Sorting Through Available Roofing Companies

By Nelda Powers

One of the most valuable investments a person can make is in home ownership. This may require occasionally having repairs done which should not be trusted to just any contractor. In order to find the most qualified professional for the job, there are a few general tips for vetting several roofing companies at once.

It can not be stressed enough that one should never deal with a contractor, especially one in this field, who is not legitimate. This means that they will be able to produce certain documents such as a business license, proof of workers compensation and liability insurance, as well as any credentials required by the state in which they operate. They should be willing to provide warranties on both the materials used and the work performed.

Every state has different types of requirements for being issued a roofer's license. To find out what is required in one's local area, check with the Department of Professional Regulations and licensing board for more details. It may also be prudent to request their tax identification number, business website, email, address and phone information.

Recommendations for reliable contractors can come from relatives, neighbors, co-workers and friends. It may also be a good idea to speak with claims adjusters and providers of home insurance to find out which companies to use or to avoid. Do not be shy to request a list of prior clients from each contractor, and contact each one to get a personal opinion.

Aside from contacting prior clients and various individuals in the insurance field to find out how each company performed, there are other ways to check a contractor's reputation. The Better Business Bureau will have a record of complaints filed, though they are unlikely to have any positive reviews on hand. Online websites that allow homeowners to post pros and cons of different vendors are a great resource.

If at all possible, a homeowner needs to do some comparison shopping before signing any contracts. Most contractors will provide free estimates though one should always inquire as to whether or not there is a charge prior to allowing any representative into the home. This document should be a written account of any verbal promises made, as well as contain details on the materials used and the pricing.

A contract should be completed before any work begins and it should clearly state the specifics of the service to be performed. These include details like the exact materials to be use, safety measures to be taken, working hours, project duration and clean up protocols along with all costs and pay expectations. Always make remittances via checks or with a credit card, never cash, with a maximum of one-third the complete price being used as a down payment and the final installment held until the work is inspected and the customer is satisfied.

When considering roofing companies, it is important to remember that the lowest price is not always the best value and that quality counts for a lot. Taking the time to do a little research to find the best option is definitely worth it. Homeowners should ask for a warranty that covers both product and workmanship and need to be sure to read it carefully.

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