Winter is quickly approaching. If you are a homeowner, now is the time to make sure your home is ready for the long, cold days ahead. One of the most important parts of home maintenance is making sure your roof is ready for whatever weather conditions it may encounter.
If your roof is in need of some TLC, you will need to hire a professional roofing contractor. But how do you choose the right roofing company for your needs?
Essentials: What You Need to Know Before Asking for a Quote
While price is usually the determining factor in choosing a specialist, there are a few things you need to ask before you get a quote.
• Does this contractor have all the necessary licenses and permits for your area? If you are unsure of what the requirements are, contact your local licensing board or the Department of Professional Regulation.
• Is this a legitimate company? This is important! There are many scams involving fake contractor services. You can end up with a subpar roof or spending more money having amateur mistakes fixed. Ask for the company's physical address, phone numbers, email addresses, or even their tax identification numbers. You can then use that information to check with your local Better Business Bureau to verify their legitimacy.
• Does the roofing company in question have current worker's compensation and liability insurance? If a worker gets hurt while working on your property, you could find yourself liable if their company is not properly insured. Not all areas require contractors to carry these types of insurances, but you may be more comfortable choosing one that does.
• Ask for a few references. Don't be afraid to call or contact previous customers and find out what their experiences were with the roofing specialists. First person experience can save a lot of time and headache.
Getting the Most Out of Your Quotes
Once you have contacted and researched at least 3 companies, you can start gathering and evaluating quotes.
• Ask for the quotes in writing. This will help avoid any misunderstandings or last minute charges.
• Ask for and make sure you understand any warranty information.
• Be sure to ask how long the project will take, how many workers to expect, work hours, safety issues, and who is responsible for cleanup.
• Know what is and is not included in your contract. Specifically, you will want to know what fees and warranties you may be responsible for, and what services are included in your quote price. While it may be tempting to choose the contractor with the lowest price, you may end up paying more in the long run if certain fees and licenses are not covered by your contract.
• You will want to have any questions or concerns addressed before accepting a contract to avoid confusion later on.
Once you have received and reviewed the quote information from at least 3 companies, you can confidently choose the best roofing contractor for your needs.