Putting a new roof on your home is a big project. Depending on the contractor you hire it could go smoothly without a hitch, or it could become a stressful ordeal that drags on for weeks. The best way to guarantee that you get a quality roof put on your home is to do your due diligence before the project starts.
It’s important to get educated about the roofing process so you know what to look for when hiring. Making any ofthese 3 mistakes could cause you a lot of stress during, and well after the roof is done.
Mistake #1: Not checking if they are licensed, bonded, and insured.
Any professional roofing contractor worth talking to will have these 5 things:
- Be licensed to do business in your city
- Be a registered roofing contractor in your state
- Carry a bond of at least $6000 to protect you as the homeowner
- Liability insurance – minimum is $300,000 while the recommended is $1,000,000 or more.
- Proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance – this protects you if an employee gets hurt while working on your home.
This makes sure they are legal to do business in your area. It also protects you, the homeowner, from unforeseen circumstances that may occur.
Don’t be afraid to ask for proof! Legit contractors will be happy to show you their qualifications.
For example, if a torrential downpour happens when they are tearing off it could mean a massive amount of damage to your home. Proper insurance will make sure you’re covered in the event of a disaster like this.
Mistake #2: Not checking for experience and credentials
In the state of Washington and Idaho it’s extremely easy to get a roofing contractor’s license. There are no tests or anything else to check for capability.
Your average Joe could pay the required fees for license, bond, and insurance and be in business.
Be sure to ask how long the contractor has been in business, how much experience he has installing roofs, and how much experience his crews have. The last thing you need is a guy that’s been in business for 15 years that hires high school students to put on roofs without supervision.
As mentioned earlier, be sure the contractor you’re dealing with is a certified installer of the shingle he is installing, and that his crew (or at least the foreman) is certified.
Mistake #3: Not Interviewing the contractor face to face
Though I’ve already touched on this a bit, it’s an important step. It may be tempting to accept a bid that looks good without talking to the contractor himself.
While this may work out OK for you, there is a chance that you will find he’s an untrustworthy individual or lacking in integrity. Even if the roof gets finished on time and installed correctly, what happens if you have a problem down the road, will he answer your phone call?
This is why I highly recommend talking with your contractor before you sign any contract or accept any proposal.
To learn more about hiring a roofing contractor that will do a great job on your home and avoiding the common pitfalls of reroofing, download my Consumer’s Guide To Roof Replacement.