Residential Roofing Checklist
Residential Roofing Checklist
For most home owners, a new roof is a major investment. The primary resident represents the biggest asset for most home owners. So when you need to update the structural covering of your largest asset, what questions should you ask before selecting a contractor?
First thing to note – getting estimates is the easiest part. Most contractors won’t volunteer unfavorable information, – it is in the best interest of the homeowner to ask the right questions and verify references. The cheapest quote is not always the best value. The following is a few questions that you should ask and any reputable company/contract should be able to provide to you to ensure that you get the best roof for your money.
Everyone has seen the news stories of contractors being paid upfront and then vanishing. Or contractor who were nice during the sales job but horrible to work with. The best way to protect yourself and your investment is to ask for references and check on them.
When asking for a reference it is best to ask for the last three whose projects were similar to yours. Also ask for at least a couple of references from the last 3 years. The latter references will allow you to get a sense of how the company operates and supports their clients after the fact. Most importantly, you have to actually check the references. A lot of people ask for references but do not actually call and follow up.
How Long Has the Residential Roofing Contractor Been in Business?
With any trade or skill, the longer you’ve been in business the more things you have seen and experience. This is the case with the roofing business and especially in North Texas where you have temperature extremes and lots hail, wind and the works. A roofer’s longevity is a good indicator of their quality and service. A residential roofing company can’t stay in business for 20 or 30 years, unless it develops a strong and trusted customer base.
Proof of Insurance
As the say “Accidents happen.” It is important that the prospective residential roofing contractor carry commercial liability insurance to protect their clients from unforeseen events that can occur during a project. Ask to see their policy and contact the insurer to verify that the policy is still in force.
Special Qualifications and Training
Some materials require special training and certification. The manufacturer may require that a residential roofing company have staff certified before they are official allowed to install their products. Why is this important? Well first, if the materials are installed by a non-certified technician, the material warranty may be void. Additionally, the benefit to certification is that the proper procedures are followed. Even if a contract has been in business for many years but has not handled that specific material, there is a higher change that something will go wrong. In general, a certified contractor increases your odds at getting the product on your roof while ensuring that the warranty will not be voided.
Ask for a Copy of the Manufacturer’s Warranty
Ask the residential roofing contractor to provide a copy of the roofing material manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty provides you with the complete details regarding the warranty. This includes your rights concerning a defective roofing product and materials. Also the warranty will detail circumstances that can void the warranty. For example, not performing regular preventative maintenance or improper installation processes by the contractor ( wrong type of fasteners or adhesives).
Does the roofing contractor offer an additional warranty? If so, find out how long the warranty is in effect and what it covers. Reputable contractors offer workmanship warranties that cover issues arising from installation methods. Generally this warranty should be at minimum one year.
Scope of Work
It is important to have a detailed scope of work. This represents the agreed upon scope of services for the project. Many times the contract’s quote will include the scope of work. If it does not or has limited information, ask for a detailed one. You want to have a detailed list of items and services to be performed. This eliminates the age old, “You said…”. The scope of work protects both you and the contractor.
Industry Memberships and Affiliations
Many trade organizations and professional associations have requirements for their members. These requirements may include holding specific certifications and education requirements. Additionally some organizations provide conflict resolution options for members and their clients.
For example, the Better Business Bureau provides a rating for all its member businesses. Ask the contractor if they are a member of the BBB and search for the contractor’s profile on the BBB website. Review their profile and only select contractors with excellent ratings.
When you need to hire a contractor or roofer to install a new roof on your residence, it is important to take steps to ensure you are hiring the best for your specific needs. Making a selection based only on price can come back to haunt you later.
Nation Wide Roofing and Fencing is a Dallas based roofer with over 20 years of experience. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and service many counties in the North Texas area: Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, Denton, Kaufman and etc.
Nationwide is bonded and insurance. Please contact us for a detailed quote on your next roofing project. Mention this article for a special discount. Call (214) 882-8719.