Seemingly out of nowhere, something calls your attention to your roof. You notice a shingle in your yard that blew off, water dripping into your home, a letter from your insurance company saying you need a new roof to keep your insurance, or maybe you wake up in a cold sweat from a nightmare that your entire roof blew off.
Whatever it is, you’re now faced with the next step – finding someone to come help you out. For most homeowners, this means hiring a roofing contractor. Depending on your experiences in the past, this may or may not bring up a flood of emotions about how you’ve been treated by other contractors you’ve hired.
As disheartening as this thought may be, hiring a roofing contractor is a necessary part of getting roof work done, so I’m going to do my best to make it as easy as possible for through this guide.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor – Where Do You Start?
You may think the best place to start is rifling through the phone book and looking for trustworthy company. But before you launch right in, here’s some other things to try first:
- Ask your friends if they have any recommendations (Facebook is good for this). You’ll likely get a few good and bad recommendations that will help narrow down your list.
- Use Google – Look up “Roofers in [Your City]” – Browse some websites, look for reviews wherever you can find them – Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. Reviews are by far one of the best ways you can see how companies treat people. I would pay particular attention to bad reviews – most people are happy until something bad happens and you can see how the contractor reacts when there’s a problem
- If both of these methods fail, then the next step would be the phone book. The main problem with the phone book is you can’t learn about the contractor before you give him a call – all you have to go on is an ad created by their marketing department.
After searching for roofing contractors with the methods above, choose the top three that you like and start the process. Here’s the steps you’ll take them through to see if they qualify to work on your home:
- Call and ask qualifying questions
- Get a bid and lock them into a guaranteed price if you can (hiring them off an “estimate” is very dangerous)
- Review their proposals with a fine-tooth comb
- Ask final questions
- Hire them!
I know what you’re saying, “That’s going to take a ton of time!” And yes, it will take some time, but you only want to do this once. The last thing you want is to flippantly hire a contractor, have the roof fail, then have to do this all over again. Not only will it waste more of your time, but you’ll be flushing a lot of money down the toilet as well!
So take your time, bring each contractor through the process, and you’ll have a much better chance of hiring a roofing contractor that will do a great job.