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How do you tell a trustworthy contractor from a cowboy? A seasoned professional from a storm chaser?
You need to know the difference. Roofing jobs cost thousands of dollars, and a poor job that needs fixing the next year can be financially ruinous.
We’ve put together 4 features of reputable contractors to help you establish whether you’re working with the right people. Let’s go!
1. Comprehensive Inspections
You’ll typically book a roofing inspection when you already suspect that there’s a problem. A jobbing fly-by-night roofer will take a brief look at the issue, confirm that you need work done, and give you a quote.
By contrast, a seasoned expert will look at everything that could be wrong with your roof. They’re less interested in making a quick buck than in providing you with repairs that will stand the test of time.
This can feel counterintuitive – wouldn’t a con artist try to take you for as much as possible?
Not in this case. Full roof replacements are a lengthy job, and the longer they stick around, the more likely it is that you’ll start questioning their work. Cowboy roofers generally want to do a quick in-and-out job, collect their payment, and move along before you realize you’ve been left with half-baked repairs.
A comprehensive inspection from an honest roofer will address any problems you’ve already noticed, but you’ll also receive free advice on problems that may require attention soon. You should receive a full report, not just a confirmation that you need to hand over your cash.
2. Local Credentials
It’s a no-brainer to check your roofer’s rating on Google Maps and other review websites.
The first question is – do they have any reviews? Sure, everyone has to start somewhere. But if there are fewer than 10 reviews across the entire internet, that’s a red flag.
It’s fine if there are a couple of negative reviews among 200 positive ones. We’re not asking for perfection – we’re asking for authenticity.
Another good sign is when the roofer responds to reviews and seeks to address any issues. This means you won’t be left high and dry if there are any ongoing problems.
3. Honest Advice
Say you’re planning to upgrade your roof, but you haven’t settled on a material. Who do you go to for advice?
Slate is gorgeous but expensive. Asphalt is cheap and cheerful, but less durable. Tile is a happy middle ground, but doesn’t always fit your neighborhood aesthetic.
Not all roofing companies provide all products, of course. But a good contractor will discuss your budget, how well your house will take to a certain material, and why each material might be appropriate – for example, if you’re trying to boost your property’s value before you sell it.
A frank, honest discussion should cost nothing. It should help you make an informed decision. And any good roofer should be happy to have this conversation.
4. Licensed, Bonded, and Insured
The gold standard for roofing contractors is to be licensed, bonded, and insured. But what does this mean?
- Licensing means that the contractor is permitted to perform roofing work in your area. This is essential!
- Bonded means that the roofer accepts financial and legal liability for anything going wrong while the work is performed.
- Insured means that you and the contractor are covered if there should be an injury or other accidental damage during the job.
Licensing and insurance are the most important of these. A bonded contractor is a significant plus. Check your contractor’s credentials before work begins!
It shouldn’t be that hard to find a first-class local contractor.
The good news: is it isn’t! Now you know what to look for.
Book your next roofing inspection with confidence!