- Get Local Referrals
- Look for Manufacturer Designations
- Get an Extensive Warranty
- Be Concerned About Safety
- Check for Proper Licensing and Insurance
- Pay Your Deductible
- Handle Your Own Claim
The hardest part of handling a roof repair or replacement is finding someone who’s qualified to do the job. After you suffer damages due to a storm, you likely want to get your home back on track, and the first step in that process is repairing everything.
There are often tons of contractors that flock into towns following a natural calamity, but that doesn’t mean that you should hire the first person you see.
Choosing a contractor that’s both honest and skilled might sound like a Herculean task, but when you know what to look for in a roofer, it becomes far easier to separate the good and the bad. Without further adieu, here’s our guide on choosing a roofing contractor.
Get Local Referrals
Local referrals are one of the best ways to find roofers because they reduce the risk of scams or unqualified contractors. No one would refer a company who performed poorly, nor would they refer a contractor who ran off with their money.
Local companies are more familiarized with the rules and regulations of your specific area as well. Another benefit to working with a local company over a visiting crew is the fact that they’ll have more connections with suppliers which will make it easier for you to get all the materials you need to repair the damage.
Look for Manufacturer Designations
Manufacturer designations often serve as a badge of honor among tradesmen since contractors can’t get one without passing certain requirements. GAF is one of the strictest certifiers with only a 2% acceptance rate on roofing contractors who apply to their Master Elite Certification Program.
Getting a contractor who is certified by a company like GAF will give you peace of mind. If they’re good enough for a company with such stringent requirements, they’ll surely be good enough for you.
Get an Extensive Warranty
Not all contractors are able to provide manufacturer warranties that cover workmanship too. If your contractor botches the roof installation, it could be months or even years before you start seeing the effects — and the manufacturer insurance won’t cover the costs since the damage is a result of the installation, not the materials themselves.
If the contractor that originally installed it refuses to repair it, or perhaps has even gone out of business for frequently botching projects, you’ll have no other choice but to hire someone to repair the damage or possibly even replace the entire roof.
Be Concerned About Safety
Contractors who aren’t certified by any safety programs might not be the best choice for you and your family. GAF provides ongoing training to all its certified tradesmen and has instructed over 200,000 contractors since first opening. GAF is the only roofing manufacturer that actually has a team of trainers within its industry.
Check for Proper Licensing and Insurance
Any company that you hire from should have all their employees covered with full insurances. You can request a copy of the insurance certificate to verify their claims rather than relying on hearsay.
Inadequate insurance could lead to legal issues between the contracting company and the owner of the home if a tradesman is injured during the repair process. The company may even argue that it is the homeowner’s full responsibility since the accident took place within their property.
Most states require that any tradesmen get the appropriate licenses. That said, there are still some unlicensed workers who try to slip under the radar. These contractors will often offer to do the work at a far lower price than their competition.
It’s far from worth it, however, as you will have to pay more to repair whatever damage they cause and you might even endanger yourself by letting a stranger with no qualifications into your home. Always ask to see the license of your roofer before you give a down payment and/or let them begin work.
Pay Your Deductible
If a contractor claims that they can perform the repairs without requiring the homeowner to pay the insurance deductible, they’re committing insurance fraud and putting the homeowner at risk. The insurance deductible is the responsibility of whoever is ensured, and contractors should include that in their quote without hyperinflating the bid to cover some or all of the deductible.
Handle Your Own Claim
Some contractors tell their clients that they’re a “claim specialist.” That being said, if you let someone else handle your insurance claim, you could be breaking the law. Under federal and (most) state law, it’s illegal for contractors to negotiate an insurance claim on the behalf of their client.
Don’t be lazy, just take the claim into your own hands unless you want to spend the next few months handling a trial for insurance fraud. If a contractor offers to handle the claim for you, find someone else.