Are you looking for a roofing contractor for your project but unsure where to start? The process begins with seeking recommendations from neighbors, the Homeowner Association (HOA), and checking state roofing contractor requirements and directories. Read reviews, contact a local roofer to schedule a consultation, and compare their qualifications and bids.
Roofing Contractor Qualifications
Good roofing contractors have to meet the criteria of their municipality. You can check your state’s roofer qualifications and directories to confirm this.
Good roofing contractors are:
- Licensed in your area
- Bonded (which means that a bonding company has money available to a consumer in case they need to file a claim against that company)
- Willing to provide references
- Willing to write an estimate
Services a Roofer Offers
Roofing services vary from contractor to company.Inquire about the services offered by the two or three roofers that you are considering for your project. Some of the typical roofing services that they may provide are:
- Roof inspections that check for:
- Roof installation
- Repairs and maintenance
- Shoveling (removing snow and ice dams)
- Roof cleaning (pressure washing away mildew, moss and buildup)
- Sealing, treating or painting (especially for wood or metal roofs)
- Debris removal
When you are redoing your roof, it is a good opportunity to inspect your gutters. Some roofers may provide additional services, such as gutter, siding, or window maintenance. You should inquire with professionals in your area to see if they can offer any additional services. Combining roofing and gutter work can be cost-effective in the long term since the contractor will already be on-site.
How to Hire a Roofing Contractor
When you’re ready to hire a roofing contractor, there are two types to consider: independent contractors and roofing companies. There are pros and cons to both. To get the best value, be sure to compare price quotes and evaluate the reviews, references, and qualifications of potential roofers.
If you need a quick fix, independent contractors may be a good option. Though they may work alone or with subcontractors, it could take longer to complete large projects, such as replacing your roof. However, they may have expertise in a specific style. Choosing an individual carries some risk, but you’ll work directly with the same person throughout the project.
Roofing companies, on the other hand, are typically faster at completing bigger projects, offer warranties on their work, and can offer consultations and discounts. They also work with a wider range of materials. However, you may not have a consistent point of contact throughout the entire project.
Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor
Before making a final decision on a roofing contractor, it’s important to obtain multiple bids. You may decide to choose a contractor with a reasonable bid, select the lowest-priced option with good availability, or even opt for a more expensive contractor with extensive experience. Regardless of the bid you select, you should ensure that the roofer has the necessary qualifications.
The number of roofing contractors in your area that can handle the specific type of roofing you want may be limited. While many contractors can install and repair asphalt shingles, fewer have expertise in materials such as cedar shake, clay tiles, or natural slate. Installing unique roofing styles like solar shingles or green roofs may require specialized contractors, who may be scarce in rural areas.
Door-to-door bids can be predatory, especially when roofers approach residents in areas affected by storms and high winds. If a local roofer contacts you about repairing or replacing your roof, you should verify their license, insurance, and references before accepting their bid.