Hiring a roofer to replace your roof is a major home investment that is best done right the first time. With so many different contractors to choose from, it can be difficult to distinguish the professionals from the scammers.
This guide will cover what to look for in the company installing your new roof and explains the difference between a great roofing contractor and a sub-par contractor.
What to Look For In A Roofer
Your unbeatable roofer is going to have pride and knowledge in their job. If you don’t get that gut feeing that they know what they’re doing and are proud of it, run away! How can you tell that they have pride and knowledge? It generally becomes apparent in the initial conversation. Here are some points to look for in detail.
A roofer’s knowledge and craftsmanship is based on their track record. Are their previous clients singing their praises and overjoyed with a smooth working experience and a job well done? Or are they cursing their names to the sky because of sloppy workmanship and a poor customer experience?
Doing a bit of research beforehand can save you a lot of headache. Does the roofer have testimonials and references? A great indicator of a quality roofing contractor is that they are more than willing to share and provide references and proudly display testimonials of their work.
The Great Roofing Contractor Has Great References and Testimonials
This might sound a bit obvious, but a great roofer will have shining references and testimonials that they are more than willing to share with you. Satisfied customers are a point of pride for them7 and they shouldn’t be afraid to put you in contact with previous customers.
The Horrible Roofing Contractor Has Few Or Horrible References
A sub-par roofer will be much less willing to provide references or testimonials, mostly because they don’t want you to find out they’re here more for your money than for providing you with a quality roof. If they can’t provide quality references or testimonials, stay away!
The knowledge of a great roofer is recognized through the certifications and accreditations that they are granted. While more is not always merrier with certifications, the key is to have the proper accreditation for the task at hand.
You’ll want to ask the contractor what type of accreditation the have to do the job? Beware of the vague roofer! Warning signs that you’re talking with a bad contractor will pop up when they give a vague response to the question of “What type of accreditation do you have?”. Responses of “Fully accredited ” or “Yes we are accredited” just don’t cut it. Push for specifics!
The Great Roofer will Provide Specific Certifications
They will tell you their specific accreditations that are relevant to the job. They will be accredited in the state and they will have specific certification to work with the the roofing materials. Most importantly, they will happy and willing to share this information with you!
The Horrible Roofing Contractor Will Be Vague and Unaccredited
Signs of a bad contractor0 generally occur when they are unwilling to tell you straight up that they are officially certified to replace your roof. They will generally try to skirt the issue and use words like “trust me” instead of actual proof that they can do a competent job.
Great roofing contractors will be fully insured. Period.
They will have general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. This is a sign that they are looking out for you and your best interests. Knowing that they are fully insured means that in the case of any accidents that might occur to their team or your property, they have you covered.
A properly insured roofing company protects you. If they are not insured or try to pass the responsibility for insurance onto you, run away! The last thing you want to be doing is paying a workers medical bills for many years in order to save a few bucks hiring uninsured roofers.
A Great Roofing Contractor Has The Proper Insurance
Great contractors will have all of the proper insurance and are fully bonded. They will also be able to clearly address the question when you bring it up. This is not something that you want to mess around with!
A Horrible Roofing Contractor Will Not Have Proper Insurance
These guys will not be properly insured in order to save money and will expect your policy to cover their work! When asked about it, the less horrible contractors will be honest, the really horrible ones will be vague and try to avoid the question.
4. Hire Locally
Roofing is generally a local business. You will want to hire a roofer who is based in your county or somewhere close to where you live. Why? It’s quite simple… if they are local, they:
- Know the local permitting and bylaws for your area
- Generally do a much quicker job as they don’t have to travel for hours to get to you
- Know the specific weather and climate issues for your roof
- Can arrive quickly and address any problems that arise
A great roofer will be one that has built up a local reputation. They know the area, they know the problems that a local climate can have on roofs and know the general construction style of the local housing. If any problem arises, because they’re local, they should be able to deal with it quickly and efficiently!
A Great Roofing Contractor Is Local
They are in your area and can quickly get to your site. They know the surroundings and specific weather and climate issues and can build you a roof that is catered to your locality.
A Horrible Roofing Contractor Is Not Local
You might save a bit of money hiring a contractor that lives far away from you, but is it really worth it? They don’t know the area, they don’t know state/county bylaws, they might not be locally accredited and it’s difficult for them to be there when you need them immediately.
With a major investment in your home like a new roof, you need a contractor with unbeatable communication skills. From the first conversation to the follow-up after completion, having a contractor that is easy to communicate with is essential.
Communication can be defined on many different levels. Ideally, a great roofer will not be afraid to communicate openly with you, even with things that you might not want to hear! They will communicate what they can and can’t do with you. Also, what is communicated verbally will also be reflected in a quote or contract. They will communicate everything to you in a clear way both written and verbally.
Additionally, they will be very prompt in their communications. They will be quick to respond to emails and phone calls, and if a call is missed, will quickly return your call.
A Great Roofing Contractor Is A Good Communicator
The great roofer will be quick to follow up with you and return calls. They are detailed in their communications and won’t shy away from giving you news that you might not want to hear.
A Horrible Roofing Contractor Is A Poor Communicator
They take ages to return calls or emails and can often just disappear on you. When talking with them, they will be very vague when answering questions. They will pretty much tell you anything you want to hear in order to get the contract and then suddenly be next to impossible to get in touch with.
Choosing a great roofing contractor can be daunting, but a closer look into areas such as: references, accreditation, locality, insurance, and communication, can give you better insights into being able to spot the differences between a great roofing contractor and a lousy one.
Of course, we here at County Roofing Systems consider ourselves great roofers! We are always happy to discuss new projects. Feel free to contact us for a free estimate at:
or via email at: