The roof of your house is one of the first defenses your home has against the elements. Making sure your roof is in tip-top shape helps protect and extend the life of your home, and make it worth more should you sell.
If issues pop up, such as missing tiles, leaks, or serious damage such as the aftermath of a tree falling on the roof, it’s imperative that you hire a roofing contractor right away. Fixing roof damage early can prevent further damage to your home’s interior.
In this three-part article, Part 1 discusses when to hire a roofing contractor, Part 2 provides information on how to find a qualified roofing contractor, and Part 3 shares steps on how to hire a roofing contractor.
Part 1 of 3: How to decide if you need a roofing contractor
Do you know when to call in a roofing contractor? A roofing contractor, also known as a “roofer,” specializes in roof construction. They are the ones to call when you need just about anything related to a roof, from minor repairs to complete reconstruction.
Some of the times you will need to call in a roofing contractor include:
- Roof inspections
- General maintenance, including replacing missing shingles
- Repair leaks
- Makeover of roof, such as completely new shingles
- Severe damage, such as a hole
It can be helpful to locate a roofing contractor before issues arise. You don’t need one more thing on your to-do list during a crisis. Take the time to find a quality roofing contractor that you can call during an emergency or for routine maintenance work. Keep his or her contact information handy with other home professionals, such as your plumber and electrician.
Part 2 of 3: Steps to find a qualified roofing contractor
When hiring any service person to work on your home, you want to ensure they are qualified to do the job. This is especially important when you want to find a roofing contractor.
Step 1 of 2: Ask around. One way you can save some research time is to ask your friends, family members, or co-workers for recommendations.
Don’t just ask who they’ve had success with; also ask who they may not recommend - and why. This can help you remove some possibilities from your list.
Another resource, especially if you recently purchased your home, is your realtor. They often have several great recommendations for contractors they trust.
Step 2 of 2: Go online. To find a roofing contractor in your area, check out the resources below:
Part 3 of 3: Steps to take in hiring a roofing contractor
Once you have found roofers in your area, it’s time to start the process of hiring the right one for your needs:
Step 1 of 8: Narrow down your results. Reduce your results to about three options.
If your initial research from Part 2 resulted in several options, try to narrow down your options to a maximum of three. An easy way to do so is by checking reviews online on such websites as Google
Step 2: Review their references. Once you’ve narrowed down your options to three or fewer possibilities, take the time to review their references.
One way to do so is through checking their reviews as noted in Step 1. You can also ask the roofing contractor if they have anyone you can speak with about their work.
Step 3: Check the license. It’s a good idea to work with licensed and bonded contractors, so be sure to verify that the roofing contractor is licensed, that the license is current, and that they hold all of the necessary insurance and bonds so you are protected in case of damage or need for litigation.
Not all states have the same licensing requirements, so be sure to check what licensing your state requires
first with your local government.
Step 4: Find out if they subcontract. Some contractors use other contractors to perform some work. Before you hire a roofing contractor, find out if they plan to subcontract out your work. If they do, be sure to fully research the subcontracted company before you go ahead.
Step 5: Ask about any warranties. A warranty on work done, and even parts used, can provide peace of mind on roof repairs.
Find out if the roofing contractor provides any warranty on parts or actual repairs done.
Step 6: Schedule an interview. If you have time and are locating a roofing contractor before you have problems, take the time to schedule a quick interview with your possible candidates at your home.
Get a feel for them and have them look at your property and tell you if they have the capabilities to handle your roofing needs.
Step 7: Don’t hire on price. While it may be tempting to go with the lowest bidder, remember that often the more qualified and experienced the contractor, the higher the value they provide - so their rates may be more.
Often, paying a little more in the short-term can result in long-term quality. There is a reason contractors receive master certifications.
At the same time, the highest price bid doesn’t necessarily equate to the most qualified, so be sure to take into consideration a contractor’s experience at the same as the rate.
Step 8: Hire the best. Once you have done all of your research and followed the previous steps, you should be able to confidently hire the best, most qualified roofing contractor in your area.
Protect one of your biggest investments, your home, by taking the time to find and hire a qualified roofing contractor. One important item to keep in mind is that your homeowner’s insurance may cover repairs
to your roof, so be sure to contact them before hiring someone to repair damage that could be covered. Keep your insurance rates low by working to prevent damage from occurring to your home.