they’re often their neighbors, friends, relatives, family friends, and so on. This makes local recommendations, customer feedback, and word-of-mouth more valuable for their business.
7. Thorough Initial Consultation
Most roofers conduct a free initial inspection to evaluate how much work is needed before coming up with an estimate. They’ll need to climb up the roof and get into the attic to ensure they put together a detailed report. If a roofer tries to convince you that their years of experience allow them to tell what needs to be done from the ground, they’re straight up lying.
8. No Upfront Payment Is Necessary
Before even swinging a hammer, storm chasers and shady contractors like Chuck with a Truck will demand full payment. Reputable roofers ask for a deposit of around one-third of the project’s anticipated cost. They use this deposit to purchase the supplies needed for your project.
Even the most prominent roofers don’t keep a stock of shingles in every style and color. They order them, which takes time. Expect to pay a little above one-third of the project’s costs when you sign the contract, another one-third when the first hammer swings, and the final payment after concluding the project.
9. Reasonable Roofing Costs
Aiming for the lowest costs may initially make financial sense. However, look for a roofer who delivers high-quality work at a reasonable price, even if this means paying more. If you need work done on your under-deck roof, consider the extra cost as a price tag for your peace of mind.
10. They Treat You Home With Respect
Even for the most experienced contractors in your area, roofing work can get messy quickly. The top contractors will care for your house as if it were theirs. They take precautions to safeguard the job site, and once the project is complete, they’ll clean up any mess the job leaves behind.
Look for information on the clean-up process in the paperwork or contract from the roofer. When a contractor can guarantee in writing that they’ll clean up after themselves when the job ends, you know you’ve found a good one. How they treat your home offers one of the best answers to ‘how can you trust a roofer.’
11. They Have a Stable In-house Team
When you first meet for your initial consultation, learn as much as possible about the roofing company’s staff. For example, ask how long the team members have worked under the company. If they’ve been there for several years, you can rest assured you’re working with a stable business, and you’ll have found a potential answer to ‘how can you trust a roofer.’
Contractors with a stable team will likely have invested in regular training programs. This means they’re less prone to making avoidable mistakes which can cost you a lot in the future. The risk of accidents is also reduced.
12. They Love Showing Off Their Work
Besides references, a contractor should be happy to showcase their completed projects. Ask them to provide pictures or look for some on their website. The best contractors will have hundreds of pictures of projects they were proud to participate in.
13. Membership in Professional Associations
Professional affiliations with groups like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and National Roofing Partners (NRP) are a sign of a competent commercial roofing contractor who cares about giving their clients the finest service possible. This shows their dedication to remaining abreast of the most recent industry trends, advancements, and best practices so they may benefit their clients. Membership in professional associations is one of the best answers to the question, ”how can you trust a roofer.’
14. A Great Safety Record
A company’s safety record can reveal much about its standards. Ask prospective roofers about the safety training they offer their employees and whether they have a safety director during interviews. Additionally, find out if the business has ever received an OSHA citation or been found in violation.
Think about how life would be with a roof that’s constantly springing up leaks and letting air leak out of your home. It would suck. Use this read as a guide for ”how can you trust a roofer.”