You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Glen Haven
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
Glen HavenHow much damage to your roof can come during a hail storm? In Georgia, hail storms are not that uncommon and many homeowners visually see hail several times during the year. That is the case in metro Atlanta, where the last few years have resulted in elevated hail activity.Most people are somewhat aware of the damage hail can cause, in particular the larger variety of hail that is notorious for damaging and denting cars. This awareness doesn't always fully translate into the impact a hail storm can have on your home's roof. While you can visually see the damage to your car after a hail storm, you can't always see the damage to a roof. The damage you can't see can put the longevity of your roof at risk.Roof replacement due to hail damage is one of the most expensive fixes for homeowners and insurance companies. Hail can vary in size dramatically, falling as small as the size of tiny pellets, or as large as baseballs. It is typically the larger hail that can cause enough damage to your asphalt roof to justify a roof replacement. Asphalt Roof Shingle Damage from Hail:Hail damage to asphalt roofs occur when hail beating against the surface of asphalt shingle results in the protective granular surface of the shingle to loosen and potentially fall off. When the granules are loosened, the asphalt shingles loses some of its protection potential and becomes vulnerable to additional damage.- Note: Damaged asphalt layers can potentially allow water seepage into the roof.- Tip: If the granules of an asphalt shingle are removed by a hail storm, the shingle's longevity can be severely diminished.Signs of Hail Damage to an Asphalt Roof:- Bruises or small dents in the asphalt shingle - Granulation is displaced exposing the asphalt - Granulation has settled at the base of your downspouts - The spots hit by hail usually leave a soft spot in the shingle - Significantly damaged metal air vents on the roof indicate similar hit pattern for roof - Damage and denting of siding, or guttersIf my Roof is damaged, how fast should I replace it?There is a misconception if your roof sustains damage from a hail storm that your roof needs to be replaced immediately. You'll find some conflicting evidence online from other roofers that advise immediately replacing your roof. In Georgia for example, any reliable roofing contractor in Atlanta should tell you otherwise. Typically the damage sustained from a hail storm will pose no immediate threat to your roof. The threat is in the longevity of the roof, because hail can dramatically decrease a roof's life expectancy. The deteriorated protection from a roof that is not expected to last its full life is why insurance companies will authorize the replacement of your roof.Will Homeowner's Insurance Cover a New Roof?This answer varies by the coverage on your homeowner's insurance policy. For some homeowners the answer is "yes." If you believe your home has been the victim of hail, contact your insurance company to determine if your policy will cover the damage. For many homeowners they will be able to have the roof repaired, or replaced and will need to pay a deductable. - Tip: If you are unsure if you homeowner's policy covers hail damage to your roof, contact your insurance company.Caution: Avoid Storm Chasers!Homeowners need to beware of 'storm chasers.' A storm chaser typically consists of an out of town roofing contractor that goes door to door after a hail storm soliciting for business. While it may seem tempting and convenient, these roofers can do more harm than good. Make sure any roofer you look to work with has a good reputation in the community. Look for a roofer that is located locally and check references. Look for references that are over a year old and ones that are more recent, within the last 30 days. Finally never give a deposit for a roof. A reliable roofer will only ask for payment once the roof has been complete.If you think your home has sustained roof hail damage, get a professional opinion. Experienced roofing contractors should be willing to provide free roofing estimates upon request.
Hail Roof Damage - What to Look ForOne of the most important parts of your roofing business marketing strategy is knowing how to price a roofing job. Roofing has traditionally been one of the top paying jobs in the construction industry and therefore you will most likely have the ability to command good prices for your work and materials.In this article we look at a roofing business pricing method and we also offer some tips on estimating roofing prices that are accurate and profitable.Estimating a Roofing Job - Our MethodYou have to do some research into your local roofing business before you can get an accurate idea of market prices. Once you have a fair idea what other roofing contractors are charging then you will have a fair idea of what people are prepared to pay for your services. Talk to some of your competitors on the phone and call some out to bid if you have a suitable roof for them to inspect.Once you get a lead, a good way to start is to sit down with a prospective client and really listen to what they want. Try to get an idea of their budget and any specific requests that they may have. Get a feel for what the customer is prepared to pay. You might decide to go for lower pricing for a family in a working class neighborhood but push the price a little higher for a professional couple in an upper class suburb.Pricing by the square is the method used by most roofers. Under this system one square equals 100 square feet. Start out by taking accurate measurements to get an understanding of the basic size of the roofing job and the volume of materials that will be required. Then you can make adjustments for how difficult the job will be for you and your crew. Take into account the pitch of the roof, height above ground level, the number of obstacles such as chimneys or skylights and any other difficulties associated with the job.Contact your supplier and get an updated price on the shingles and other materials that you will be using. Then you can calculate the total cost of materials.Next, estimate your total labor cost in terms of the man hours that you estimate will be necessary to complete the job. Don't forget to allow for your own time if you will be working on the job yourself.Then you can add an allowance onto each job to take into account the fixed costs that your business has such as depreciation on equipment, vehicle costs, insurance, workers compensation and other expenses. If your company is working on an average of four roofing jobs a month then you would add a quarter of your total monthly expenses or overheads to the price for each roofing installation job.Finally you can add on a suitable amount of profit, make some final adjustments to bring your price a little closer to market rates if need be and finally take the price estimate to the client. Some roofers have a standard markup that they set as a percentage added on top of the total costs and others set profit levels on a case by case basis.How to Price a Roof Job - Tips and IdeasRoofing has its low ballers, or those that try to compete by offering insanely low prices, like any industry does. When you quote a price to a new client they will often respond by mentioning some of the other cheaper bids that they have received. Be ready to counter their argument by letting them know that there is no way that you would be able to do the job for that price and still ensure a quality replacement or installation. Don't criticize your competitors too much in front of a prospect but make it clear that with workers compensation, OSHA requirements, your liability insurance and expenses it would not be possible to do the job professionally and legally for a lower price.Smart customers will also get satisfaction by knowing that your business is a professional company that will be around for the next ten years or so to honor their warranty if need be. Those that charge cut throat prices are usually cowboys that often don't last long in business.Avoid pricing too low. You will be doing damage to your local roofing industry and be resented by other market players. There are many other ways that you can be unique and competitive without focusing on having the lowest price.Pricing too high can also be a mistake unless you can back this up with a solid brand reputation built over many years or first class salesmanship. Your customers will always get multiple bids and if yours is way higher than the others you have to be ready to justify this. The right price point is that one that makes you the highest profit at the end of the day so don't be scared to try pricing at different levels until you find the one that works for you.Don't be tricky with your customers. Contractors in some industries have a reputation for being sharks who are out to gouge as much money from clients as possible. This strategy is only beneficial in the short term and won't win you the referrals that are necessary to build a business in the long term. Set a clear price for the client right from the beginning and resist adding on additional charges. If you do find work that is necessary but not quoted for, such as replacing a rotting timber board on the roof deck, then let the client know beforehand. You can also collect evidence such as photos and receipts to prove to them that you came across necessary repair work and went ahead with it without asking them.Many of your clients will expect a discount or want to negotiate for a lower price. A roofing package is a major purchase and you will leave them with a good feeling if they are under the impression that they got a good deal. Set your prices in a way that will allow you to drop them by five percent if the situation calls for it.