How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
There are different ways to start searching for the roofer who meets your unique needs. Referrals are understandably the best source of names of reputable companies. Ask friends and relatives whom they have hired before.
Call your local Chamber of Commerce about roofers who are trusted in your community. Great sources of leads as well are the Better Business Bureau, your phone book’s yellow pages, your state and local licensing authorities, and of course, local trade associations, not to mention local construction product suppliers.
Here are things to consider before hiring a roofing contractor:
The best way to assure that your new roof will not leak and be long-lasting is to pick a quality shingle product, and to ensure that the shingles are installed right – good workmanship is what makes a roof shed water.
Don’t think twice about buying a quality shingle product from a leading manufacturer, even if it costs more, but that’s not where it stops. When installed the wrong way, even the highest quality shingle will not work best for you. The primary sources of asphalt shingle roofing installation standards include the National Roofing Contractors Association (NCRA) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association (ARMA). Also used to assess roofing products are ASTM standards.
Roofer’s Reputation and Experience
Before hiring a roofing contractor, check with your local consumer business office and go through Internet reviews from local customers.
Shingle Installation Supervision
You have to be sure that the team will actually perform as they must, or are at least supervised on a daily basis by a professional. Plenty of roofing companies have salesmen or prime contractors selling the job but sending less than qualified installers who work with little or zero expert supervision.
Before you commit to a roofer, ensure that you discuss regular roof inspections, the condition of your under-roof or attic ventilation, any irregularities on your roof, and how to deal with them.
After compiling a list of potential contractors, spend time evaluating each one thoroughly. A reliable contractor will be enthusiastic about providing any information that you may need to make a decision, such as:
> business name and address
> licensing/bonding/insurance (ask for proof)
> professional and credit references
In summary, you should hire a roofing contractor who has mastered good roofing practices and roof flashing details, the ways to handle problem spots on building roofs, and alternative products that cover roofs such as shingle colors, grades and types, low slope roofing, and the others.
A good roofer will give you with smart advice regarding products, explanation of procedures, and, most importantly, solid results. It’s a challenge to determine the real capabilities of a contractor, but with a bit of research, some planning and tons of common sense, it will get easier.
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