Choosing a Roofing Contractor
Selecting a Roofing Contractor to handle the protection of your most valuable asset can be a daunting process. In a competitive environment among construction companies and with so many to choose from, it can be very confusing for one to know where to begin.
A good place to start is by meeting each potential roofing partner. While chemistry between you and the roofing professional is important, it is not the only variable to consider. The history of the company, a company’s satisfaction rate, quality workmanship, and the customer service quality should impact your decision making process. I recommend asking any potential partner the following questions:
Is the company a licensed contractor?
When you pose this question, you are, in effect, asking if the contractor is licensed by your state and/or city. Not all states require contractors to be licensed. The state of Virginia does require contractors to be licensed. There are three types of contractor’s licenses; A, B, and C. Contractors C license: A contractor must complete an 8 hour on line pre-licensing course and have 2 years experience.
Contractor’s B license: The contractor must complete an 8 hour on line pre-licensing course, pass General and Law exams, show 3 years experience and a net worth of $15,000.
Contractor’s A license: The contractor must complete an 8 hour on line pre-licensing course, pass General, Advanced, and Law exams, pass any specialty exams required for their trade, show 5 years experience and a net worth of at least $45,000. With a contractor’s A license the Virginia Board of Contractors may help support the client if satisfaction is not met.
Licensing won’t guarantee success, but it indicates a degree of professionalism and suggests that the contractor is committed to his or her job. American Cowboy Roofing is a Class A Licensed Contractor and is determined to provide satisfaction to our clients. Don’t hire unlicensed contractors to do the job. If you do, you will have no recourse should you be unhappy with the job or should you have code or permit violations cited by your county.
Does the company carry insurance?
A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. This can be verified by asking to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance (workers’ compensation and general liability). Do not accept the word of a contractor that he has insurance. Let the contractor know you want see current certificates before the job is started. American Cowboy Roofing automatically provides current certificate of insurances to all of their clients.
Roofers who do not carry insurance will most likely be cheaper to hire as they do not have the large insurance premiums to pay. Workers’ compensation premiums can increase wage costs from about 20% to as much as 100%, depending on the state. If your chosen roofing contractor isn’t insured and a worker suffers an injury on your property, the homeowner could be liable for all hospital bills and expenses.
Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?
Ask for referrals or references from customers of completed work. With American Cowboy Roofing you do not have to ask for referrals we proudly give you a referral page providing you with phone numbers and email addresses as well as addresses of homes we have completed so you may visit the home to look at the performed work. Request a list of 10 names and phone numbers of recent customers (last 12 months). Some of the questions to ask may include:
- Was the company professional?
- Did they perform the job safely and on time?
- Did they leave the job as they found it – clean?
- Were there any damages?
- Did the company clearly explain and answer any and all questions?
- Were their clients completely satisfied?
What is the company’s workmanship warranty?
Typically, contractor workmanship warranties are for one year or more. Longer warranties are not necessarily more valuable than shorter warranties. The length of the warranty is less important than the intent and ability of the roofer to stand behind his warranty. That is best evaluated using customer referrals. Ask his customers specifically for information about these four things:
- Did he perform his work on a timely basis?
- Was he responsive when asked for information and changes?
- Did he act as if he cared about the customers interests?
- Would you call the company trustworthy?
- Is the warranty transferable?
Even if problems of workmanship arise after the workmanship warranty has lapsed, a reliable contractor usually will want to stand behind his work. Not only does American Cowboy Roofing stand behind our work we offer workmanship warranties that are transferable.
How Qualified is the Contractor?
American Cowboy Roofing has over 40 years experience in the roofing industry. We are a Certified CertainTeed ShingleMaster and were awarded the 2011 and 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award proving how dedicated we are to being the best.
Will the contractor provide a written estimate?
Request a written estimate. Any contractor who does not provide you with a written estimate should be crossed off your list immediately. Get at least three estimates and then compare prices with what is included. Remember the lowest bidder is not always the best.
What is the full name and address of the company?
Getting the complete address of the company can be an important factor in determining if a company is in business for the long run and not the quick buck. If a post office box is given, ask for a full street address as well. Try to hire a contractor that has an office nearby. You should avoid out of state companies. If the company is based near your home the likelihood of quicker service is greater as well as concern for their reputation. American Cowboy Roofing is locally owned and operated.
What was the Average Amount of Time it takes for a Full Roof Replacement?
You deserve to have an estimated time-frame for how long the replacement may take. This is determined by the size of the home. Most townhouses take approximately half a day while an average sized home should be able to be completed within one day. American Cowboy Roofing believes it is important to help make your family’s life as comfortable and stress-free as possible, which is why we try our best to get the job professionally completed in one day.
How Supportive is their Customer Service?
Without the right support team to answer your questions, concerns, and issues you just become another number. American Cowboy Roofing is known for their care and concern for our clients. We are a company that will be there to help you before, during, and after the project.
What is the company’s track record for solving customer complaints?
- Try to find out how your contractor handles problems when they do arise. Request a referral from a job that involved a complaint.
- Ask the contractor if he has ever lost a job-related court case.
- Ask if his contractor’s license has ever been suspended and why.
Also, in talking to the appropriate authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau and licensing departments, find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractors whom you have interviewed. You can also check if they have an Angie’s List rating. American Cowboy Roofing has an A rating with the BBB and Angie’s List. Many contractors in business for any length of time have been involved in a dispute. Ask how the dispute was resolved, to test your contractor’s reputation.