Whether your roof needs relatively small repairs or a complete overhaul, choosing a professional, reputable, honest and customer-focused roofing contractor is not just important: it is essential!
To help you make a rewarding choice — and avoid a regrettable one — here are seven tips to keep in mind as you evaluate roofing contractors, and ultimately determine which one is worthy of your trust:
1. Verify Certification, Licensing and Insurance
Before you even consider inviting a roofing contractor to provide you with a quote, verify that they have obtained all required certification, licensing and insurance. In the state of Florida, this includes:
Before moving onto the next tip, you may be wondering: "Do I really need to spend a little time to verify all of these things? Aren't all roofing contractors properly certified, licensed and insured?" Unfortunately, the answer is NO. Not only will you likely end up with shoddy work that ends up costing you thousands of dollars to fix, but you will be personally responsible for any damage caused to any other part of your property (or your neighbors' property). In fact, in Florida it is against the law to hire an unlicensed roofer, and doing so could cost you up to $5,000 in fines.
2. Choose a Local Roofing Contractor
There are two critical reasons why you want to choose a local roofing contractor. The first reason is that you want your roofing contractor to be completely aware of all local rules and code regulations. The second reason you want to be able to contact other homeowners in your community who have worked with that roofing contractor and will provide you with feedback on their experience.
3. Confirm Who is Doing the Work
Imagine going to a restaurant and after placing your order, you discover that the waitress walks to the restaurant across the street to buy the food, and then comes back and re-sells it to you. Well, that is basically what many roofing contractors do: they sub-contract the work to third parties who are not ultimately accountable to you, the customer. This is a big red flag!
Make sure that you only choose a roofing company that provides its own experienced workforce vs. uses sub-contractors. You want and are entitled to know that the professionals working on your roof repair are accountable to you at all times, and that they have passed pre-employment drug testing as well as verification of employment eligibility through the US E-VERIFY PROGRAM.
4. Beware of High Down Payment Demands
A legitimate and reputable roofing contractor will typically ask for a minimal down payment in the 5-10% range. Demand for a high down payment could be an indication of a roofing contractor's financial instability.
5. Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions!
Repairing or replacing a roof is not an impulse buy (like those goodies they always put at the checkout line in the grocery store!). It is an investment in what is likely your most valuable asset: your home. As such, you want to be educated and make an informed decision.
A roofing contractor that you can trust will gladly answer all of your questions and encourage you to learn as much as you can about aspects like schedules, materials, warranties, and so on. Conversely, a roofing contractor that is reluctant or unwilling to answer your questions is demonstrating that they are not customer focused and/or that they are incompetent.
6. Pay Attention to Communication
How a roofing contractor communicates with you during the early stages is a good indication of what you can expect once the work starts. If they are professional, responsive, respectful and focused on your needs vs. theirs, then you are going to be in good shape. On the other hand, if they are pushy, impolite or unresponsive, then you should not ignore these warnings — because they are a sign of what is to come.
7. Get Everything in Writing
Last but not least, a roofing contractor you can trust will put everything in writing, including aspects such as schedule, scope, materials, safety procedures, liability, workers' compensation, payment amounts (and due dates, if installment payments are part of the agreement), and clean-up methods.
The Bottom Line
Choosing a roofing contractor is an important decision. However, it does not need to be a stressful one. By keeping all of the above in mind, you will be able to separate roofing contractors who are worthy of your consideration, from those who should be avoided at all costs.
Manson Roofing: Checking Every Box!
If you have questions about your roof or would like us to provide you with a quote, contact us today at 941-957-3532 (Sarasota) or 941-748-5547 (Manatee). Or, you can send a note by filling in the form on our contact page. Discover why at Manson Roofing "We Install Confidence!"