Most home improvement projects, especially ones involving your roof, can take a significant amount of your time and money. If you want to get the most out of your investment then, you need to make sure the process runs smoothly from start to finish. However, you can’t do it all by yourself. Any project, whether it’s roof replacement or repair, will require the aid of a professional roofing contractor.
Browsing through names of professionals off the Internet seems like the easy thing to do, but when aiming to hire a reliable roofing contractor, it still pays to do the work the old-fashioned way. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean rifling through the yellow pages. All you need to do is ask friends and neighbors for local referrals. You may find they offer a more accurate description on what your experience with a given contractor will be like. To get a clearer idea on how they do business, asking for referrals is the way to go.
However, the hiring process doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve gotten the name of a prospective roofer, it’s time to do a bit of research. This makes narrowing down your selection much easier. Here are some of the things you should expect from a professional roofing contractor:
The Necessary Credentials
First, make sure they carry the necessary credentials. These include business and state licenses, which makes them eligible to perform roofing work in your area. Hiring a licensed roofing contractor offers many benefit, such as the assurance that you’ll be provided with legitimate work adhering to local building codes and regulations. This ensures your home remains safe following any modification to your roofing system.
One other thing to consider is insurance. Working with an insured roofer, one that also carries worker’s compensation and liability coverage, helps protect you and your investment better. Accidents and injuries sometimes occur during the work. Should anything go wrong during your repair or replacement project, you won’t be held accountable, letting you avoid potential litigation and additional costs.
Your roofing contractor should also carry manufacturer certifications. A certified roofing contractor allows access to high-quality products from the leading brands, plus the solid warranties included with them. This gives you peace of mind you’re getting quality products and expert services.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: Choose the roofing material that meets your home’s specific needs. Just make sure it’s high-quality.
Extensive, High-Quality Roofing Products
An old and failing roof can compromise your home’s weather protection and comfort. For this reason, you should consider investing in a prompt replacement. Before calling up a prospective contractor for a roof replacement estimate, however, make sure they actually carry a wide selection of high-quality roofing products. This way, your roofer can meet your needs better, and you’ll have your pick of the roofing materials best suitable for your home. These roofing materials may include:
- Asphalt Shingles. Lightweight and easy to install, asphalt shingles are one of the most cost-effective roofing options in the market today. Aside from providing great weather performance, they are also highly versatile, coming in a range of colors, textures, and thicknesses to complement homes perfectly.
- Sleek and light but extremely durable, metal roofing can shed off rain and snow effectively, plus they have inherent reflective properties that reduces heat transfer, making your home more energy-efficient.
- While heavier than shingles and metal, tile roofing can provide longer-lasting weather protection to your home. It is also elegant-looking, sustainable, and can naturally cool your home, which makes it an excellent choice for areas with predominantly hot and arid weather.
- Slate, which offers centuries-worth of weather protection and performance. Add in its timeless beauty and you no longer have to worry about your next roof replacement for a long time.
If you’re a property manager, you’d also want a contractor who can provide you with extensive options for commercial roofing systems, from modified bitumen and built-up roofing to metal and single-ply roofing membranes. Don’t forget to check for manufacturer certifications as that’s a way to ensure the roofing products a contractor carries are top-shelf.
It’s essential to work with a certified contractor because the roofing systems they offer come with solid warranties, which should terms for:
- Manufacturer Warranty. This covers products themselves. A manufacturer warranty can protect your investment from material defects, which may cause your roofing system to break down or fail long before it should. Warranty periods may vary but coverage can run up to 50 years.
- Workmanship Guarantee. This refers to the warranty offered by roofing contractors who handle the installation, protecting your investment from sloppy workmanship.
ENSURING BETTER PROTECTION: Warranties help you make the most of your new roofing, so take them into account when planning your project.
Warranties can protect you and your investment better from additional costs. Just make sure to read the fine print and avoid doing things that can nullify the warranty, such as:
- Overlooking important repair and maintenance requirements, like proper roof ventilation.
- Hiring a different contractor to work on your roofing system.
- Installing antennae or satellite dishes on your roof.
- Cleaning the roof with a pressure washer.
A Detailed Contract
Verbal agreements and a firm handshake just won’t cut it. Any roofing project worth investing in should come with a written contract with the following details:
- A physical address for your roofing contractor.
- License and insurance information, as proof that you and your investment are protected.
- Scope and duration of work, ensuring every aspect of the project is properly outlined and a clear timeline has been established. Material costs, change orders, and other pertinent information should also be included.
- Payment details specifying a payment schedule agreeable to both parties. This can be tied to milestones or completion percentages.
- Warranty terms defining conditions for validity.
A Safe, Worry-Free Process
Roofing projects are a huge deal, which means you have no room for expensive mistakes. This is why you should hire an experienced roofing contractor for the job. You may have considered DIY work at one time but you’ll find that choosing a pro ensures your project goes off without a hitch.
AN EASIER PROCESS. There’s less potential for costly mistakes when you work with an experienced roofing contractor.
The typical roof replacement process carried out by an experienced roofing contractor features the following steps:
- Roof Replacement Estimate. This is usually free and involves checking your roof’s overall condition. Any kind of roof damage, whether brought on by high winds or hail storms, will be traced, while other essential roofing components are inspected thoroughly. Depending on the gravity of results, your roofer may suggest repairs or replacement.
- Property Protection. An experienced roofer will make sure your entire property is fully protected from unnecessary mess and damage during the work. This means taking proactive measures to keep your siding, interiors, and landscaping intact, ensuring your property looks exactly as it did before any work began.
- Roof Removal. To ensure your new roofing won’t inherit the problems of your old one, your contractor will remove the old components completely. By doing so, and confirming the roof deck is structurally sound or making the necessary fixes, your roofer can ensure your replacement system can deliver the superior performance you expect.
- Roof Preparation. This will involve inspecting your roof further for any issue; re-nailing the deck so everything is secure; preparing the roof surface for the new material; installing ice and water shields; and ensuring the flashing seals are intact. Following these is the actual installation of the new roofing system, which will follow its own set of steps depending on the roofing material to be used.
- Cleanup and Final Inspection. An experienced roofer will make sure there are no waste left in your property following the work. They’ll also perform a comprehensive final checkup of the new roof to make sure the work is done properly and meets quality standards.
Once you’ve taken these considerations into account, ensuring a successful roofing project with the help of a professional roofing contractor will be stress-free.
Brendon Lipton is the co-owner of Edge 2 Edge Roofing, a commercial/residential roofing contractor that specializes in re-roofs, repairs, cleaning, commercial coating, and Solar. For residential properties, they also paint (interior and exterior), siding, gutter, and window replacement. Edge 2 Edge Roofing has over 35 years of Industry experience ranging from Owner, Manufacturer Rep, Consultant, and Installation Trainer for North Americas largest Roofing Manufacturer.