10 Easy Tips to Hiring a Great Roofing Contractor
So you need a new roof. You look in the yellow pages, or online, and you are bombarded with hundreds of roofing contractors. Where does a person start when trying to narrow down the list of choices?
1. Ask a friend. When embarking on a new home improvement project,try to think of a friend or family member or neighbor that has had similar work done on their own home. They may or may not have liked their own contractor, and either way, this can be a great starting point. When they give you their contractor’s name, you can now begin your research.
2. Use the Internet. This is a fantastic and almost mandatory tool when deciding on a contractor. Once you get the referral from your friend, Google their name. This is a hub that contains a plethora of information on the people you are going to be trusting your hard earned money with.
3. Check on their Registrar Of Contractor’s license. Make sure what ever contractors you are considering have zero complaints. You can usually find licensing information online.
4. Check on their Better Business Bureau rating. You would be shocked at how many contractors have “F” ratings due to unresolved complaints. Steer clear of any contractor that doesn’t have at least a B+ rating. The BBB reports on all businesses in their database, weather they are a member of the BBB or not. If the contractor is a member of the BBB, this is even better, because they are mandated to keep a code of ethics in order to be a member.
5. Check other review sites such as yelp, Google places, and yahoo local. What are other customers saying about their experience with this contractor? Did the contractor respond to their complaints?
6. Don’t go with the biggest contractor in town. If you are embarking on a home improvement project such as an addition or remodel, you probably don’t want the contractor that has a huge advertising budget. Leave these guys to do the huge government and commercial projects. Chances are, the biggest guys have a huge monthly advertising overhead expense, and that cost will be passed on to you in your contract price. You also don’t want just some random Joe you found on Craigslist, either. This type of contractor likely doesn’t have very much money in the bank, and if problems arise during your project (or the warranty period), they may not have the manpower or bank account to fix the problem. It’s best to try to find a mid-size contractor that has been in your area for several years.
7. Ask the hard questions. 1. Ask them for a list of 5 references of happy customers 2. Ask them what kind of background check they do on their employees (ESPECIALLY IF THESE CREW MEMBERS WILL BE INSIDE YOUR HOME). 3. Ask them what kind of warranties they offer. 4. Ask them how long they have been in your town. WARNING: STAY AWAY FROM CONTRACTORS WHO SAY THEY HAVE BEEN IN YOUR TOWN FOR LESS THAN A YEAR. THESE ARE STORM CHASERS.
8. Get a copy of their General Liability Certificate, and have them list you as an additional insured. Most times, this does not cost your contractor any extra money on their insurance premium, and your knowledge will show them that you have done your homework. Of course, this will also help weed out any contractors that do not currently have insurance.
9. Tell them what you want. Don’t sugar coat it. At your initial meeting with the prospective contractor, be sure to lay out exactly what your goals are, and be very clear on the timeline you are hoping to achieve. If they can’t do what you have in mind, a good contractor will be honest with you up front. Be aware that some schedules can be delayed for reasons beyond the contractor’s control, such as rainy weather, or if during a particularly large storm repair (like that of the Oct. 5, 2010 hail storm in Arizona), there may be a temporary material supply shortage. This happened in Arizona for a period of about 2 weeks.
10. READ THE FINE PRINT CAREFULLY! And if you do not agree with something, do not be too shy to call your contractor and talk about what you do not agree with. They may be willing to remove some conditions from the fine print for you. Also, be sure to read the payment schedule and if it doesn’t already include this, ask your contractor to change the terms to read that 5% of the total contract price will be withheld until a final inspection and walk-through of the job is completed.
Canyon State Roofing & Consulting is owned and operated by Jim McLain. Jim began roofing in Arizona in the 1980′s. Today, his company, Canyon State Roofing, is headquartered in Gilbert, AZ, but we provide work all over the valley. We have an A+ rating with the BBB, and we are here in Arizona to stay. We are proud of our excellent reputation and long list of happy customers. Please consider giving us a call today, and see how we can prove that… We know a better way!
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