We feel it is extremely important that you be keenly aware of the potential risks involved in the execution of the removal and replacement of the roof that protects you, your family and all of your belongings. Far too often we read or hear about an unsuspecting consumer that thought they had crossed all the T's and dotted all I's only to find out after a problem occurs that they are left standing alone and holding the proverbial "BAG". It is NOT our intention to instill fear or apply a scare tactic but rather quite the opposite. We would like to educate and assist you, the consumer and untrained purchaser of roofing products and installation practices, in what to look for, require and avoid so that your reroofing experience is a pleasant one and so that you are assured to receive everything you have paid for when the project is complete.
Doing a little homework now can prevent a lot of trouble later, make an informed decision!
✔ Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax ID, number and where appropriate, and a valid contractor's license.
A professional will have these readily available.
✔ Don't hesitate to ask the roofing contractor for proof of the insurance.
In fact, insist on having copies of both liability coverage and workers' compensation certificates sent to you directly from the carrier. Make sure the coverages run through the duration of the job. Many building owners and homeowners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofing contractors. Also, if a contractor is not properly insured, the owner may be held liable for accidents that occur on the property.
✔ Check the roofing contractor's coverages. This is key and every bit, if not more important than knowing they have insurance.These coverages are your protection against future financial catastrophe.
Key elements of roofing contractor's insurance coverage's should include;
✔ Check to see if the roofing contractor is properly licensed or bonded.
California has very specific licensing requirements. The California State License Board toll free number to check on a prospective contractor's license is: 800-321-2752.
✔ Make sure the contractor is financially stable.
A professional roofing contractor can provide current financial information.
✔ Look for a company with a proven track record that readily offers client references and a list of completed projects.
Call these clients to find out if they were satisfied with the roof systems, services and work they received.
✔ Insist on a written proposal
All estimates and proposals should be submitted in writing. Examine the document for detailed, complete descriptions of the work to be performed and system specifications to be adhered to throughout installation. Within the proposal document should be a reference to project duration and substantial completion. Additionally, there should be very specific parameters for payment and the process for changes in the scope of work that may occur through the duration of your project.
✔ Have your contractor list the roofing manufacturers with which his or her firm has licensed or approved applicator agreements.
Most materials require specific application procedures and trained installation technicians in order to achieve a quality roof system that will last and qualify for extended warranties.
✔ Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures.
Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required and the estimated time of completion.
✔ Check to see if the contractor is member of any regional or national industry association
Typical roofing contractor memberships and associations should be;
✔ Call your local Better Business Bureau or Department of Professional Regulation
Confirm there are not valid complaints lodged against your roofing contractor.
✔ Carefully read and understand any roof warranty offered and watch for provisions that would void it.
Review the warranty information prior to the start of any project. There are very specific parameters that must be adhered to in order to obtain standard and especially extended manufacturer warranties and remedying these issues after the fact is a difficult proposition.
✔ Choose a company committed to the safety and education of its workers.
Ask the contractor what kind of safety training he provides for his workers and what industry educational programs they have attended. All roofing contractors should post on your property and in plain sight the "Safety Plan" specific to your project.
✔ Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors seem attractive with their below-cost bids, but are often under-insured, pay cash to their workers and / or perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor, professionalism, communication, experience and quality workmanship should also weigh heavily in your decision making process.