Finding the Right Roofer
A new roof is a big investment, and the materials are only a small portion of it.. What you’re really paying for is the skilled labor. Hence, you have to be smart when picking someone.
Seems easy? Not always. Anyone can talk and act like a roofer, but that doesn’t mean they’re qualified.
Seeking Quality Prospects
Check the yellow pages but only if you can’t get a personal recommendation form a person you trust. You should have at least two or three prospects, and each one should have been in business for a minimum of five years. In such a competitive industry, only good roofers usually last that long. Begin by inquiring about availability. Also ask for a few client references, and forget anyone who hesitates to give you any.
Then spend time doing drive-by inspections of some of their recent jobs. See if the spaces between individual shingle tabs, called water gaps, are well-lined up while alternating shingle rows. Check the shingles – are they trimmed in a clean line as they run along the valleys? In addition, shingles must be flawlessly trimmed on roof ends, aligning with the edge of the roof If you see any ragged lines, that means the roofer has done slipshod work. You should also find neat, tar-free flashings at the roof valleys and eaves.
If you like what you’ve seen, start calling the references, making sure to ask crucially relevant questions. For instance, has the roof ever leaked since it was installed? If so, did the roofer respond promptly to your call? Was the budget just enough for the project or did you end up exceeding it? Most importantly, would you work with the roofer again in the future?
What to Look for in a Roofer
After finding some really good prospects, see if they carry workers’ compensation insurance and at least $1 billion of liability insurance. If they tell you they’re insured, ask for copies of their proof-of-insurance certificates. Then request an estimate, which should cost you absolutely nothing. As roofing is a one-time job, split the total amount into two payments – usually, a third of it is paid upfront (to cover the cost of materials), and the rest as the projects moves along to your satisfaction.
Definitely, you have to get a minimum warranty of one year for all labor-related issues, like flashing failure, leaks, and so on and this must be on the contract, including what type of shingles will be used. Get the highest rated, most durable shingles that fit your budget. Sometimes, warranties are void if shingles are placed on top of existing shingles, so the roofer may have to remove that existing layer for an added cost. Asphalt roofs last an average of about 13 years, so a 20-year warranty would be more than fine.