Through The Eyes of the Child Initiative | What To Ask Your Roofing Contractor?
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What To Ask Your Roofing Contractor?

You’ve just bought a new house, which is a bit of a fixer-upper, or your old house needs some work done. You might also be building a new house, and you’re concerned about the literal roof over your head. Buying a top-class roof is the easy part. Hiring a roofing contractor or a roofing company is the hard part. The utility of your roof depends on the installation of the roof thus making it imperative to choose wisely.

What is a Roofing Contractor?

A roofing contractor is a professional that specializes in constructing roofs. Their job description includes repair, replacement, and installation of roofs using a variety of materials. It’s a physically demanding job, involving heavy lifting, climbing, kneeling and bending, often in very hot weather.

The Difference Between a Roofing Contractor, Roofer, and Company

  • Roofing contractor

They are a licensed professional who can take on different personas, which we will discuss later. They generally work themselves, although he might occasionally subcontract the work to other contractors. The contractor could also be working for a roofing company.

  • Roofer

This is a blanket term for someone who works on roofs. They may or may not be licensed or may not specialize in roofs. They could also be employed by a roofing company. It’s very important to clarify the “roofer’s” qualifications and their working methods to avoid any mishaps.

  • Roofing Company

A roofing company has multiple specialties, one of them being roofing. They have the resources to hire a crew of licensed roofers. They stay longer in the industry, thus allowing you to rely on them for years to come. Companies like these also give warranties on their service and products and keep outsourcing crew to a minimum. The more reputable the company, the more reputable the crew, since they’re more likely to conduct background checks on their employees. A company, although more reliable, shouldn’t be chosen for a job blindly. Look at reviews and references to make sure they’re right for you

Why You Should Choose a Roofing Contractor?

If you don’t want to spend too much on your roof, but still need a licensed professional to do the job, you should consider hiring a roofing contractor. A roofing contractor is a reliable and most likely local, who can come to inspect your house easier than a company whose office may be located quite a distance from your suburban area.

What You Should Look Out For?

The following tips are an aid to make sure you choose the right, qualified contractor for your project.

  • Local contractor

As mentioned before, having a local contractor is not only benefits you during emergency situations but also allows you to find referrals and establish an accurate estimation of their reputation and quality of work. Warranty periods are a finicky business. Often companies that do the job and guarantee tantalizing warranty give just vanish, no honoring the warranty agreement.

  • Cost

The cost of a company’s service is not a direct reflection of its quality or integrity. An expensive company may use expensive materials but have poor workmanship, below average warranty.

  • Scammers

Scammers canvas the area and approach potential victims with a. “we were in the area”. They’ll most likely conclude that your roof has storm damage and will pressure you to sign a letter of intent. However, do not succumb. Wait until contracts are drawn up and proceed cautiously.

  • Written job details

Preferably, do not pay any advance fees for the project. Discuss terms of payment and make sure you’re satisfied with the job. Your satisfaction should come first.

  • Communication

Has the contractor been keeping in touch with you and being responsive towards your questions? If they don’t then you should either try to pursue the issue with their company representatives or walk away from the proposal.

A Roofing Checklist

A roofing contractor is qualified to identify the problem areas of your roof and plot out the recommended course of action. The contractor could notice issues that may not be visible to unseasoned eyes, so a regularly scheduled inspection is always recommended.

  • Flashing

The flashing around sensitive areas like chimneys and skylights need to be a top priority in an inspection

  • Skylights

Checking other the seals between glazing bars and skylight glass is also recommended. Often the contractor only needs to use a special sealant to repair the damage.

  • Ventilation

There are three types of vents; Soft, ridge, and gable. The former two do require too much attention and repair. However, gable vents are a perfect spot for pests like rodents and insects to squeeze in. The inspection could take place from inside the house, that is the attic, and from outside as well.

Questions You Need to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

The following are topics you should inquire about before accepting a proposal and singing a contract.

  • Longevity of a company

The longer they’ve been in business; the more experience they have. A company owner must generate roofing leads and have at least ten years under their belt.

  • License

Always ask for a license and to see the physical copy of it. It’s a requirement of the law in most places but is also a requirement for you if you want a quality job.

  • Accidents

Roofing is a physically demanding and risky business. A short lapse of judgment could lead to workers falling off the roof or even damage to your house. Insurance is always recommended for workers, or you’d have to foot their medical bills.

  • Flaking

Some laws require a contractor to be bonded, preventing him from abandoning the job, or finding someone else to do it. They must also take responsibility for paying their own crew, take care of permits and cover any damage caused to your property caused by them or their crew.

  • Training of crew

Confirm that the crew is specialists in their jobs. Otherwise, you risk the chance of accidents and property damage.

  • The physical address of the business

A business needs to have a physical address to make sure they’re legitimate contractors and not scammers. This also allows you to track them down if things go wrong and they flake out on you.

  • References

Always ask for references as it’s important to know if the previous clientele is satisfied with their job. Moreover, the quality and the lifespan of their work shines through in older clients.

The list of things to ask and confirm a contractor is endless, it just depends on how involved you would like to be in the process. The outlined are the bare minimum you could do to get a reliable contractor who would do a good job for a reasonable price.