Is there really any question among homeowners at this point about just how important your roof is? Next to your foundation, your home’s structure depends almost entirely on your roof to protect it from the world around it. You see, nature is all the time trying to wage war on manmade structures.
The sun is constantly bombarding your home with intense UV radiation and heat. The weather is constantly in flux, exposing your home to hot and cold, to strong winds, falling rain, plummeting ice and much more. Pests are forever looking for ways into your home, and molds will look for anyplace damp and dark in which to grow and prosper.
Your roof is your first and last line of defense against these dangers, some of which can cost lives, and all of which can cause you untold trouble as a homeowner. A bad roof can result in severely-diminished resale value. When you bought your home, if not building it new, wasn’t the roof one of the first questions you had after an initial aesthetic evaluation?
Curb appeal is directly affected too, with bad curb appeal impacting your resale value and that of your neighbors. This could cause tension with your neighbors and even hostility. In gated or controlled communities, this can get you fined or even run out on rails.
If it’s severe enough, your insurance premiums can escalate extensively (or your company even dropping you), and you can even face your home being condemned by local safety and code compliance organizations. So yeah, your roof’s pretty important.
And, it’s not cheap – a new roof, as important as it is, is an expensive endeavor, and one that you can’t afford to redo both financially and causally alike. That in mind, choosing the right roofing contractor is a pretty big decision, whether it’s replacing a roof on your existing home or when building a new home from the ground up.
Well, at the end of the day, this all comes down to using some common sense and due diligence, but we’d be remiss in just leaving you with that and wishing you the best of luck. Let’s take a moment just to explore some criteria to compare, and sources to look to. Also, we’d like to leave you with a couple caveats that our human nature to assume the best of others, can lead us astray with from time to time.
Referrals from Friends
Okay, while we’re saying referrals from friends, we should probably clarify that this isn’t to be taken entirely literally. Referrals can come from colleagues, relatives, actual traditionally-defined friends, or from online sources which you’ve vetted and which you trust. Obviously, people you have some level of personal and positive relationship with, will have your best interests in mind, and thus should bear a lot more weight.
You can also very much more easily examine the work of these referrals for yourself, since you’re likely to be welcomed into the homes of friends and family, and you can see what the roof looks like. You can see evidence, first hand, of the quality of the contractor.
On top of this, when someone is frustrated, they’re often less than hesitant to vent to those whom they know will listen and possibly comfort them. We all confide in our friends and family when we’re upset or feeling let down. If a contractor has overcharged, been deceptive, or produced, in some way, subpar work, they will be the fist to tell you, often with a lot of passion behind their words.
When you first approach selecting a contractor, you’re going to want to allocate a set of three to five choices, rather than trying to just climb a steady curve from all the choices to one in one fell swoop. These referrals are the best place to establish this narrowed-down pool.
Better Business Bureau Rating
We should all thank our lucky stars that the BBB is a thing, in relation to pretty much every walk of our lives. This organization takes both customer feedback and direct examination and investigation into account when providing an overall rating of a particular business. They rate this based on customer relations and courtesy, quality of work, quality of customer service in the face of problems, fairness and honesty with billing and prices, as well as honesty in advertising and any contracts provided.
A Better Business Bureau rating pretty much lays a company’s true ethics and quality bare for all to see, and it is not something that a company can easily correct once this reputation and rating is in place, short of consistently showing marked and permanent improvement. Thus, once you have your referrals, examining their BBB ratings can help to eliminate the least positively-rated ones from your pool of candidates, and further vet the ones that remain.
An estimate isn’t a bid. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Estimates are flexible, and based on a general concept of a project’s scope, what all it entails, and the general cost of everything plus profit margin, and is used as something of a guide for customers to go by – it is not a promise set in stone.
Getting estimates from your remaining candidate contractors, and then comparing them is a pretty obvious step, but you may not realize that while avoiding ridiculously high estimates is a given, you should be wary of ones that sound too good to be true. Many times, even unintentionally, companies will try to undercut others with their estimates and sometimes even their actual bids, and thus, you want to go with the optimal price within a mid-range of reasonable.
Finally, if you have it narrowed down to one or two candidates that have reasonable but good prices, positive ratings and good reputation by way of your friends, then the final step is going to be warranty. Warranties are invaluable, as they provide extra coverage should a disaster strike, or a defect should reveal itself. A solid, long-term warranty that follows the approximate lifespan of a roof, is something that should be absolutely prioritized.
Using this knowledge, you should be able to find the contractor basically perfect for your needs, budget and lifestyle without much trouble. To learn more, fill out our contact form today.