Find a Great Florida Roofing Contractor
Choosing the best roofing contractor is vital to protecting your home. Your roof is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. Roofs in Florida endure countless storms, intense heat and hurricane force winds, leaving them vulnerable to damage and advanced eroding. When your roof requires repair or replacement, you want to make sure you’re choosing the right contractor. Homeowners need to feel 100 percent confident in their roofing contractor, and rest easy knowing their home will be taken care of. Read on to learn 7 helpful tips to help you choose the best roofing contractor.
Always Get Referrals.
You don’t just want to go with the first roofing contractor who knocks on your door. You want referrals from friends and neighbors who can vouch for a contractor’s abilities, project management and efficiency. Referrals can significantly cut the chance of potential scams or a job done poorly.
Local contractors know the law of the land. They have an established business, and are accustomed to the local rules and code regulations. They also have a local phone number and physical address, so there is always a way to reach them when you need them. If something isn’t installed properly or if something gets damaged before the warranty expires, you will need someone to come out right away and fix the problem. A local contractor with accessible contact information can help. A contractor with a P.O. Box is a red flag, and may quickly disappear before the job is completed.
Be Aware of Storm Chasers.
Door to door salesmen are something you want to be wary of; especially after a bad storm. Storm chasers cost Florida homeowners thousands of dollars every year for uncompleted and shoddy work. A contractor knocking at your door and claiming to be driving around the neighborhood is typically not licensed or insured, and will vanish as soon as they get your money. Professional roofing contractors will typically not be joyriding around a neighborhood after a major storm and pressuring you to sign contracts.
Ask the Right Questions.
A professional roofing contractor will be able to answer standard industry questions. Some vital questions to ask your contractor before they start:
- Are you licensed? The answer you want to hear is, “Yes!” While states have varying licensing requirements, you want to make sure your contractor is licensed in the state where you’re having your roof replacement done. Make sure the license is up to date.
- Do you have liability insurance? Once again, the answer should be, “Yes.” Liability insurance covers your property in case something unfortunate happens, anything from accidentally shattering your glass doors during an equipment malfunction to burning your house down during a welding project – things you do not want to get stuck paying for! Always ask to see the insurance certificate to validate you will not be responsible for payment during an incident on your property.
- Do you have workman’s comp insurance? The contractor should say, “Yes.” Workman’s comp covers a contractor who gets injured on your property. If the company does not offer this insurance to their employers, you may be responsible for paying thousands of dollars for the injured contractor’s medical bills. Make sure every contractor working on your property is properly insured.
- Do you install drip edge or edge metal when you install the new roof? You definitely want to hear, “Yes!” Any contractor worth their salt knows they absolutely cannot skip this part, as it can lead to water damage. Drip edge or edge metal is installed under the shingle to prevent water from getting trapped behind it, and protects the wood and fascia on your roof.
- Do you clean up when the project is over? The answer is, “Yes.” You do not want to be responsible for the large amount of refuse that collects during a roofing project. The company you choose should bring a container to store the refuse during the job. Make sure to ask where the contractors plan to store the refuse as well, as it can get pretty heavy. It is likely to be heavy enough to cause damage to your driveway if the container is stored there; so you’ll also want to ask what they do should an accident like that occur.
- What is your rainy day plan? Their answer should include covering the project in tarps and covers. We live in Florida, so we can pretty much always expect sudden bouts of inclement weather. Your contractor should have a plan set in place to protect the interior of your home from the elements. The contractor should make sure the covers are secure and well-maintained in case the storm extends.
- Do you offer a warranty? Your new roof MUST come with a warranty, covering a minimum of 25 years. Any damage from natural disasters or installation errors needs to be covered. Protect your investment. Always make sure your roofing contractor provides you with a warranty.
Don’t Decide Based on Price
The old adage is true: you get what you pay for. Price should not be the deciding factor in terms of selecting a roofing contractor. Cheaper does not equate to better. Contractors who work out of their pick-up truck can easily give a lower quote because they don’t worry about overhead and proper insurance requirements. Contractors who work as part of a reputable company will almost always have higher quotes for roofing projects. Homeowners who choose contractors based on lowball quotes typically end up paying significantly higher prices in the end to fix problems that would have been covered in a workmanship guarantee by an established roofing company.
Better Business Bureau Rating
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a consumer-driven website with varying levels of score for businesses. You can research the history of customer reviews and complaints, along with contact information, services and business history. The purpose of the BBB is to build trust between consumers and businesses, and a high rating means you can trust the company to complete reliable work.
Open Lines of Communication
A reliable roofing contractor will answer or return your calls, send over paper work in a reasonable amount of time, have transparent pricing, write out a clear project description and provide a clear timeline. There should be no mystery surrounding your roofing project. Communication is key. If the lines of communication are not open before the project begins, it won’t get better once the project is underway.
Finding the best roofing contractor can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Do your research, get referrals from friends and family, always go with a local company and ask the right questions. Choosing the wrong contractor can lead to spending a lot more money in the long run to fix poorly completed work, as well as causing stress and heartache. The best roofing contractor for your home will provide you with a roof you and your family can enjoy for years to come.