Re-roofing your home is an investment into the longevity and long-term maintenance of your house. A well-maintained roof prevents leaks, attic ventilation problems, pooling water, damaged flashing or clogged downspouts. Water is the enemy to a roof, but a great roof is built to handle water, and move it away from the home. But, how do you know if you have a great roof? If you need a roof replacement, who should you hire to install a high-quality roof with a helpful warranty? Hiring the best roofing contractor shouldn’t be an intimidating task. These 4 steps will help you discover and hire the best roofing contractor for your home’s re-roof.
1. Get Referrals
Asking friends and neighbors for referrals for a quality roofing company is a great place to start. If you are a member of a social group or online neighborhood chat board, many people are willing to share about their experience with a company. It’s not hard to spot a house getting re-roofed, and many companies put yard sign out during the job. Chat with the homeowners to find out about the company. Friends and neighbors will highlight the good parts of the job, and usually share if there were issues or complaints they had about the contractors, customer service or company in general. These can be helpful tips with specific reasons to weigh, but they can also be extremely biased, so though it’s a great place to start, take each opinion with a grain of salt. Your neighbor might be difficult to work with and have unrealistic expectations, so their opinion of a specific company might be tainted. Another neighbor might be a new homeowner, thrilled with their new roof and roofing contractor, but hired someone who used low-quality materials and left a few small gaps that will create mold problems in the future. They might give rave reviews, but they’re based on feelings, not facts.
2. BBB Ratings
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping consumers find business they can trust for over 100 years. It is not affiliated with any government agency. There are profiles and reports available for free, and the BBB is a great resource to research the companies you get referred. Business can be BBB Accredited by meeting their standards of accreditation, building trust in the community and maintaining fair business practices. Not all great businesses are BBB Accredited, but like word-of-mouth referrals, the BBB website is a great place to research and learn which roofing contractors live up to their reputation, and which ones don’t perform. Once companies are BBB Accredited, they are monitored to ensure quality and high standards over time, not just once to receive accreditation. The business ratings are based on information from the company itself as well as complaints and praise from the consumer themselves. The BBB doesn’t endorse or recommend specific companies, but provides the profiles and reports to the informed homeowner.
3. Licensed, Bonded & Insured
When you begin to narrow down your list of reputable roofing contractors, a very important bit of information to know about them is if they are licensed, bonded and insured. This protects you and your home as well as the contractor and their business. Each part of this equation is important.
Licensed: In the state of Washington, every business is required to be registered with the state and maintain a current business license. To have a roofing business license, the state requires the contractor to be bonded and insured. They will have accounts on both the Department of Revenue as well as the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). The homeowner can look up any contractor on these sites to verify their current licensure, any tax debts or lawsuits, license violations and their insurance coverage. Registration on these websites doesn’t give any indication of reputation, only legal standing status with the state.
Bonded: A bond provides financial protection for the homeowner if something does go wrong. For instance, if the contractor doesn’t complete the work, the homeowner is able to pursue legal action against the contractor’s bond. You have no financial backing if you hire an un-bonded roofing contractor.
Insured: There are two types of insurance a roofing contractor might carry. The first is liability insurance. This protects both you and the contractor if an accident does happen. The insurance company gets involved and helps settle the damage. The second type of insurance a roofing contractor might carry is workers compensation insurance. If the contractor has more than one employee Washington State requires the company to have workers compensation insurance to cover an employee if they get injured on your job.
There are roofing contractors who might offer to-good-to-be-true pricing to entice customers, but they might be cheap because they aren’t carrying the proper licensing, bonding or insurance. Hiring a reputable company who has these proper qualifications protects both them, you, and your property. Sometimes a deal too-good-to-be-true ends up costing you more in the long run.
4. Interview Them
When you’ve created a short list of reputable roofing contractors based off your research and recommendations, you are ready to interview them. If you can, meet face to face, maybe during an initial evaluation of your roof. You can get a feel for their personality and demeanor, how well they know the details of the materials and brands they use, their warranty and what is and isn’t covered. You might ask details about their company, their methods and how long the job will take. A reputable roofing contractor will be confident in their answers, and happy to explain all parts of the job. We recommend not going with the lowest bid, and going with your gut on which company feels right for your home and situation.
We believe that following these four steps will ensure a confident hire of an excellent roofing contractor. We also think that Orca Roofing will be on your list. Orca Roofing roofs on the greater Eastside, providing a headache-free roofing process through our outstanding customer service, our attention to job site cleanliness, and offering superior roofing materials. Orca Roofing stands above the rest, and we hope you’ll reach out today for a free estimate and to experience the Orca difference.