What Makes A Good Home Roofing Contractor?
Home roofing contractors repair or install new roofs for homeowners across the country. But not all roofing contractors provide the same level of skill when it comes to installation. The fact that a brand new roof can cost tens of thousands of dollars makes choosing the right home roofing contractor an important task. This article is designed to give you some basic guidelines on how to go about choosing the right person for the job.
Most people’s general knowledge about the roofing industry is limited, and so it’s important you are able to consider all the little details and nuances that are involved in finding the right professional for the job.
In the end, our goal is to assist you in finding a home roofing contractor who you can trust to get the job done right, on budget, and on time.
Seasoned and Experienced Home Roofers Only
Most professional home roofing contractors have experience installing popular roofing types, such as asphalt shingles, metal, and tile (concrete and clay tiles). Slate roofs, on the other hand, require a great deal of expertise and experience, and depending on where you live, slate roofers are often far and few between. Keep in mind, our job is to help you to determine what a quality contractor is, and then help you to find the one that you trust the most to do an exceptional job on your home project.
Our recommendation is to seek out seasoned home roofing contractors. Roofers with many years of business behind them will have plenty of referrals, customer reviews, and proof that they can do the job right.
All too often, a person with just a little roofing experience will go through the trouble of getting a contractors license and act as a professional. They see all the money their boss is making and think, “I can do this too!” Unfortunately, this person will be learning on the job, so don’t let it be your job they’re learning on.
What to Look for in a Home Roofing Contractor
The major cost of a new roof for your home will come from the price you pay for skilled labor. The roofing material is typically a smaller segment of the overall cost, depending, of course, on what type of roofing material you choose. So, choosing the right roofing contractor with skill, experience, and proven know-how will be the key to making your roofing project a success.
Since you are paying for experience and expertise, focus your search on discovering the depth of the contractor’s experience, skill, and quality of work. Consider the price of the job later, after you have found a contractor you can trust to do an excellent job.
In the end, the most important thing is to get a roof that looks great and performs as designed. Of these two factors, the look of the roof is important, but not as important as its performance. Meaning, no leaks!
Most of the horrors stories we hear of on roofing projects come from leaks that develop from an area that wasn’t properly installed. Don’t forget, the reason you need a good roof is to protect you, your family, and your belongings from the weather. Therefore, your highest priority should be choosing the right professional to install a new roof that will withstand whatever mother nature throws at it. Consider the look of your new roof as the second highest priority, especially if you have a slim budget.
First Steps in Finding the Right Contractor to Install Your New Roof
Searching online for roofers in your local area is the fastest and best way to start building your list. Now it’s time to dig deeper and do some vetting.
Check out their website and look for obvious signs of their experience, quality of work, and most importantly, customer reviews. Also, check out their social media pages, online business directory listings, and then finally go to your State’s Contractors division and check for license status, insurance status, and any filed complaints by customers. If a roofing contractor has a BBB listing, it can also mean they have been around for a while and are committed to the bottom line.
If you have friends or family who has recently installed a new home roof, talk to them and get as much detail as you can from their experience. Or, if someone else you know gives a very strong referral, then pursue the lead.
With any referral, friend or strangers, pay attention to the strength of the referral (enthusiasm, details on why they are satisfied, etc.)
Seek Multiple Bids and Estimates from Qualified Roofing Contractors
We recommend that you get at least three roofing contractors to give you an estimate. Make sure they come to your house and spend time inspecting, measuring, and calculating. Be wary of guesstimates or ballpark figures. They are big red flags. Generally, you should seek bids from roofing contractors with at least 7 to 10 years experience. Roofing contractors who do subpar work move around a lot, and they never stay in one place too long.
Also, when you are going through your prospect list of potential roofing contractors, start your search by checking out their availability. If you have time, you’ll be smart to wait for the contractor. If they are booked out in advance, it’s a good sign that they do quality work, but don’t stop there — dig deeper. Secondly, ask for recent customer names and the addresses of the homes they have recently completed. If the contractor hesitates to provide you with information, be leery, as it is often a sign of disgruntled customers.
Follow Up and Do Your Due Diligence — Inspect the Contractor’s Most Recent and Past Work
Doing a drive-by of their roofing jobs is helpful too. It will give you a chance to see if any of the shingles are curling or out of place. Lastly, make sure you get a few references from roofing jobs going back a few years. A roof that is still in good shape 10 years out was done by a skilled roofer.
Service.com has a network of pre-qualified professional home roofing contractors. Share your roofing project goals with our Roofing Project Manager. You can expect our consultants to work hard to find the most trusted roofing contractors near you.
Regardless of your budget or type of roofing project, we can help you find a trusted contractor who will deliver quality work. Feel free to download our mobile app and chat directly with qualified experts. Our app is available at both the Apple App Store and Google Play.