Roofing is an expensive, but highly necessary project that most homeowners will need to face at some point in time. Although a new roof may not necessarily alter the appearance of your home in an obvious way, an aged and worn roof is unattractive and potentially dangerous. Broken shingles lead to leaks that will seriously damage the interior of your home. And hiring the best roofing contractor for the job takes time and consideration.
Think about how the expertise and skills of the roofing contractor will affect the overall quality of your project. Inexperienced workers may attempt to remove the shingles and reinstall a new layer of felt and roofing materials, but an improper job may create gaps and a weak finish.
Consider these three elements when searching for contractors:
Experience and Professionalism
Roofing may not be perceived as a complicated job, but only an experienced contractor will be able to complete your reroofing project efficiently and effectively. Those who are new in the business may be missing the systems and practices that allow for a professional finish.
Safety procedures can be taught and the proper equipment can be purchased, but the knowledge that it takes to do this job well is learned over years of experience. Roofers who have been working in the industry for a long time can train those who have just started, but their level of knowledge is needed on each job.
A professional firm will also have a well laid out contract that details the warranty and fine print. Both the homeowner's and the contractor's rights will be protected in this case and all of the proper taxes will be paid. Cash deals and contracts that are handled unprofessionally leave both parties vulnerable and present a high risk of lawsuit to the homeowner.
Look for contractors that have been in business for a decent period of time and can provide plenty of references. Be sure to check their references and ask how long the individual installers have been in the business. Gauge the professionalism of the company based on how they handle the initial quotation and any subsequent communication.
Choice of Quality Materials
In most cases, each individual roofing company will carry a specific line of materials. They may have access to different brands, but often they will prefer one type over the other and their best price will feature a particular line. Some companies will have well established relationships with certain manufacturers. They may be the first to offer new innovations and will have deep insight into the industry.
It helps if the homeowner knows which brand they prefer. It could be that they have no preference, but if one style of shingle or roofing material is required the homeowner will need to find a contractor that has that style available.
This is especially true if the homeowner is looking at installing steel roofing or another specialty product. There are roofing contractors that only deal with steel, clay or shingles and others that will handle all of the roofing styles suitable for your climate.
Roofing materials are expensive and the installation tends to be somewhat dangerous. It is important that you invest in quality materials that will last, allowing your investment to extend over a decent period of time. Lower quality materials will not last as long and you may end up investing much more than you had planned. Putting your money into a good quality brand is the wisest move. And choosing a roofing contractor that carries those levels is best.
Price and Project Coverage
Similar to many home improvement projects, price is definitely a factor. And, in the same way as other renovations, different contractors will offer a different range of services. This often results in varying prices. When comparing contractor quotations it helps to outline the services and materials included.
Does the quote include removal of the existing roofing material? If any of the roof decking is rotten, will it be replaced? And will there be an added cost for that replacement? Are the valleys, flashing and vents covered in the quote?
Always ask about the warranty, both for the materials and the installation. A higher quality product with a limited lifetime guarantee will cost more than brands with lesser quality or shorter warranties. And if the contractor has not included the full installation charge you may be in for a nasty surprise at the end of the job.
You will need to obtain at least three quotations in order to ensure your price comparison is fair. Then, look for quotes that are close in price and services offered. That is often a good marker and from here you can gauge the appropriate level of investment based on the quality, expertise and service offered from each individual contractor.
Be hesitant to choose the cheapest quote, but opting for the most expensive will not necessarily guarantee you top performance. Choose the company that treats you fairly, offers all of the services that your job requires and has a clear and easy to read contract.
Remember that your home and, more importantly, your family's safety are well worth the investment of a new roof. No matter what material you choose, be sure to look for a roofing contractor that has the experience and professionalism you deserve, carries the quality materials that you desire and has a fair price that you can afford. These factors will ensure that your roofing project is done well, lasts for years and is manageable in a financial sense.