#1: Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
A roof is a significant investment, which means you want the maximum amount of protection leveraged against the minimum level of risk. Contracting with a roofer that is licensed, bonded, and insured is a terrific way to gain the peace of mind you need before your roofing project begins. Let’s look at each component individually:
- Licensed: this confirms that the company is indeed a licensed professional entity with the tools and expertise to execute the project at-hand
- Insured: as with numerous other industries, insurance is needed to not only protect against any potential damage to your home and/or new roof, but also to remove your liability should a worker get injured
- Bonded: when we say a roofing contractor is “bonded”, this means that a bonding company has secured money from the contractor that is available to you in the event that you file a claim against the contractor for shoddy craftsmanship, etc.
#2: Do you offer a warranty?
If you come across a roofing contractor who doesn’t offer a warranty, walk away. If a contractor is unwilling to offer a warranty, this shows that they lack confidence in their own work – or are running a sham operation. A 10-year workmanship warranty is standard, while many companies also provide a lifetime materials warranty. Along with confirming that a roofing contractor offers a warranty, be sure to read the contract and confirm that it includes the warranty promised by the contractor.
#3: May I have a written estimate?
Much like a contract, a written estimate represents tangible proof of what the roofing contractor thinks your project will entail in terms of materials, timing, and cost. The more detailed, the better. Payment terms should be clearly stated on the estimate, along with an estimated start date and finish date. Make sure to review the estimate, no matter how polished and detailed it is, and ask before project starts. Better safe than sorry.
#4: Do you have references?
Similar to a company that doesn’t offer a warranty, a company lacking references is either brand-new to the scene, or hasn’t wowed its current customers enough that they’re willing to vouch for the roofing contractor’s work. Asking for references is one of the first things you should do after you contact a contractor, and you should call these references before entering the estimate/contract phase. Ask these references how happy they were with the contractor’s performance, and whether any problems/issues cropped up. Depending on your project’s size, you could choose to work with a new company, but in this case you’ll need your budget and instincts to guide you.
#5: Do you have an actual, local office?
Be wary of any roofing contractor that works out of a truck and either doesn’t furnish an address or gives you a home address. If you have problems/questions during the project, you need a brick-and-mortar location to visit. If you’re working with a contractor who embraces a “mobile” lifestyle, it may be tough to find him/her when you need them most.
Contact our home improvement company in Chicago to learn more about our roofing services and receive a quote.