Hiring a roofing contractor can be a stressful undertaking. Before you begin your search, be prepared with the help of Hometown Roofing. Below, we outline some tips, so you’ll have the information you need to save time and money.
1. Plan Your Project
Before you begin searching for a roofing contractor, you need to have a general idea of what you want to be accomplished. This can be as simple as “new shingle installation” or “repair my cedar shakes.” Knowing what service you want will aid in your search for contractors who specialize in that project.
Next, write out all the necessary project information your contractor may need to know, including:
- square footage
- desired materials
- budgetary constraints
Learn more about roofing projects and what to expect:
- A Beginner's Guide to Roof Repairs
- The Ultimate Shingle Roofing Guide
- Metal Roofing FAQs: Everything You Need to Know
2. Get Local Referrals
Choosing a contractor that's based in your community reduces the chance of scams or other issues as they’ve hopefully built up a solid reputation. They will also be more familiar with code regulations, local rules, and established relationships with area suppliers.
Don't hesitate to ask neighbors and friends or family in the area about their experiences with contractors and which ones they would recommend.
3. Check Manufacturer Designations
Contractors who have passed certain minimum requirements receive manufacturer designations, making them factory certified.
These designations are a good way to determine the quality of craftsmanship and the contractor's familiarity with supplier products.
Manufacturers like GAF and CertainTeed offer premium designations that are offered to a small percentage of contractors.
4. Verify the Contractor’s License
Always be sure to hire a contractor who is licensed, insured, and bonded.
Depending on the scope and cost of the project, not all states will require a licensed contractor. Others only require contractors to be registered.
If your state does require a license, always make sure the contractor you hire has the proper licensing.
5. Require a Written Contract
Always get a written contract from contractors you hire. This ensures there will be no surprises.
The contract should outline…
- what work will be done
- the material and equipment that will be used
- a payment schedule
- a timetable for completion
Before signing the contract, make sure you completely understand what it's saying. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification from your contractor.
KEEP READING: What Your Roofing Warranty Covers
6. Know Your Materials
Knowledge is power when it comes to choosing materials. A contractor who only offers a few roofing materials does not have your best interest in mind. The style and color of the material you choose will affect the resale value of your home, so keep these factors in mind.
By doing a small amount of research beforehand, you’ll save yourself the stress of wondering if you made the right decision later.
7. Don’t Give in to Pressure
Beware of contractors who attempt to make you sign a contract before the insurance company has estimated the damage.
Some roofers will say they can work within whatever amount the insurance company settles on. However, homeowners need to make sure it’s the correct amount.
The contractor should thoroughly inspect the home and double check to see that the insurance agent didn’t miss any damages.
8. Make Payments as Work Gets Completed
Set up a payment schedule that mirrors the amount of work being completed, and don’t be pressured into paying for work that isn't done or that you’re unhappy with.
Asking for a small deposit or a payment schedule are common and accepted practices, but never pay for the entire cost upfront.
If your roofer asks for large upfront payments, don’t sign the contract. They may say they need the large initial payment for materials, but an experienced contractor who works regularly should have what they need.