A brief guide for hiring a roofing contractor

roofing contractorAccording to the National Roofing Contractors Association the average life span of the roof is somewhere around 20 years.  If your are experiencing problems such as minor leaks and cracks and your roof is fairly new, you may be able to fix the issue by carrying out proper maintenance.  However, if the problems you are experiencing are major or the last time you had replaced your roof was longer than 20 years, then you may need to install a new roof.  Please note that the life span of the roof depends on the material used, climate conditions and regular maintenance.  Some types of metal roofs in a warm region could have a life span of over 50 years.  The 20 year estimate discussed above is just an approximate and applies to common shingle roofs.

While looking for roofing contractors for your house, it is absolutely essential that you don’t hire a roofer from the yellow pages or select the first contractor that rings your bell.  Roofing is one of the more difficult home improvement projects and also an expensive home improvement.  A properly installed roof can last a long time where as a poorly installed roof will cause you grief after a short few years.  Roofing contractors that you choose to meet with should all be insured and bonded so that you are protected in case something should go wrong or serious damage is caused to your house infrastructure.

It is highly recommended that you get quotes from at least few different roofing contractors and if you can, go and check out their recent work and speak to the owner to find out

1) Was the homeowner satisfied with job?
2) Whether the project was completed at the original price or the project went over the estimated price.
3) Find out if the contractor started and completed the work on time.

Never rely only on the referrals that the contractor gives you as even the worst contractors may have done a quick and dirty job where the owner agreed to give them a good referral.  Go and visit the latest work they performed and talk to the homeowner you will be glad you took this step.

A good initial step to finding contractors is to search online or look at websites that have directory of contractors.  You should then search online to see if anyone has provided reviews for the roofing contractors.  You should always check out the Better Business Bureau to see if there ever was a complaint against the roofing contractor or the company.

Installing a new roof or fixing an existing roof just like many major home improvement projects requires obtaining building permission.  Make sure that the roofing contractor is familiar with all building code and that it the contractor not you that is responsible for obtaining the permission and follows through at every state where an inspection is required.

Before you sign any contract, make sure that you completely read it through and you understand everything that is stated.  Make sure that contract details all work to be completed and indicates what the roofer is responsible for and what is covered (such as chimney, downspout, edges of the roof, building permission, etc).  Make sure that cleaning and taking away the debris is included in the contract as installing a new roof requires tearing down the old roof.

One other important aspect is to ensure that your roofer will give you a good warranty on the roof (i.e. 10 year warranty) which means that in case of any issue with your roof, the contractor is responsible for fixing the issue free of charge.  Consequently, it is important to hire a reputable roofer or contractor that has been in business for a while and the will continue to be in the future.  A warranty from a contractor who will soon go out of business means nothing.

Never and we mean never pay the entire amount before the job is complete.  It is reasonable that the roofer ask for some down payment prior to staring the work to purchase material but this amount should be 10?% to 20% of the total amount and not more.

Roofing is a big home improvement investment and thus you need to go through this exhaustive task to make sure that your roof last through the years and that your investment is protected by the warranty provided by the roofing company or the contractor.

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