Source: National Roofing Contractors Association
Selecting A Professional Roofing Contractor

    It pays to remember that all roofing contractors are not alike, NRCA recommends that you prequalify your roofing contractor to get the job done right the first time.

There is no foolproof method for selecting a professional, but there are a number of things you can do to help you make the best decision possible when evaluating contractors:

  • Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax I.D. number and where appropriate, a business license. A professional will have these readily available.
  • Don't hesitate to ask the roofing contractor for proof of the insurance he carries. In fact, insist on seeing copies of both his liability coverage and his workers' compensation certificates. Make sure the coverages run through the duration of the job. Many building owners and homeowners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofing contractors. Also, if a contractor is not properly insured, the owner may be liable for accidents that occur on the property.
  • Check to see if the roofing contractor is properly licensed or bonded. Some states have very specific state licensing requirements, while others do not. Your state's Department of Professional Regulation or Licensing Board will have this information.
  • Make sure the contractor is financially stable. A professional roofing contractor can provide current financial information.
  • Look for a company with a proven track record that readily offers client references and a list of completed projects. Call these clients to find out if they were satisfied with the roof systems, services and work they received.
  • Insist on a written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.
  • Have your contractor list the roofing manufacturers with which this firm has licensed or approved applicator agreements. Most materials require special application expertise in order to achieve a quality roof system that will last.
  • Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required and the estimated time of completion.
  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of any regional or national industry association, such as NRCA.
  • Call your local Better Business Bureau or Department of Professional Regulation to check for possible complaints filed against the contractor.
  • Carefully read and understand any roof warranty offered and watch for provisions that would void it.
  • Choose a company committed to the safety and education of its workers. Ask the contractor what kind of safety training he provides for his workers and what industry educational programs they have attended. The best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who actually install the roof.
  • Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors seem attractive with their below cost bids, but are often uninsured and perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism and quality workmanship should also weight heavily on your decision.
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