Having a roof over our head is pretty important to most of us, so when our roof starts leaking or shingles start showing signs of wear, we know we need to find a roofer fast.
That’s where the anxiety can start. Roofs are expensive (and it’s hard to get excited about spending that kind of money on home improvements we can’t show off to friends and family), and we’ve all heard horror stories about bad experiences with contractors.
Fortunately, with a little advice, you’ll be equipped to find the perfect roofer for your project, and your new roof will be done quickly and at a fair price.
The first step is to put together a list of roofers to choose from. The best place to start is by asking friends and family for a referral. This referral should be based on people having worked with a roofer, not just knowing one. Dublin Roofer Happy customers are always eager to share their positive experience, so ask for details…how was the work, was it done on time, was it done on budget and did the price seem competitive.
Other sources for roofers include websites (not necessarily the classified websites like Craigslist.org, but more like the sites where customers rate their experiences and recommend, like AngiesList.com), other contractors you may have worked with previously, and the yellow pages.
I’d be less trusting of short term ads, whether online or in local papers. Better to deal with an unknown roofer who plans on being around for at least the 12 months they have to commit to with the yellow pages.
So, by now you should have a short list of potential candidates. It’s always nice to have 2-3 bids to choose from, and that will likely require contacting at least 4-6 contractors, so start calling and setting appointments to get bids.
Meeting with the Roofers
When the roofer shows up, you’ll have a good idea how the job will go. Some won’t show up – cross them off your list and DO NOT try to reschedule. Another roofer might be late – this is a great indication that he doesn’t respect your time, and he’ll probably be late on your job as well. Heed this early indicator or regret it later.
Assuming your roofer shows up, in addition to price, find out:
- Are they licensed and insured? (The answers to both need to be yes, and, if you select the roofer, you need to verify both by calling – unscrupulous contractors are known to get insurance cards, then cancel their insurance which leaves them with a card but no actual insurance.)
- Will the proper permits be pulled before work starts? (You need to see the permit before they start work.)
- Do they use subcontractors? (Many do – if so, you need to get a lien release before making payment. Otherwise, if they don’t pay their subs, the subs can place a lien against your house!)
Hiring Your Top Pick
Once you find a roofer you like, and agree on a fair price, the last step is the payment terms. It’s customary to pay a portion up front, which usually covers the materials. After the first payment, progress payments will depend on the size of the job, but the final payment needs to be withheld until the job is complete to your satisfaction (including cleanup).
Thomas Dillinger has been in the construction industry, roofing both commercial and residential for over 30 years. In 1996, Tom founded Grappler Construction, a family owned business specializing in roofing, repairs and remodeling. Serving the Washington DC Metro Area, Grappler Construction is known for excellent service and quality work.
Tom’s “hometown” roofing company has flourished on referrals from satisfied customers. With Grappler Construction Company, there is the reassurance that it is an ongoing relationship and Tom stands by his work.