The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive hurricane season in US history. 17 major storms cost over $200 billion dollars in damages.
Storms cost a lot of money in infrastructure damage but what about the cost of damage to your home? The average roof costs between $4,900 and $14,100 to replace. For the price, you want to make sure you’re hiring the best roofing company for the job.
Whether you’re replacing your roof because of storm damage or it’s just time for an upgrade, you should know a few things before choosing the company that does the work.
Following these 9 tips will ensure you hire a competent and experienced contractor that won’t cost you money in the long run. Keep reading to find out what you should be looking for.
Look at References or Reviews for the Best Roofing Company
84% of people trust online reviews just as much as they trust a personal recommendation.
With all the review platforms out there, you can get a good sense of the company you’re hiring. You can find out about their cost, customer service, and whether they back up their work with a guarantee you can count on.
You can also ask for references from past work. Give those customers a call to find out what they have to say about the company and their quality for work.
Look for a company that’s been working in your community for a long time. With an established company, you’re avoiding the door-to-door roofers that may be trying to scam you.
If the company has been serving your community for a long time, you can count on them to be around to uphold their warranties. Going with new companies risks that they may not last to take care of any future issues that should be covered. They may not have the experience needed to do a good job either.
Local companies are also more knowledgeable when it comes to the local building code and regulations.
Check for Manufacturer Designations and Certification
A good company will be happy to share any manufacturer’s designations or other certifications with you. It shows they’re trained and experienced.
These designations tell you that your contractor is meeting a set of minimum requirements. Depending on the designation or certification, the requirements vary. Check what they mean and what requirements had to be met to qualify.
Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
As a rule, if you can’t find a potential contractor on the BBB, don’t hire them. They may be contractors that decided to take advantage of a recent storm or natural disaster.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
Roofing is among the most dangerous jobs in the US. Check that your company insures their employees and sub-contractors with worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
If anybody should be hurt, you don’t want to pay for those expenses or deal with workplace safety.
You can also ask the company about additional safety training they provide to their employees. A company who takes care of their employees is a company you want to work with.
Be Aware of Potential Insurance Fraud
If your roof was damaged in a storm, you have to pay your deductible before having any work done. You also have to handle your own insurance claim.
Contractors who tell you they’ll do the repair without you paying the deductible are committing insurance fraud. This can get you into a lot of trouble.
The same can be said for contractors who offer to take care of your insurance claim. Most states make it illegal for a contractor to handle an insurance claim for a homeowner.
Make Sure Your Roofer Is Licensed
The majority of states require roofing contractors to be licensed. Ask the company for a copy of their license.
You can confirm that the license is in good standing online.
Know What Materials Are Available to You
Roofing materials can include asphalt, wood, metal, plastic, clay, slate, among many others. The material you need is dependent on where you live and what your budget is.
Your roofing contractor should offer you options and discuss the following with you:
- How long the material will last, inclusive of your climate
- How much it will cost today and how much potential damage could cost
- How well the material will hold up against weather and events like fire
- How energy efficient the material is
- Aesthetic-matching to the rest of your home that considers
Your roof has a big impact on the resale value of your home. You want to make sure that your roofing material increases the value of your home.
Don’t Choose Based on Price
Price shouldn’t be your first consideration when choosing your roofing company. Good contractors have to include insurance, overhead and paying their employees well when providing a quote.
Going with the cheapest contractor might cost you more in the end. If they disappear and can’t fix problems, or do a poor job, you’re going to pay more than what you would have had you chosen the best roofing company for the job.
They Shouldn’t Pressure You to Sign Anything
Storm-chasing roofers are roofers that come in the wake of storms looking for work. Beware of these roofers.
If you’re told you have to sign a letter of intent, don’t sign anything. You’re never obligated to sign an intent letter.
Some contractors will tell you that they’ll work their costs according to what the insurance company will give you. They’ll pressure you to sign a contract before your insurance company gives an estimate. Don’t sign a contract until you’ve received your estimate from insurance.
When you do sign a contract, it should cover an accurate and full description of the work, the price including materials and labor, and what the timeframe for completing the work is.