What should you look for when hiring a roofing contractor?
Let’s talk about some of the mistakes that people make when they hire local roofing contractors and certain things you should look for.
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1. Local Business & State License
One of the biggest things people don't check on when evaluating roofers is whether that roofing contractor actually has a state license.
There are different types of licensing levels that contractors have. In order to have a business, you have to have a local business license. But to be a contractor and do work above $3,000 in the state of Tennessee, you must have a home improvement contractors license or a general contractors license.
To check on a particular contractor, you can go to the state of Tennessee's website, look up a contractor, and make sure that they are state licensed.
2. Experience & Credentials
Experience is also really important when considering hiring a roofing contractor. When evaluating a roofer, ask how many years of experience they have as a roofing contractor.
Many companies are really more of a sales front than an actual location with an actual roofing company.
You want to work with a roofer that is not just going around trying to install new roofs, but actually works on roofs every day. No one likes to feel like they're being sold a bill of goods. Ask your roofing contractor about what types of experience they have and their background with the construction.
3. Up Front Money
When hiring a local roofing contractor, people sometimes feel pressured to put down money before work is started. In the state of Tennessee, ⅓ down is the maximum a customer is allowed to put down before work starts.
I would be very careful about working with roofing contractors who ask for money up front. Most of the time, a legitimate roofing contractor is going to be able to float your job, unless it involves having to order some type of special material that can’t be returned.
Bottom line: most good roofing contractors are not going to require a deposit, especially way in advance.
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4. Signed Paperwork In Advance
Sometimes roofing contractors will want you to sign paperwork upfront that obligates you to work with them.
The reality is that a good roofing company is going to want to earn your trust and do things in good faith. They’re going to want to create a meaningful connection with you.
You should never feel like you're being forced into signing some kind of paperwork. And even if you do sign something, don’t believe that’s the end of the story. If you run into problems, there are always ways out.
5. Physical Location & Years in Business
Working with a brand new business isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s helpful to know how long a company has been around. If business has only been around for a year and they’re promising you a workmanship warranty of 5-10 years, it should give you pause. Will the company still be around in 5-10 years? Just something to consider.
6. Manufacturer Relationships
Roofing contractors that have manufacturer relationships have gone the extra mile in terms of training and understanding the products provided by those manufacturers. These manufacturers will often provide credentials for these contractors, which then allows them to register warranties for longer periods of time.
And sometimes these warranties cover both the product itself and the workmanship, which gives you even more assurance.
So don’t hesitate to ask a roofing contractor what manufacturers they are credentialed with and whether those manufacturers offer product and workmanship warranties. Workmanship warranties are important because they cover any instances when the materials themselves are installed incorrectly.
Most of the time, when a roof is going to leak it's because something was put on wrong. It's not actually the material itself. People mistakenly assume that because it's a 50 year roof it’s not going to leak for 50 years. The reality is that there’s a material warranty to say that the material is not going to be defective for 50 years, but the roof itself is going to get old. It's going to need some maintenance over time.
This means that it’s incredibly important that the roofing materials be put on properly. A workmanship warranty from a manufacturer assures you that if something is done incorrectly, it will be covered by the manufacturer.
Okay, there you have it! Don't forget to think about Excellent Roofing when you are looking for a qualified roofer to install or repair your roof.
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For more tips on choosing a roofing contractor, check out this article for 6 More Critical Questions You Have to Ask Your Roofing Contractor.
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