Important Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Any Roofing Contractor
Your roof is one of the most expensive and valuable components to your home’s foundation and exterior. Replacing your roof can be one of the most daunting tasks of homeownership, as it is can be an expensive home improvement project. As such, you want to ensure that you are doing your proper due-diligence before allowing just ‘any’ Baltimore roofing contractor walk on your roof, or make repairs or re-roof your home.
Hiring a roofing contractor without proper research, and going on just price can be a costly mistake in the long-term. When you have suffered storm damage to your roof, and particularly if your roof is leaking, you want to have peace of mind that you are in good hands with a professional roofer that understands your concerns and situation, and will make the replacement process as stress-free as possible. A true professional will offer you quality craftsmanship, labor and materials to build a roof that will stand strong for years. A fly by night contractor could offer slip-shod craftsmanship, where your roof leaks in only a matter of years – or worse – they could disappear with your money.
Installing a roofing system properly takes expertise and know-how. It is important to put your trust in a roofer that can back-up their work, and a reputation that shows their commitment to quality work and communication. In this article, we will outline some of the most important questions that you should ask before hiring any Baltimore roofer!
References, References, References
A professional roofing company that has serviced the Baltimore metropolitan area for any significant amount of time will have accrued references and testimonials from previous happy customers. Your roofing contractor should be able to provide you with a list of references, and many of which should be local to you as well (in your neighborhood or city). The more recent the references are, the better as it provides an indicator of how their recent work is. A mix of new and old references are important as older references provide insight into how well the roofer’s work has held up over the years, while a recent reference will showcase their current craftsmanship and work.
Inquire about Credentials
While researching your potential roofing contractor to work on your Baltimore home, you should ask to see information about their credentials, and any paperwork. Credentials can be issued by the state, or specifically from the manufacturers that the roofing company uses. Credentials and certifications may indicate the prestige or recognition that the roofing company has within the industry. For instance, a GAF Master Elite or Owens Corning Preferred certification from the manufacturer is a reflection of the contractor’s top-work. Certain credentials are more exclusive than others, and it is a good idea to ask your contractor what certifications that they may have.
Research Their Reviews
While references are important, you should also conduct a comprehensive Google search to review your roofing company’s online reputation. Do they have 5-star Google reviews? Do they have top reviews on third party platforms like Home Advisor or Porch? Does the contractor have top reviews with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Angie’s List, and on Facebook?
Reviews provide great insight into the experience of others. If it is an older and established roofing company, do they have 100’s of reviews? Or, does the roofing company only have a handful of reviews? If the company only has a handful of reviews, you should question why that is. Are customers not happy with their work? Are they new and you will be one of their first customers? A lot can be gleaned from their online reviews.
It is important to also read the reviews with a grain of salt. A few negative reviews can sometimes be for minor issues, and in running a construction company, minor things can come up dealing with 100′ of customers. However, it is important to see how the roofing contractor addresses those reviews, and if they have responded in an attempt to rectify that dissatisfied customer’s experience. Similarly, 5-star reviews are important to see. Read the general consensus from other homeowner’s on the roofer’s work.
Ask About Their Background
Before hiring any roofing contractor to work on your home, get to know the rep better and learn more about the company’s history and background. A roof replacement is not an inexpensive project. You should feel comfortable with the rep/tech and that the company has a deep rooted background in roofing and has experience working on both minor and complex roofing systems.
Request a Detailed Estimate
Price is of course a large consideration for any homeowner when having your roof replaced. While you should be price conscious, you should look for a contractor who is priced in the middle. The cheapest estimates can be a reflection in the quality of the materials and labor that they are offering. They may also not be shrewd business-people, and could potentially go out of business, resulting in the inability to honor their warranty. The highest priced estimates you get may just be a reflection of higher overhead, and not better material.
With a detailed estimate, you can compare these line by line items. While there are intangibles that can separate some roofing companies from others, such as their overall reputation or customer service they offer, you can compare specific material and proposals that they are offering. For instance, is one contractor including 3-tab shingles while another is providing architectural? Is one contractor offering a 30-year warranty while another is offering a lifetime warranty? A detailed estimate will show exactly the scope of work that the contractor is proposing, and should account for all contingencies to prevent any mysterious charges or hidden fees (i.e. if wooden decking has to be replaced).
Ask About The Turn Around Time For Your Project
It is extremely important to speak with your roofing contractor about any time requirements or time considerations that you have. If you’re tight on time because of a real estate transaction, such as closing on a home, it is important to have the time frame for your roof replacement job outlined in the contract. A professional roofing company will explain their schedule, and if they can reasonably work around your requirements without stringing you along.
All roofing contractors have different schedules and backlogs of work. If your potential roofer is booked up for 4-6 weeks, it is important to discuss that with your contractor to avoid any misunderstandings. When severe weather hits, a roofing company may be booked up for a month, or even 8 or more weeks! If your roof is in desperate need of replacement, you may need them to adjust their schedule to prioritize your emergency roof replacement!
Additionally, you should discuss with your roofer how inclement weather can impact the scheduled date of your new roof. A professional roofing company will monitor the weather daily to ensure that rain or snow is not in the forecast. If Mother Nature is not cooperating, they should have a contingency plan in place for you to reschedule to another time.
A Baltimore Roofing Company You Can Trust
In this article, we hope that we were able to provide an outline of important questions to ask your roofer before hiring anyone. We hope that this has provided value to you. We take our customer’s satisfaction extremely serious, and these are some of the main points of discussion that we have seen over the years. If you have a leaky, aging or storm damaged roof, we can provide you with a free no-obligation roofing inspection and estimate. We take pride in offering the Baltimore community the best roofing materials and craftsmanship and customer service in the entire metro area. Simply call one of our staff and we are happy to answer any roofing questions that you may have. Get started by filling out a form on our website www.bestmarylandroofingpros.com or by calling us today!