Need to repair or replace a roof? Learn about what a residential roofer does and what to know before hiring a local roofer.
Tips to help you choose the right roofer
It’s a mistake to think that every legitimate business is trustworthy. To help you weed out the bad seeds, consider the following tips:
- Check BBB.org to ensure the company you’re considering is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Companies cannot pay to appear on the website or to increase their BBB grades, and many manufacturers require a company to maintain a good grade with the BBB to remain a certified installer of their products.
- Speaking of manufacturer certification, obtaining one requires a company to meet a set of standards that vary in stringency depending on the manufacturer. For example, GAF strictly enforces its criteria to the point of granting the Master Elite designation to only 2% of roofing contractors per market and requires them to maintain a good BBB rating to keep the designation.
- Look for local referrals. Whether you check Yelp, Google, HomeAdvisor or any other review site, check the location of the reviewers to ensure they’re local. Local businesses with local referrals are familiar with your county’s ordinances, building codes and the area’s materials suppliers.
- Make sure the company you’re thinking of hiring is properly licensed and insured. They should be willing to provide you with a copy of their credentials and proof that they’re insured with worker’s compensation and general liability coverage.
- Ensure that the contractor you hire prioritizes the safety of their workers as well as overall worksite safety. The company should have an established process in place to provide ongoing safety training for the employees.
- Inquire about available warranties. A roofing company should always offer warranties on workmanship to protect you from the costs associated with damage caused by improper installation. The company’s representative should willingly and adeptly explain the manufacturer’s warranty on materials as well as the workmanship guarantee.
- Handle your insurance claim yourself. If a contractor claims to be an insurance specialist or offers to interface with your insurance company on your behalf, they’re being dishonest with you. It’s illegal in most states, and against your interests, for the roofing company to speak to the insurance company on behalf of the homeowner during claim negotiations.
- While we’re on the subject of insurance, be sure to pay your deductible. A roofer who offers to arrange for you to bypass the deductible payment is attempting to commit insurance fraud and what’s more, they’re opening you up to potential legal action, as well.
- Be aware of your choice of roofing materials; if the roofer doesn’t openly explain your different options, you could be losing out on cost savings, upgraded curb appeal or even an increase in the home’s resale value.
- Finally, be sure to get multiple written estimates. Having 3 or more estimates to look over can help you recognize any red flags in the contract and spot unrealistically high or low price quotes.
Questions to ask your local roofer
It’s important that you always ask questions to get a full understanding of every facet of the roofing job. Here are a few:
- How long will this job take?
- When are you available to start?
- How much will this job cost?
- Can you provide a written estimate?
- Can you explain the warranty to me?
- Will you provide me with warranty documentation?
- Can you provide local references?
- How will you remedy any mistakes or unexpected issues, should they occur?
- What maintenance will my new roof require?
- How can I prevent or minimize damage?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Where can I leave a review?
Residential roofing FAQ
To give a bit more information about the roofing process, here are some questions that homeowners frequently ask:
Q: What factors contribute to the total cost of the roof?
A: The major contributing factors to the cost of roofing include materials, labor and insurance. These costs can fluctuate depending on the current state of the materials market, insurance rates and the skilled labor market.
Q: In the event of a storm that damages my roof, who should I call first?
A: Experts say that it’s typically in your best interest to call a roofing contractor for an inspection, then call your insurance company to arrange the claim.
Q: How can I recognize when my roof has problems?
A: Semiannual (twice yearly) inspections can allow you to stay ahead of structural problems caused by damaged roofing, including:
- Cracked, warped or missing shingles
- Loose seams
- Deteriorated flashings
- A buildup of surface granules in the gutters or downspouts
- Any other visible signs of roof problems
Indoors, look for cracked or bubbled paint, water stains on walls and ceilings and peeling wallpaper. These can be signs of compromised roofing. Why you need a residential roofing professional To prevent structural damage to your home, any potential roofing issues should be addressed as soon as possible by a professional roofer. Emergency situations (significant active leakage, significant damage, fire, etc.) usually require same-day repairs, while less serious issues can wait until your scheduled appointment, but should still be addressed quickly to prevent the problem from worsening.
As one of the most expensive home repairs a homeowner has to deal with, sometimes people will try to tackle the work themselves to save money. This is a bad idea. Not only could you suffer major injuries, but you could damage your roof even further, an even larger monetary cost than hiring a pro in the first place. Furthermore, DIY roofing can invalidate your roofing warranties as well as cause your homeowners insurance company to deny any future claims. Overall, hiring a licensed professional to perform roofing maintenance and repairs will save you time and money in the long run, and you won’t risk your own safety by attempting to perform the repairs yourself.
AKVM is licensed, certified and insured to perform roofing repairs of all scopes and sizes. As a local, family-owned business, we take pride in taking precautions to protect not only you, our roofers and your home, but we also have a policy of going the extra mile to ensure your landscaping, driveway and yard are left the way we found them, with no roofing nails or debris in sight.
Schedule a free, no-commitment estimate by calling 941-727-3996 or send us an email.