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Choosing the Best Roofing Contractor

How to Choose Your Roofing Contractor

Minor leaks with a season's first rain. Major damage caused by an unseasonable storm. Whatever your roofing needs, large or small, you need a professional roofing contractor you can trust. A contractor who will provide you with sound advice on products, reasonable explanations of procedures and, most importantly, solid results.

Step 1: Where to Begin?

A roofing system is a complex combination of elements; the success of which depends on the quality of shingles, installation and overall construction. There are many ways to start. You can begin by searching for the roofing contractor who meets your individual needs; referrals are obviously the best source for names of credible companies. Ask friends and family members whom they have used in the past and contact your local Better Business Bureau about roofing contractors who are active in the community.

Step 2: Meeting and Evaluating Potential Contractors.

A professional contractor will be happy to provide any information you may require. Many homeowners are mystified by the seeming lack of interest and response from the contractors they call. To get a roofer to respond to your call, tell him you are shopping around but are only interviewing three contractors, not ten. A contractor is shopping for good jobs that will make a fair profit and bring future referrals. Set up a meeting to discuss your needs and their qualifications, and be sure to pay close attention to the attitude of the company representative. Good contractors take pride in their work and will be enthusiastic about the possibility of helping you with your roofing needs. If you feel confident that the contractor is truly interested in your project, ask for the company's vital statistics — specific business information that will help you make your final decision.

Business Name and Address

A good, professional contractor will provide you with the company's permanent business address and telephone number. These are essential when checking the company's previous business dealings.

Licensing/Bonding

Some states require special licensing for roofing contractors. Ask for business license numbers and information on the company, which bonds the contractor. Then, check with local authorities to see that the company complies with regulations.

Professional References

Your contractor's past can help determine your future. Ask for credit references, banking information and a list of completed projects, including names and telephone numbers of previous clients.

Insurance Coverage

A contractor should carry workman's compensation and general liability insurance. Request the name and address of the insurance carrier, along with a copy of the company's insurance certificate. Beware of low bids, which are a result of incomplete insurance coverage and workman's compensation.

Company Philosophy

Discuss application techniques and workmanship guarantees. Does the contractor stand behind his work?

STEP 3: Utilizing the Contractor’s Product Knowledge

Your contractor should have up-to-date knowledge on quality products for your project. He or she is the best source of information, but you should play an active role in the product-selection process. Ask questions about different shingles, such as brand name, life span, thickness, design, available colors and warranties. Selecting the best products is as important to your job as selecting the right contractor.

STEP 4: Understanding and Negotiating the Contract

Prior to drafting a contract, most roofing contractors will provide you with either an estimate or a proposal. An estimate typically provides a generically described product, a color and no options. A proposal offers more detail with a choice of products by brand names, price services and designs. A contractor who takes the time to prepare a good proposal will most likely do a more thorough roofing job. Get it in writing.

Building Permits

What's necessary? Consider local ordinance and cost-posting requirements.

Warranties

Including both workmanship and product.

Right-to-Rescind

Providing the right to cancel the contract without penalty within a set period of time.

STEP 5: Sit Back and Relax

A little bit of well-planned research up front will undoubtedly save you a lot of time and trouble later on. Once you feel confident that you have the best contractor, the best product and the best value, simply relax and let your contractor do his job. Do, however, monitor the progress of your project to be certain your contractor lives up to his superior reputation.

Gold Star Construction and Roofing, Inc. hopes this information has been helpful, and we look forward to hearing from you in the future. We would like to say thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.