How can you tell if you are hiring a quality roofing contractor? A roof is an extremely important part of your residence, and a considerable expense. You want to be sure it is done well. So how do you know your roofing contractor is quality? You do it the way you would whenever you make an investment: do your homework.
Generally it’s best to go local, with a contractor that is locally known and that you can ask neighbors and friends about. How long has the contractor done business locally? If you can, find someone who has used the contractor’s services, and ask what their opinions are.
There are a number of indications of quality. Is the contractor licensed and insured? Is a warranty offered? Is the contractor a member of the local Chamber of Commerce? And, this is important, is the contractor a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)? NRCA sets industry standards for training, materials and practices, and is an indication of professionalism. A well established, professional contractor is more likely to have its employees well trained in roofing and also in general safety.
Be aware that the cheapest contractor may not be the best. A roofing company offering very low estimates may cut corners on materials quality, use untrained and poorly-paid employees, and be uninsured. This is quite likely to cost much more in the long run.
Be wary of contractors that comb through neighborhoods after damaging storms. These “storm chasers” are after a quick profit and may be unlicensed and do poor quality work and use inferior materials. If a contractor asks for a large percentage of the payment up front, be careful, because the industry average is about 10%.
If you have questions, ask them. A quality contractor will answer all of your questions, and will return your phone calls. Quality contractors are concerned about their reputation, and will be customer-centered.