Roofing is a major investment, and it’s important to take the time to make sure you are choosing the right one for your needs. This blog post contains 10 factors that should be considered when deciding on a roofer.
1. Roofer’s Licensing and Insurance
Make sure the roofer you choose is licensed by your municipality. Check with your local government or better business bureau to verify the Roofer’s license number, address and whether there are any complaints against them. Roofing work can be dangerous, so make sure they have proper insurance in place that covers worker’s compensation (if applicable) and general liability. This will protect you if something goes wrong with the installation of your roof (such as injury).
Ask for references from previous customers who were satisfied with their workmanship and price/quality ratio (You don’t want to get quotes from friends or family members!). Call them up or stop by to talk with the Roofer in person to make sure that their work is up to par. A Roofer’s price should be perhaps 10-15% higher than a Roofer who only does the basic job and may not use as much high-quality material, but you will likely notice better craftsmanship with prices closer to the upper range of your budget.
3. Roofer’s Skill Set: Make Sure They’re Licensed forYour Project!
It’s important that the Roofer you hire has experience with projects similar to yours, especially if it involves big structural changes! If a Roofer claims they can handle a big job like adding an extra floor or significant re-siding work, but then later tells you they actually aren’t licensed to do that work, you’ll be glad you checked before signing their contract.
When it comes time to get the Roofer started on your project, ask them to provide a list of past jobs that are similar to yours, as well as any licenses and permits they would need when doing the job (getting this information ahead of time prevents having to make last minute calls or emails.)
4. Roofer’s Reputation
You’d like to think every Roofer business is run by honest people who have your best interest at heart… but unfortunately not all roofing companies live up to those standards! Sometimes Roofer’s can take advantage of customers who don’t know what questions should be asked about a Roofer or their quotes. Don’t be afraid to ask Roofer’s questions when getting a quote– they should have no problem explaining their qualifications and giving you price estimates. You’re looking for Roofer’s who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure that you get what you want!
5. Roofer’s Relationships with Suppliers
Good Roofer’s will maintain relationships with key suppliers, so that they can offer high quality products at the best possible prices (for example, not only does your Roofer need to know how much material is going into an average roof, but also where it came from.) The best Roofer’s will spend a significant amount of time researching when choosing which materials to use on your project. Not all Roofing companies will have the same suppliers and Roofer’s who do will generally get better prices because the supplier trusts them to make sure that they are ordering the right number of materials. Roofer’s who know what they’re doing can offer you a great price simply because they already have good relationships with their suppliers!
6. Roofer’s Industry Experience (or lack thereof)
Roofing is a trade, not a “learn on the job” kind of profession– Roofer’s need to start out as apprentices before working independently. Without proper training, Roofer’s may cut corners or use shoddy workmanship without your knowledge, so it’s important that your Roofer has at least 5 years of industry experience under their belt when taking on your project. Roofer’s who learn the trade through an apprenticeship generally have a better idea of industry standards, and can offer you a Roofer that has been properly trained in the basics of roofing.
Completing an apprenticeship program takes time and commitment to one Roofer company– so Roofer’s that don’t undergo such training are likely only looking to make quick money. Even though they’re working independently (which means they can offer lower prices than Roofer’s with years of experience), it may not be worth your while since their work may not meet the quality you want for your home or business!
7. Roofer’s Reputation within Their Industry
Industries operate on a “reputation” system– your Roofer’s Roofer needs to know that if he gives you a Roofer that doesn’t do quality work, his reputation will suffer down the road because of it! Roofer’s that are known for having high standards within their industry (such as Roofer who have been in business for years or Roofer’s with significant experience) generally get positive feedback from customers and Roofer’s. It stands to reason we would then want to hire Roofer’s who are known to be hardworking and reliable.
It can be helpful when speaking with Roofer’s references to ask about how they think other Roofer’s view the company– most people in industries talk amongst each other, so your source is likely trying to tell you something. Good Roofer’s take pride in their Roofer’s continuing education, industry involvement and Roofer’s work overall.