When it comes to home improvement, repairing or replacing a home’s roof is one of the most significant investments there is for homeowners. Not only in cost, but also in its importance to the structural integrity of the home. Roofing Company Aurora Colorado is one stop solution for all of your roofing problems.
Done poorly, a roof can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in damages during inclement weather, and can be an overall health hazard to occupants.
Unfortunately, the roofing industry is a trade with hundreds of competing companies. While some of them are top-quality tradesmen, others are less reliable, with inconsistent results that can often require dozens of more hours of maintenance. Again, this can lead to a lot of unnecessary costs for homeowners.
There’s a lot that goes into making sure you’ve chosen the right contractor for the job, but it can be difficult. Detailed below are some tips, tricks, and need-to-know about how to properly select a contractor for your roofing project.
Familiarize yourself with local roofing laws
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ins-and-outs of any home improvement project, including the laws that govern them. There’s no point in paying considerable costs if they aren’t done up to standards, which will most times require you to have them done again.
Ensuring that your project is completed according to all law-instated restrictions and codes is just as critical as the completion of the project. It will help avoid unnecessary fees and additional project maintenance (which can prove to be extremely costly).
Here are the roofing laws for Colorado and other useful tools that might be of use to you.
• SB38 Statute: Colorado Consumer Protection/Residential Roofing Bill
• SB38 FACTSHEETS: Things to look for when choosing a contractor.
• If you have Twitter, be sure to follow #NoRoofScams to learn more about how to avoid unethical roofing contractors.
Look into local referrals
Chances are there are some roofing contractors in or near the town where you live. There are well over a dozen in the Aurora-Denver area alone. While this might sound like a cumbersome number of businesses to query, you can trim the number to a smaller selection by asking friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Talking to people in your community that have experience with these companies, good or bad, are invaluable to you. They will allow you to overlap references and compare notes on a more “intimate” basis. If some people from your town tell you that a company did shoddy work, chances are you’ll want to stay far away from it.
Personal referrals are also a little more trustworthy than online reviews. It’s less likely that these people work for the company and are willing to give an honest, unbiased opinion of their service than some mystery person behind a monitor and keyboard. So, remember, the more in-person referrals you’re able to get, the better.
Some things you’ll want to avoid:
• Don’t get a referral from someone with close ties to the business in question.
• Don’t get a referral from someone with a grudge against the owner or a member of the work team.
• Don’t get a single referral and take that as law. Ask around, get several per company, if you can.
Read reviews on the contractor
While local referrals are superior in most cases, seeing reviews and testimonials from other areas (like the town over) can be useful. A reputable roofer will likely have a clean, professional website with a list of reviews (some good, some bad).
The more information you have about a company, the better. You can’t make an informed decision if you do not adequately research them. Of course, there are some risks with online reviews. Because they’re online, anyone can write them.
Be cautious of companies with only good reviews. No one is perfect, and mistakes happen. You should look for a company that has both good and bad reviews – more good, of course – but pay attention to what the negative reviews have to say. Did the company do right and fix the issue? Were they negligent?
• Look for a company with testimonials/reviews.
• Read both the good and bad reviews.
• Be cautious of a company with nothing but praises and not criticisms.
Always insist on insurance
You will always want your contractor to have some form of insurance. This means asking to have them present their certificates, and as an extra measure, calling to confirm that they are valid.
Under no circumstances should you take their word for it.
This is for your protection. If something does go wrong during the project – perhaps your home suffers damage, or a worker is injured while on the job – you can be left dealing with the aftermath of the company you’ve chosen isn’t adequately insured. Some things to remember:
• Do not take word of mouth as law. Ask to see certificates and call the carriers.
• If the company does not have the proper insurance, do not use them. It doesn’t matter how good their reputation is.
Prioritize local contractors
Local doesn’t necessarily mean right in town. It can be in the next city over or even two cities over if that’s the closest one to you. The main point is that you should be looking for a contractor with an established headquarters, one that has been in business for quite some time and is familiar with the residents of the area.
This will help legitimize any warranties (more on that below). A warranty is directly tied to the life of the company that gives it. If you have a warranty with a company that has closed, moved, or disappeared, then you’ll be left with nothing. This brings us to the next point.
Avoid door-to-door roofers
Also known as “storm chasers,” these types of roofers usually appear after a major storm has swept the area. They moved from town to town, city to city, canvassing neighborhoods for their next job. They don’t have a trust list of clients, references, and their work is typically shoddy and in a rush (because they need to move quickly).
These kinds of roofers will suggest you have some type of damage and try to bully or force you into signing a committal letter. Do not be pressured or fool by these tactics. Just deny them your business, and if you believe you honestly have any damage, look for a reputable roofer to handle it.
Get all the details in writing
Once you’ve selected a roofer, be sure to get every detail in writing. Both the roof and project belong to you, which means you should have absolute control over them. Do not let a contractor convince you otherwise.
These details should include, but not be limited to, the material needed for the job (only pay for the materials used), the total cost of the project, how many men they’ll be using, and a completion date. Be sure to discuss payment as well, whether that’s milestones or the full amount upon completion.
It’s ill-advised to hand over any funds before the work is completed to some degree (i.e., milestones). Be certain that you like the result and that is done up to code.
Beware of contractors that refuse to sign a written agreement with these terms and prefer under-the-table cash payments. Doing this can likely result in poor workmanship and long-term repercussions.
Get a warranty
Most reputable contractors will offer their consumers a warranty option on any work done. Be sure to browse their options and select one.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to make sure the contractor is established. You don’t want them closing a month after they’ve built your roof (essentially voiding your warranty) or up and moving to another state.
All the same, it is an essential part of the roofing process.
Things happen. While the company you’ve selected might be reputable and take pride in their work, one accident might ruin it (or maybe something was overlooked). Having your warranty protects you from having to pay extra money for minor or substantial fixes, and holds the roofer accountable for their work.
Again, reputable contractors that believe in the quality of their work won’t hesitate to offer these. If the contractor that you’ve selected does not provide any manner of warranty (preferable long-term guarantees), then it might be best to look elsewhere.
Don’t be afraid to take your business elsewhere
Communication is a critical aspect of any business or project. Is your contractor returning your calls? Have they sent you the documentation that you’ve requested? Did they honor the agreements and terms? If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” then get in touch with them.
Convey your questions and concerns to the company’s representative in a clear, concise way. Make sure everything is well-documented, including your attempt to contact the representative.
If they’re still performing at a subpar level after you’ve attempted to correct them, then walk away. A good roofing company will value you and your business.
If they’re not giving you what you need before the job has even started, what do you think the result will be once you’ve agreed to provide them with your business.
Roofing is an incredibly competitive trade. There will always be a better company out there waiting for your business. So, don’t ever settle or hesitate to walk away from a company that does not value their customers.
Don’t make a price-based decision
This is one of most common mistakes homeowners make. Roofing projects can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, the range depending on several factors.
By no means inexpensive, homeowners might be tempted to select the contractor offering them the cheapest bid.
This is a mistake!
Price isn’t everything. While some homeowners might be operating on a budget, a low rate on a project doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed high quality work. As mentioned before, shoddy work can result in even higher fees and issues, which can end up costing you more than the project, itself.
Those that do their business out of the back of a truck will always be able to do the worker cheaper. However, when it comes down to it, you’ll get what you paid for. When selecting your contractor, find a balance between reputable and price, as to ensure that you will receive quality work that is sure to satisfy your needs.
Don’t fall into the trap of paying more in the long-run because you wanted to go cheap at the start.
Be patient with your contractor
Most roofing contractors are at their busiest after a storm or natural disaster. There can sometimes be hundreds of people that need roofing repairs or replacements, and depending on a company’s reputation, they can receive a bulk of that work.
Your fellow customers are expecting the same high-quality results that you are, and that takes time. A reputable, quality roofer is going to spend the time necessary for each project to ensure that they’re giving homeowners the best result possible. You should respect that and just follow the process.
Continued inclement weather conditions can also be a sizable hurdle for contractors. Remember, these are people with relatives and families. Roofing is a dangerous job and requires a great deal of physical labor, even in the best of conditions. Excessive rain, strong winds, and stone can complicate things and make it extremely difficult for a worker to do their job safely.
A reputable roofer might delay a project for a day or so because of these conditions. There’s no need to get frustrated or upset about it. Understand that they are doing what’s best for their workers and for you (again making sure that you receive the absolute best quality work).
Whether it’s for a small repair or an entire replacement, cutting corners & shapes isn’t going to do you any favors. Roofing projects are something that takes time and investment. While there are some small-time contractors that can promise the lowest prices and shortest delivery times, their work tends to be shoddy and sloppy, and often require you to pay a lot more to fix them.
The best practice is to thoroughly research some local, established contractors and select the one that best falls within your budget while satisfying your standards of quality. This will help guarantee that you receive a result you’re happy with.