WHERE IS YOUR COMPANY LOCATED?
MAY I TALK WITH SOME OF YOUR PREVIOUS CUSTOMERS?
Prior performance is one of the best indicators of future performance. Ask the roofing company for at least three past clients to ask if they were satisfied with the work done on their roof. This gives you a chance to see how satisfied their previous customers were with their work. If your pro hesitates or refuses to share references, it may be a sign to keep looking.
Also look at reviews with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Facebook, Google, or Angie’s List. Don’t be turned off if a company has a negative review but rather look to see how it responded to any criticism it may have received.
MAY I SEE PICTURES OF YOUR PREVIOUS WORK?
WHAT IS THE MANUFACTURER WARRANTY ON THE MATERIALS?
IS YOUR COMPANY CERTIFIED BY THE MATERIAL MANUFACTURER?
WHAT IS THE LABOR WARRANTY ON THE NEW ROOF?
DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE A LICENSE TO PERFORM THIS WORK?
WHAT INSURANCE LIMITS DOES YOUR COMPANY CARRY?
WHO WILL BE DOING THE WORK AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The price is often the first thing homeowners think about, but it’s just one part of the hiring process. Do not hire a roofing company based solely on the lowest price because they may not provide the same value as companies with slightly higher pricing. Cheap estimates drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance must establish pricing to cover such costs.
Those that do work on the side or are just working out of a pick-up truck can always do the work cheaper but in the long run, you get what you pay for (Lo barato sale caro.). Customers that are sold on price as their sole criteria ultimately end up spending more to fix problems, and many of these problems would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee by a reputable established roofing company. A quality roofing company will complete your job on time, to code, and will be there to handle any mistakes it may make.
WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT TERMS?
We have all heard horror stories of contractors who receive money for a project only to not complete the work or worse, never start! Ask the roofing company what payment terms it requires and pay with a check or credit card so that you always have a way to prove payment. Attempt to avoid paying with cash. Resist dealing with any company who asks you to pay for an entire job up-front. A deposit of one-third of the total price is standard procedure and provides some security to companies because there are also homeowners who do not pay for services rendered. It is a common and accepted practice for professional roofing companies to ask for a payment schedule that parallels the work.
WHICH MATERIALS WILL YOU USE?
Make sure your roofing company gives you a detailed list of the materials it is proposing to install on your list and that the same materials are the same ones that show up the day your project begins. Ask that the contract include the name brands of the materials that will be used so you can make an even comparison with other estimates you may receive. All materials are not made the same. Although two people may sell you a “truck” for the same price, one may be a premium, leather interior, 4 wheel-drive monster with all of the bells and whistles, while the other might be a rust bucket you have to roll down the hill to get started.
WHO WILL SUPERVISE THE WORK?
MAY I HAVE THIS IN WRITING?
Get explicit details and cost in a signed contract that you keep a copy of! Putting everything in writing and having all parties sign helps mitigate disputes before, during, and after a project. Read the contract carefully before signing. Professional companies won’t be annoyed if you take the time to understand the terms of your agreement. Most will be happy to sit down with you and explain parts you don’t understand.
Ask for updated estimates. Sometimes, project needs change and your company has to revise its original estimate. Ask for an explanation but don’t sign amendments if it doesn’t make sense. It is common to encounter unexpected repairs and price increases on roofing materials but you will want to confirm that the changes are reasonable and within your budget before proceeding.
HAS THE COMPANY COMMUNICATED WELL?
Communication is paramount. Did the company return your phone call or email? Did they send the documentation that you asked them to? Did they follow through? If you answered “no” to these questions, then make sure you communicate your concerns to the company representative immediately. If they still can’t make good, walk away. Communication is key to every business. If you aren’t getting what you need on the front end when they are trying to earn your business, what will happen once you have committed the work to them?.