How to Choose a Roofing Contractor — 5 Easy Steps to a Successful Roofing Job

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor - 5 Easy Steps to a Successful Roofing Job

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This article provides a simple, step-by-step guide designed to help you find the roofing contractor who’s right for you. When you need to repair your roof or replace roof coverings on a building, this article gives advice to assist in choosing a roofing contractor — by Jessie Srader, with edits and additions by DJF.

Whatever your roofing repair or replacement needs, you need a qualified professional roofing contractor you can trust.

How to Get the Best Roofing Job: Choosing a Roofing Contractor & Roof Shingle or Covering Material

  1. Workmanship :The best assurance that your new roof will not leak and that it will have a long life is to select a quality shingle product and to be certain that the shingles are installed absolutely correctly — good workmanship is what makes a roof shed water.
  • Shingle quality. we would not hesitate to buy a quality shingle product from any of the current roofing shingle manufacturers, including GAF, but
  • Shingle installation standards we would want to be sure that my installer applied them according to the best practices in the industry since otherwise any warranty will be voided anyway. The principal sources of asphalt shingle roofing installation standards are the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA’s Roofing and Waterproofing Manual), and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association (ARMA). There are also ASTM standards for roofing products.
  • Roofing contractor reputation and experience: Before hiring ANY roofing contractor we would check with the local better business bureau and would ask for references from local customers of the contractor.
  • Supervision during the roof shingle installation. we would want to be darn sure that the people actually doing the work are trained or at least supervised, continually, every day all day on the job, by a trained, experienced, roofing contractor. Too many roofing companies have a salesman or prime contractor who sells the job but send un-trained workers to put on the roof with minimal or no actual supervision.
  • Maintain your roof. with your roofing contractor, discuss regular roof inspections, the condition of your under-roof or attic ventilation, and what special problem spots may be on your roof, and what to do about them

    STEP 1: FINDING A ROOFER — Beginning a search for a roofing contractor

    This means finding a roofing contractor who knows good roofing practices, roof flashing details, how to handle problem spots on building roofs, and alternative roof covering products: shingle types, grades, colors, low slope roofing, flat roofing materials, etc. A competent roofer will provide you with sound advice on products, reasonable explanation of procedures, and, most important-solid results — no leaks, and a durable roof. It’s difficult to determine the capabilities and reliability of a contractor.

    Readers should also see How to Get the Best Roofing Job for a simple basic outline of the key ingredients to a good roofing job and a long lasting roof.

    How to Choose a Roofing Contractor - 5 Easy Steps to a Successful Roofing Job

    Also see ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR. Our photo (page top) shows lost shingles from an asphalt shingle roof — possibly due to improper nailing.

    Any Home Improvement is a complex combination of elements, the success of which depends on the quality of materials, installation and over-all construction.

    There are many ways to start your search for the contractor who meets your individual needs. Referrals are obviously the best source for names of credible companies. Ask friends and family members who they have used in the past.

    Contact your local Chamber of Commerce about contractors who are active in the community. The Better Business Bureau, state and local licensing authorities, local trade associations and your local yellow page directory are also excellent sources of information. As well as local suppliers of building products.

    STEP 2: CHOOSING A ROOFER — Meeting and evaluating Potential Roofing Contractors

    After you have compiled a list of possible contractors, take time to evaluate each one carefully. A professional contractor will be happy to provide any information you may require.

    Many homeowners have been mystified by the seeming lack of interest and response from the contractors they call. To get a contractor to respond to your call, tell him you are shopping around, but are only interviewing three contractors, not ten.

    A contractor is shopping for good jobs that will make a fair profit and bring future referrals. Many contractors have had experiences with unreasonable or dishonest homeowners. Therefore, they look for warning signs of customer problems during the initial job interview.

    Set up a meeting to discuss your needs and their qualifications, and be sure to pay close attention to the attitude of the company representative. Good contractors take pride in their work and will be enthusiastic about the possibility of helping you with your problems. If you feel confident that the contractor is truly interested in your project, ask for the company’s vital statistics-specific business information which will help you make your final decision.

      Business Name and Address. A good, professional contractor will provide the telephone number. These are essential when checking on the company’s previous business dealings. Experience. The training and experience of a contractor, as well as the age of his or her company, will help you determine their ability to successfully complete your project. Licensing/Bonding. Some states require special licensing for contractors. Ask for business license numbers and information on the company which bonds the contractor. Then check with local authorities to see that the company compiles with regulations. Insurance Coverage. A contractor should carry worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. Request the name and address of the insurance carrier, along with a copy of the company’s insurance certificate. Beware of low bids which are a result of incomplete insurance coverage and workman’s compensation. Professional References. Your contractor’s past can help determine your future. Ask for credit references. banking information and a list of completed projects including the names and telephone numbers of previous clients. Company Philosophy. Discuss application techniques and workmanship guarantees. Does the contractor stand behind his work ?
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    Continue reading at STEP 3: CHOOSING ROOF MATERIAL or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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