While most people are primarily interested in cost when selecting a contractor for a project, there are also other important factors to take into consideration. Roofing is a lot more complicated than just laying down a few tiles or shingles. A roofing system includes everything from framing, underlayment, ventilation, gutters, flashing, and skylights. Because of this, a good roofer should be well versed in not only roofing, but also carpentry, house and roof ventilation, and millwork.
When looking for a good San Diego roofing company, here are some things to keep in mind:
You will want to make sure that your contractor is licensed. Being licensed requires passing a test to measure competency and shows that your contractor is following local laws. Any dedicated, professional contractor will have a license. Working with a licensed contractor also gives you a related government agency to turn to if there is a problem.
You will also want to take a look to see if your roofer belongs to the National Roofing Contractors Association and holds a good rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Make sure your roofing contractor is insured. The State of California requires all licensed contractors to have workmen’s compensation insurance. If an employee is hurt while on the job, the insurance company pays all the related medical expenses. However, if your contactor does not have workmen’s compensation insurance, you could be liable for medical costs, lost wages, and other related costs.
A license contractor is also required to have a bond insurance policy of at least $12,5000. This is to protect you against any losses in the event that damage occurs to your property or a project is not completed. Many professional roofers also carry a general liability insurance policy to protect you against any losses due to fire, injuries, death, or structure damage.
Any reputable roofing company will be more than happy to give you the name of their insurance carrier. You can then check their coverage directly with the carrier. Before you select a contractor, it is important to make sure your interests are protected.
Go With Your Gut
Make sure you meet with any roofing company that you plan on hiring. Get a feel for their personality and if they are somebody you would like to work with. Do they have a positive attitude? Do they take pride in their work? Are they excited about helping you with your problems? Are they responsive to your calls? Do they get you the information you request?
Good roofers will be willing to take the time to explain any issues or decisions with you. They will not make you feel silly for asking questions or brush over any of your concerns. And don’t forget, if something sounds fishy, it probably is.
Working on a roof can be dangerous. You will want to make sure your roofing contractor is professional and takes the necessary precautions. A dirty worksite can be a safety hazard. Make sure your roofer has a system in place to keep the jobsite clean throughout the entire process. Avoid contractors who plan on just cleaning up at the end. If you have a steep roof, find out if they have experience working on steep roofs and if they use climbing gear.
Good roofers should know their stuff. They should stay abreast of all the latest advances in techniques and materials. Make sure they have plenty of experience working with roofs and that they are well trained. Find out if they employ a permanent crew. Some contractors will hire temporary labor with little to no experience in order to save money.
Make sure that they know the manufacturer’s specifications for any materials used on your roof. Installing something incorrectly can void your product warranties.
It is also a good idea to meet with a professional roofer, not just a salesperson. Salespeople will sometimes promise more than the actual roofing crew can deliver.
Before hiring a roofer, make sure you do your homework. Start with a simple Internet search of their name and phone number. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau. Visit websites that may include reviews from previous customers and ask for references from the company. Get their business license number and check with the city or county to make sure they comply with any regulations.
The estimate should be very specific in regards to what work is to be performed and how much it will cost. It should clearly outline any problems and what will be done to fix them.