Five key ways to protect yourself when choosing a roofer:
Carefully investigate the roofer’s track record. Find out how long the roofer has been in business. Ask to speak to former customers. If the roofer is no longer around to do any rework necessary, your warranty is worthless. Also, beware of warranties. Many companies lead you to believe that they are offering a longer warranty period than others. Often, they are referring to the product manufacturer’s warranty which only covers the material defects and not the more costly portion of installation, which is usually what fails.
Get several estimates and compare not just price, but the description of materials. Since manufacturers offer products of different qualities under a single generic heading…the more specific the product descriptions in the sales agreement, the better.
Accompany roofers as they evaluate roof conditions. Ask about rotten wood. Estimates should include replacement of any rotten wood found.
Ask to see the selected roofer’s certificate of insurance. Some uninsured roofers gamble that a worker won’t become injured or fall off a ladder at your place, exposing you to potential liability.
Whenever you sign a contract, verify that the contractor’s license number is the same on all forms, including the permit application. Beware of roofers operating shell companies that subcontract installation to others. Doing so helps them evade responsibility for the quality of their work. Prior to any work commencing, inspect the permit package to confirm that the roofing system you requested has all been properly approved, processed, filed and recorded with the same contractor’s license number.