How to Choose a Contractor
After you have compiled a list of possible contractors, take time to evaluate each one carefully. A professional contractor will be happy to provide any information you may require.
Many homeowners have been mystified by the seeming lack of interest and response from the contractors they call. To get a contractor to respond to your call, tell him you are shopping around but are only interviewing three contractors, not ten.
Check out our 6 “insider” tips on finding a contractor you’ll feel good about and get the service you deserve from someone who says they’re the best.
Tip #1. Choosing the right Contractor usually means not choosing the cheapest bid – most of the time.
Occasionally the better roofing contractor does have the lowest price, for whatever reason. (Like when one of the in-laws needs a new roof.) But it’s the exception to the rule. For example, sometimes accidents happen to like a salesperson mistakenly measures a top too small – and then a homeowner is the beneficiary of a too-small price.
There’s a reason why cheap companies are cheap. They may be just starting. To make up for shortfalls, it’s tempting to take shortcuts (like neglecting rotted wood). A more affordable roofer may use inferior materials, not pay their workers enough (or not at all), or ask for more money when the job’s underway. It’s no fun working for nothing – and the frustration may be reflected in the roofing company’s quality of work. The novice is learning at your expense. Though everybody has to start somewhere, you don’t need to feel guilty for not being the guinea pig.
Tip # 2. Use a Contractor that’s “local,” especially after a bad storm.
A quality roofer familiar with your area will get the correct permits. They’ll be familiar with local roofing installation codes and procedures, including homeowner association specifications. And they’ll also know about local trends in roof styles and products and building materials in general.
Local roofers know local weather peculiarities also – that’s important! Also, reputable local area roofers have strong affiliations with local suppliers and insurance agents, which means faster and better service – priceless when a terrible storm blows through. And, of course, local companies will still be around to honor their warranty when the storm-chasers return home.
Tip # 3. A good relationship with suppliers and vendors is a common trait with good roofing companies.
(As we’ve previously mentioned.) It’s not a bad idea to talk to the roofer about this. See who they do business with and how long they’ve been doing it. Some homeowners call up roofing suppliers to get a recommendation for a roofer. But you can also call them to evaluate further and substantiate a roofer you may already have in mind.
Well-established roofing companies usually go back good ways with most suppliers, with long-term friendships that transcend traditional business protocol. These relationships are invaluable when you’re a contractor in a pinch and need a favor.
Tip # 4. Regardless of who answers the line, say no to roofing companies with lousy phone manners.
You’ve probably heard that whoever answers the phone reflects the company, and it’s usually true. It’s an indicator sometimes of how your roof project will go. A good company isn’t a drag to work for, and they care about phone etiquette. If your call is an inconvenience to them, it’s time to move on.
When you contact the roofing company, don’t be surprised if they ask many questions. (That’s another good sign!) Tell them your project concerns and whatever’s on your mind. The more info you provide, the better they can assist you. Don’t worry about asking stupid questions (there’s no such thing with good company).
Tip # 5. An excellent roofing company will be happy to help you out, whether your project is big or small.
They’ve been in business long enough to appreciate the fact that every job, even the most minor repair, is essential. And an excellent roofing company is usually genuinely interested in helping you get your problems solved, whether it’s offering some free advice over the phone or pointing you in the right direction. In addition, roofing companies who’ve been around a long time have seen over and over that everything they do could easily lead to something bigger down the line. Like getting a tip for a new roof from someone whose chimney they caulked or winning a big contract simply because a ‘passerby’ heard a job supervisor say yes ma’am and no ma’am.
Tip # 6. A good roofing company will almost always address the possibility of rotten wood before starting your job.
From years of experience, a good roofer can foresee possible trouble areas on the house with just a cursory look at the surface area of your roof – which can minimize surprises to a large degree. But, of course, there’s no way to know everything until the top is peeled off. That’s why most reputable roofing companies usually insist on removing the old roof, down to the wood, before nailing on the new.
If You need to schedule maintenance, please, feel free to call us, and we’ll set an appointment for you.