STEPS ON HOW TO HIRE THE BEST EAST TEXAS ROOFING CONTRACTOR
Knowing How To Hire The Best East Texas Roofing Contractor can be a challenging and confusing task. So we want to provide you with helping resources that you can take advantage of, to ensure you aren’t taken advantage of.
1. Insurance is a must
Make sure that your contractor has worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see the certificates and actually call the insurance carrier to confirm that they are valid.
This keeps all bids on a level playing field, knowing that part of the cost of the roof and the service being provided to you is protected by the security of coverage.
2. Choose local roofing contractor
Make sure that the company that you choose is local. This means that they are not just operating locally now, but have an established business and reputation in the community.
We have had many calls from customers of other roofing companies that have problems within the standard five-year warranty period. The company that they chose to install their roof closed, moved or vanished. It is very easy to provide a piece of paper, but the warranty is only as good as the longevity and reputation of the roofing company.
3. Price isn’t everything
Never choose a company based on price. Cheap bids drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance has to establish pricing to cover such costs.
Those that do work on the side or are just working out of a pick-up truck can always do the work cheaper. But in the long run, you get what you pay for. Customers that are sold on price as their sole criteria ultimately end up spending more money to fix problems and many of these problems would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee by a reputable established roofing company.
4. Avoid storm chasers
Steer clear of the knock-on-the-door, “We were in your neighborhood” roofers. This is just canvassing and selling and it is usually a sign of a roofing contractor that is trying to take advantage of storm damage or hail damage possibilities. Pick a roofer from a referral or a sign in your area that has a satisfied client on the other end.
If you are approached by this technique, call your agent and ask for a recommendation. The majority of these roofers will tell you that you have storm damage and have you sign a letter of intent. Don’t be pressured by forceful tactics. You never have to sign an intent letter. Wait to see the contracts and take your time in reviewing.
5. Get job details in writing
Both belong to you and you should be in control. We suggest that you don’t give funds until the work is complete. Make sure that you are satisfied with the result and that the terms of payment were discussed prior to the job and adhered to by both parties.
Make sure that you ask how long a job will take. You need to have a clear idea of what size crew that they have and a complete day.
6. Communication is paramount
Did they return your calls? Did they send the documentation that you asked them to send? Did they follow through? If you answered “no” to these questions, then make sure you communicate your concerns to the company representative.
If they still can’t make good, walk away. Communication is key to every business. If you aren’t getting what you need on the front end when they are trying to get your business, what will happen once you have committed the work to them?
With those six major steps in mind, we also have a few other tips!
Installing a new roof is one of the most important, and expensive, home improvement projects you’ll run into as a homeowner. Considering this, and since your roof is the first line of defense for your home against the elements, it’s important that you hire the best roofing company possible. Roofing contractors are a dime a dozen, so it’s important to follow a few basic rules when finding, choosing, and hiring a roofing contractor.
RULES FOR HIRING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR
How To Hire The Best East Texas Roofing Contractor
1. Talk to Several Roof Contractors
You should talk to several roofing companies so you can gauge an honest and reasonable price range. You probably don’t want to make your final hiring decision on a couple hundred dollars for a project that costs several thousand dollars, but you should be wary of any remarkably low or excessively high bids. Of course, this will also help give you plenty of opportunities to build rapport and trust and to adhere to the other rules for hiring a roof contractor.
2. Research Credentials
So this is a repeat, but that’s because it is one of the most important tasks! Besides talking to several different roofing companies, it’s important that you do a little research on the contractor you choose to hire. Reputable contractors should be licensed and willing to provide you with at least three references verifying that they do good work. Once you’ve checked your roofing companies out and are satisfied that they’re legit, hiring a roofing contractor is more fun than stressful.
3. Review the Contract and Warranties Closely
Never sign a contract without reading it over carefully. Professional contractors won’t be annoyed by you taking the time to understand the terms of your agreement, and most will be happy to sit down with you and explain parts you don’t understand. Also, make sure you understand the warranty that comes with your new roof. All materials and workmanship should be guaranteed for at least 5 years, and the roofing itself ought to come with a 20- to 40-year warranty.
4. Cover Your Bases
Before work begins, be sure to cover your bases. Check with your contractor about whether you need to acquire a permit or not (most roofing companies will take care of this as part of their service), and make sure their employees are covered by workers comp as well. Finally, if you’re submitting an insurance claim on your roof, make certain that you’ve followed all the necessary procedures and had all work approved before work on your new roof begins.
5. Never Pay the Entire Balance Upfront
Never pay the entire balance of your new roof upfront. This goes for all large projects. If your contractor requires this of you, don’t sign the contract. Asking for a deposit as a good faith offering or a payment schedule that parallels the work is pretty common and accepted practices. Either way, don’t pay with money. Using a credit card increases the likelihood that, in a worst-case scenario, you can recover your money without expensive litigation.
THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU’S ADVICE
How To Hire The Best East Texas Roofing Contractor
Putting a roof on your home is something that most of us only have to do once or twice in a lifetime. Most folks have little experience in roofing materials and hiring contractors, so it pays to take your time and do a little homework. The Better Business Bureau warns homeowners suffering damage from the hailstorms not to let disaster strike twice. It’s an unfortunate truth that con men often breeze into town after a storm, along with many reputable contractors. The fly-by-night contractors clean out as many people as possible, then blow back out of town.
“Consumers should be wary of itinerant repairmen who come into the area. The Better Business Bureau knows from experience that in the wake of a storm fly by night operators often try to take money from victims, supposedly to buy home repair materials, then leave town, never to be seen again,” said Steve Abel President of the Better Business Bureau. “Never pay for a job up front; never sign anything until you are ready to hire a contractor, read and get a copy of anything you do sign.
Unless you have a leak and need emergency repairs, take your time in hiring a roofing contractor. A little homework ahead of time may translate into better roof-work and a quality job at a better value for homeowners.
To find a reputable roofing contractor, the BBB urges homeowners to take the following precautions:
- If you don’t already have a trusted contractor you might obtain bids from several firms, making sure that the specifications of each bid are identical. Ask the contractor to quote you weight per square for composition shingles. This enables homeowners to judge the quality of the materials — the heavier the weight per square, the higher the quality.
- Ask for a business card and the home headquarters location of the roofing company
- Obtain a reliability report on the firm by calling the Better Business Bureau or look it up on the internet by visiting their website. You can search by company name, phone number or by address. To get an entire list, search by business classification and use “Roofing Contractors”. Find out how long the company has been in business – If the contractor was in business before the hail storm they likely will be in business after the storm is over
- In addition, make sure the company has a contractor registration and roofing bond on file with the City of Tyler. Require that they obtain a permit for your roof from the city and that it is part of the written estimate. Remember, a bond may protect you against substandard work that doesn’t comply with building codes; however, it may not protect you if the contractor does not complete the job.
- If possible, ask for and check references. Try to talk to previous customers, and if possible, look at a similar job that has been completed recently and one that has been done for several years.
- Ask if the contractor would be willing to submit a dispute concerning workmanship or service to a third party arbitration program, and get that commitment in writing.
- Beware of fly by night repair businesses soliciting work in unmarked trucks and requiring advance payment, and do not succumb to high-pressure techniques such as the price is “good only for today.”
The BBB cautions that all contracts for home repairs should include;
- name, full physical address and phone number of the contractor;
- a written description of all the work to be done, including the quality of materials to be used. If the salesman is promising work to be done and it’s not on the written estimate, you write it on the contract and both parties initial any changes.
- a written statement reiterating any oral promises made by the contractor or sales representative, including any warranties on material or labor and statements regarding hand nailing of shingles, removal of old roof and disposal, clean-up of nails and scrap materials
- a bid based on the job, not by the unit (hour, gallon, board, etc.)
- a price breakdown for both labor and materials;
- when payment is due for the job (beware of paying money in advance, payment based on the progress of the job is acceptable, however, withhold final payment until you are satisfied with the job, and Building Inspection Department at the City has made a final inspection);
- startup and completion dates; and
- when the materials arrive at the work site, physically check the wrappers in the shingles and make sure what is quoted in the contract is what has arrived at your home, re-weight per square foot.
And lastly, never pay for all repairs in advance (the deposit should be no more than one-third of the total contract price), and pay by check or credit card; make the check out to the company not the person; don’t pay cash to a contractor or a salesperson.