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? Virginia Dale
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.
Virginia DaleIf you need a roof estimate, one of the first places some people look is in the phone book. But if you want a GOOD roofer, that's not the best place to find him.Sure, he probably has a small listing there if he's been in business for longer than a year or so. That's just part of being professional, so prospects and customers can find you. But unlike the companies that depend on big, expensive ads to make the phone ring, he gets most of his business from referrals.His name is on the hearts and minds of his happy clients and raving fans. His business card is in their wallets and purses or hung on their refrigerator. He has earned their trust and they wouldn't call anybody else.So where can YOU find this guy for your roof estimate? Actually, it isn't all that difficult. If you don't know him, you probably know somebody who does. Heck, they say everybody on earth is connected by just six degrees of separation. Joe Girard (The World's Greatest Car Salesman) figures the average person knows about 250 people. If each of them know 250, that is a pool of 62,500 people right there. Everybody but the homeless have a roof overhead and they were all installed by somebody. Here are five places to look for a good roofer for your project.1. Ask your friends, family and coworkers if they can recommend someone for a roof estimate. This is one of your very best sources because these are the people you know and trust. They will probably give you the WHOLE truth about roofing contractors they know. Even if they can't recommend someone, they might tell you who to avoid!2. Ask your neighbors. Find out who they used and if they would use them again. Some homeowner associations even keep a list of reliable contractors.Pay attention to roofing work going on in your neighborhood. Look for yard signs and company names on the vehicles. What's the condition of their trucks? If they don't care about their own equipment, how much do you think they will care about your roof? What about the roofing crews? Do they go about their work in a quiet professional manner... or does the jobsite resemble a wild roof party, complete with beer and music blasting from a boom box? Do they keep the jobsite clean... or are shingle wrappers and debris blowing all over the neighborhood? If you get the chance, talk to the homeowner after a hard rain. Is he a happy camper?3. Call the roofing suppliers in your area or drop by for some product literature. Talk to the manager, tell him you need a roof estimate and ask for the names of a few good roofers. The suppliers deal with all the roofing contractors in town on a daily basis. They are plugged into the grave vine and have a pretty good idea who has a good reputation and who doesn't.4. Call the building inspector for your municipality and speak to a roofing inspector. Ask about the permit and inspection requirements for your project. While you have him on the phone, tell him you need a roof estimate and ask for a few names of good roofers in your area. It's his job to check roofing work, so he should know better than anyone who does it right and who doesn't. He probably can't make an official endorsement, but he might give you a few names to check out. 5. Finally, check out your prospective roofers online. The internet has made advertising cheap and easy, but it has also made it more difficult for the bad guys to hide. Google the names of the roofing companies you are considering and see what comes up.It's also a good idea to check the names of the owners of these companies. A common practice when roofing companies get in trouble is to shut down and then open back up under another name.See what Angies List (www.angieslist.com) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) have on them. Check their status with the local and state licensing boards.By now you should have several companies to choose from for your roof estimate. Select the three with the strongest reputation and give them a call. Be sure to tell them where you got their name. Us roofers who depend on "word of mouth" advertising know how important referrals are and we will try especially hard not to disappoint you!
Roofing Estimate - An Important Point That Can Push Your Roofing Repair Beyond BudgetMy home suffered damage from a severe hail storm this year. It broke out our two street facing windows and our upstairs window. It totaled the exterior of our cars and even destroyed the rosebushes my wife had tried to keep alive through the summer. And the hail damaged roof? The roof was wrecked, even I could tell that and I am no roofing expert.My doorbell was ringing almost before the rain had stopped. It was an "Invasion of the Roofing Guys." I talked to no less than five on the first day. So who do you choose? They all pretty much say the same thing. Some guys seem more professional than others, some were very pushy and applied a lot of pressure for me to sign a "no obligation" contract. I felt like I was in over my head. Who was going to rip me off the least? That was the pessimistic thought that kept coming back to me.I eventually picked a roofing contractor that seemed like a decent kind of guy. He talked to me about his family and he convinced me he was on my side. I have a pretty good BS detector and even though I thought he was a little too pushy, overall he seemed trustworthy. He had testimonials from other home owners whose roof installations he had done. He seemed knowledgeable. Based on my limited knowledge, I felt like he was the best guy to go with out of the many I had talked to. So I didn't take the time to call any of his referrals and I signed a contract. Things started well. We got the paperwork done and he received his first check and went to work. A large group of workers descended on my house and had the roof stripped before 10:00 am on the first day. By the morning of the second day it was done and they were gone. I was amazed at how fast the job went. Right away, I saw some things that bothered me. They left nails in the yard and a pile of shingles for me to remove. I felt like full cleanup would include nails but I let it slide. I'm sure they assumed the shingles were mine so I would want the extras. I didn't need them, and how was I to dispose of them? But the roof itself just didn't look exceptional; it bowed in some areas and had some uneven spots. Basically, it looked like a poorly done job.The roofing company also contracted to repair the windows. Once they had my check they were far more difficult to reach than before. The windows finally got done 2 months later. Then we had problems with the final payment. Somehow it worked out that I owed him more money. I refused to pay and they eventually faded away. So I would give my roofer experience 4 out of 10. I'm sure others have had much better and much worse experiences.Here is some key points that I learned that I hope will help you when you need your roof replaced:1. Get a local roofing company to examine your house before you call your insurance company. 2. Get at least two quotes from local roofing contractors. Unless your live in a very rural area, there should be no shortage of roofers to contact. Make sure you get referrals from them. 3. Follow up on these referrals and talk to their customers about the job they did. 4. Be careful what you sign. The "no obligation" contract may be more than what you are told. 5. Make sure the quotes spell out exactly what will be done. If not, you won't be able to compare an apples to apples quotes. Be sure it includes cleanup and haul-off. 6. Contact your insurance company and schedule an appointment with the adjuster. 7. If you have found someone that you feel comfortable with, I would suggest you have the roofing contractor on hand when the insurance adjuster is there. 8. Do not pay for the entire job in advance. Make sure everything is completed per the contract before you make your final payment. 9. And finally - to repeat - take your time, use a local roofer and ask for references. Next time I will take my time to find someone I am totally comfortable with. Always ask questions. Make sure your contract spells out exactly what will be done. Find a roofer who takes the time to make the job clear to you before he collects the check, or your sign a contract. Take it from me, the little bit of extra time it takes up front will pay in a satisfactory job and peace of mind later.