Choosing your right roofer is an important decision. According to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, home renovation complaints are among the top ones in Ontario. In fact, 21% of home renovation related complaints are about roofers.
There are so many companies out there; however, how to separate the reliable ones from the rest?
To help your decision, we came up with ten key topics you should pay attention to when choosing your roofer:
The time the roofing company has been in business
A good reputation is the essence of a reliable roofing company. Word-of-mouth is key in the roofing business, and only satisfied customers can provide that. The right roofing contractor will make sure to deliver the best quality work to protect their reputation.
The roofing contractor has a permanent location.
To illustrate the importance of this matter, imagine you hire a roofing company to do roof installation. They say that a warranty covers their workmanship, and you feel comfortable with it. After a while, you notice that you have a leak on your roof, and you decide to call the company that did your roof. But you can’t find them. The phone number is not working — no contact information on Google. No website. Nothing. Have you heard the term fly-by-night? It’s given to non-reliable businesses, and it’s not unusual for a roofing company to operate without a fixed address. Those companies are not traceable and can disappear at any time.
Does your roofer have insurance and a valid license?
If a company is offering a price too low for the market, you should investigate why. Unlicensed companies usually offer a lower price. The same companies are often uninsured. In case you hire an unlicensed roofer and the installation is not done correctly, you may have to redo the roof with a roofer with a license. Consequently, instead of saving money, you will end up spending more.
Also, hiring an insured contractor means that you’ll have protection against any damage to your property or third party injury.
The roofer has industry knowledge, and the communication is clear.
A new roofing project raises a lot of concerns. If the roofer gets uncomfortable with questions or when answering them, they don’t seem to know much about the job or technical details, it is a huge red flag, and you should walk away. Clear communication is essential from the beginning to the end of your project.
The roofing company offers you references.
Ask for references from past customers or contractors that the roofer has worked with. Does the roofer have a list of previous work? Can you verify their workmanship? Your roof is an important part of your home’s system. Make sure to hire someone that is trustworthy and has experience.
Does your roofer have certifications?
Only a well-trained roofer can deliver quality workmanship, and you can ask for the proof of that qualification. A certified roofer means that they were trained in the highest standards of excellence, quality, and knowledge in the roofing industry; therefore, they have extensive knowledge of quality installations, replacement, and roofing repair.
The roofing contractor has a warranty.
A highly trained roofing contractor can assure their workmanship with a warranty you can count on. After the roofer completes the job, the relationship between you and the roofing contractor continues. During the length of the warranty, should any work proves unsatisfactory due to the workmanship, the roofer should repair it without extra cost.
How does the roofer provide estimates/quotes?
How many vents are going to be installed on your roof? Is any flashing metal that needs to be replaced? What is the brand of the shingles? Your quotes and estimates should have details containing the scope of work and the material. A flat rate is too vague, and you shouldn’t accept that. A detailed quote helps you to understand what are the costs involved in the project and also helps you to compare prices.
Is your roofing contractor cutting corners?
New residential homes construction must use Canadian Standards Association certified shingles. But in home renovations, this standard is not required. Therefore, it opens an opportunity for contractors to offer you low-quality shingles that don’t meet the quality standards you need.
Second-grade shingles can allow moisture infiltration or be easily blown off by the wind. A roofing contractor can also try to cut corners by not using enough nails. As a result, the shingles could be vulnerable to wind uplift.
Another bad practice is to reuse old flashing when replacing a roof. Metal flashing prevents moisture from coming into the home through chimneys, valleys, and walls. To save the old flashing and reinstall it may lead to problems as the metal could be damaged or corroded.
The roofing company has registration under Consumer Protection Agencies – Better Business Bureau.
On the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, you can check the company’s record. The BBB informs of any complaint that has been held against the contractor and gives you enough information to make the best decision.
– Article written for a roofing company.
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