Looking for a Good Roofer
Roofing materials consume but a relatively small portion of the bill for a roofing project, and the bulk will be going to the skilled labor involved. This makes choosing an experienced professional roofer an absolute must.
First of all, check the yellow pages only if you can’t obtain recommendations from friends or neighbors, or your local lumberyard or home builders.
Learning The “Secrets” of Roofing
Two prospects is always great to start with. Both should have been in business for no less than five years — roofers who are unreliable never last that long.
Lessons Learned from Years with Roofs
Checking Out References
If they check out, get some names and addresses of a few client references, and forget anyone who thinks twice about providing them.
Inspecting Previous Projects
It is important to make time to do a drive-by inspection of your prospects’ recent jobs. The spaces between water gaps – those spaces in between individual shingle tabs – should be lined up laser straight while they alternate shingle rows. The shingles have to be trimmed clean on a line that runs along the valleys, and they should overlap the valley flashing.
Additionally, on roof ends, they should be neatly trimmed, aligning with the roof edge – uneven lines indicate slipshod work. At roof valleys and eaves, flashing should be neat and free of tar. If everything looks good, call references and ask them a few questions.
Questions to Ask
For example, would they use the roofer again? Did they have leak problems? If so, was the response friendly and prompt, and were you charged for extra work?
Did they overshoot the budget, and if so, by what percentage of the original estimate? Were they satisfied with the roofer’s justification of the additional costs?
During or after the project’s completion, did they have any damaged flowers or bushes, or did they find nails lying in the driveway? Good roofers know how to clean up.
Did they have a foreman to talk to about their issues or concerns about the project, right from tear down all the way to installation?
Of course, on top of workmanship and price, there are other equally vital matters you need to look into. For one, insurance. The roofer should be adequately covered for both workers’ compensation and liability. If they claim to be insured, don’t just believe them – let them prove it.
Make sure you get a warranty for defects related to labor, such as flashing failure and leaks. A one-year warranty is the minimum, though two or three years is preferable. The norm is one year, but two or three years is preferable. These very stipulations, along with the type of shingles to be used, must be included in the contract. Choose the highest-rated shingles that fit your budget.
Finally, shingle manufacturers usually offer 20 to 30-year warranties, but note that this is automatically voided if you overlap new shingles on old ones. In other words, existing shingles must first be removed, usually for an added cost.