When you have an issue with the roof on your house, anything from a loose shingle to a complete roof replacement you want to make sure that such an important part of your house is dealt with not by a good contractor; you want excellence, you want the best contractor available. What is it that separates roofing contractors, how do you know you actually are getting the best? There are some critical guidelines that you should follow to ensure that you do get the cream of the crop.
License: Anybody can say they are a professional roofing contractor but only real professionals can support their statement with a license. A licensed contractor will have gone through various stages in his career and earned the credential. Many of the criteria associated with gaining professional recognition are aimed at preventing fraud. Get the license information from the contractor and verify it is valid.
Proof of insurance: Make sure the contractor is insured and is covered in accordance with state law. The quality contractors are fully covered with liability insurance and workers comp and they can provide you with copies of their cover upon your asking. The cover note from the insurance company will show the amount of insurance they carry and who the insurance companies are.
If one of the contractor’s workers is injured while working on your roof you may find yourself liable for any costs. If you check your homeowner’s policy you will probably find that it excludes injuries to workers which should be covered by a contractors workers comp policy.
Check with the BBB: Contractors that are listed with the Better Business Bureau will have all the good points and bad points open for scrutiny. Look into the contractor’s record, look at the seriousness of any complaints and how they were handled and then ask yourself whether the positives trump the negatives.
Years in business: of course everybody has to start somewhere but there is a lot to be said about experience. Statistically 30 percent of new business start-ups fail in the first three years; if your candidate has more than three years under his belt then chances are the contractor is worth further investigation. Ask the candidate for a list of satisfied customers and call a few, if you ask and the contractor appears to be uncomfortable, move on to the next one.
Always insist on a face-to-face meeting with contractors, in many cases your gut feel will point you in the right direction. There are little things as well as the big things mentioned; does he answer the phone professionally, does he take time to answer all your questions and is he prepared to give a solid, written quote?
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