Replacing your roof is a big decision. It goes without saying that you want the best roofing contractor for the job. But how do you know what to look for? Most people will only replace a roof once in a lifetime. It’s a big investment, and you want to make sure you choose the right company. We’re going to help you do just that. Read on.
How do I choose a good roofing contractor?
In many cases, homeowners allow price to dictate the contractor they choose. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. If you go with a roofing company that can give you a bargain price but can’t provide a list of happy customers, you’re probably going to end up with a substandard installation.
Here are 9 questions to ask before you hire a roof installation company:
1. How long have they been in business?
You probably wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic who has been on the job for two weeks. And you probably wouldn’t sign up for heart surgery with a doctor fresh out of school. So why pick a roofing contractor that doesn’t have a long track record of doing high-quality work?
Unfortunately, fly-by-night contractors are notorious for disappearing to avoid paying damages, only to reopen months later under a new name. You can avoid falling victim to this type of unscrupulous contractor by working with a company that has decades of experience and a solid reputation.
2. Double-check licensing and insurance
Roofing is a dangerous job, which is why we never recommend homeowners take it on themselves. It’s important to have the right tools, materials and safety equipment. It’s also important to have experience. Reputable roofing contractors hold the requisite permits and licenses for every job they perform.
A high-quality roofing installer will also carry all required insurance for its workers, which will cover them in the event someone is hurt during your roof’s installation. As a homeowner, you should never work with a contractor that can’t provide proof of proper insurance for its employees.
3. Look at past work
For most businesses that provide a service, reputation is everything. The internet provides unbiased, third party reviews from people who have used a business’ services in the past. 81% of consumers say they research online before they make a purchase. Before you spend money, it pays to do your homework.
What do other homeowners have to say about the roofing contractor? You can ask the company if it has a list of homeowners you can call, or you can check online for information about the company’s past jobs.
4. Price isn’t the only thing that matters
If you’ve ever undertaken a home renovation project in the past, you may have been told to “get three estimates.” No one really knows where this so-called “three estimates” rule comes from, and no one seems to be able to say why three is the ideal number.
In fact, there’s no reason why you should limit yourself to three estimates — or why you should go beyond one or two estimates when looking for a roofing contractor. Rather, you should spend time talking to potential roofing companies until you believe you’ve got all of the information you need to make an informed decision.
5. Get financing agreements in writing
Every aspect of your roofing installation should be professionally documented, but it’s especially important to make sure you understand the financing terms. A good roofing company will appoint a knowledgeable employee to walk you through the contract and answer any questions you have about payment. No part of the agreement should be confusing or left “up in the air.”
6. Ask what happens if you’re unsatisfied with the work
No matter how carefully you plan a job, there is always a chance that something will go wrong. If an error happens, how will the company handle it? This is something you need to know in advance. Will you spend hours on the phone, trying to reach a representative? Will the company take your money and run?
At Nu Look Home Design, we don’t accept a single penny in payment until you are completely satisfied with your roof. And if you’re unsatisfied for any reason, we guarantee we will make it right.
7. Ask about unplanned repairs
Unfortunately, unplanned repairs and emergencies are more often the rule rather than the exception when it comes to home improvement. As soon as you start knocking down walls or ripping out cabinets, you’re likely to find additional problems that need to be addressed.
Roofs can work much the same way. In some cases, decking is rotten or damaged by moisture, or the crew discovers water damage that needs to be repaired before additional moisture makes its way inside a property. Ask your roofing contractor how it handles unexpected repairs. This way, even if you’re surprised, you know what to expect.
8. Will the roofing contractor tear off your old roof?
Some roofing companies will install new shingles over an old roof. However, this is almost always a bad idea. First, it adds additional weight to a roof that is probably already aging and due for new decking. Second, it doesn’t address any underlying problems, such as damage concealed by old shingles.
In this way, slapping new shingles over an existing roof is a lot like putting a Band-Aid on an infected wound. You cover up the damage, but you do nothing to treat the real source of the injury. It can be an effective and cheap short-term solution, but it will cost you a lot more in the long run.
9. Ask if the roofing contractor is an authorized installer
Is the roofing contractor a preferred partner and authorized installer for the shingle manufacturer? This is an important consideration, as manufacturers won’t honor their warranties when a roof is installed by a non-authorized installer.
What is the best roofing company in Columbia, MD and beyond?
At Nu Look Home Design, we’ve been installing roofs and providing home remodeling services for homeowners in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 18 years. During this time, we’ve built a foundation of trust with homeowners in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Chances are, we’ve installed a roof for someone in your neighborhood!
Get in touch with us today if you’d like to schedule a consultation or ask further questions about who we are and why we’re the best.