Almost everyone has heard horror stories about roofing contractors ripping homeowners off. From fly-by-night “contractors” to poor workmanship. Hiring a roofing contractor should be an easy process, but how do you know the company you’re hiring is being honest? There are an immense amount of scam artists posing as professionals.
Paying attention to red flags when dealing with a contractor can save you hardships down the road. Colorado and Wyoming are common areas for intense storms, bringing in companies from all over the country.
What does that mean for you? No one is around to honor a warranty or fix their mistakes.
The first step you should take is vetting the company. Make sure they have trusted reviews from other local homeowners, the more the better. How does their online presence look? Believe it or not, a well-built website is a sign of credibility, although can’t be trusted alone. If the roofer shows up with no company insignia, cards, and forms, keep looking for a new one.
Proper legal documents and forms should always be a part of the contractor process. In these forms make sure that a scope of work is laid out, including every detail and material that will be used. If the roofing company isn’t disclosing the amount of material used and square footage, they may be padding their estimate.
At the same time, if the estimate seems too good to be true, it may be. Often roofing contractors will skip on certain necessary materials, and reuse flashings and pipe jacks that they shouldn’t be to save on cost. They do this to win the job, in turn, you are getting a cut-rate roof replacement. Another reason your estimate may be low is the contractor is using outdated or low-quality materials.
Another red flag to watch for is the bait and switch. Companies will come in with a low number to get the initial contract signed and increase it as the job kicks off. The scope of work comes back into play in this situation. Ensuring you read over all the materials needed before the job starts is crucial.
A contractor should be your guide through the roofing process. Every step of the way you should be getting a re-roofing 101 course from your account manager. If you are being pushed to sign documents before you understand the process, it is time to call someone else.
Research. Like we said, check a contractor’s online presence. From their website, google reviews, to BBB accreditation. This will tell you that you have found a local roofing contractor that can be trusted. The majority of local companies are members of your area's chamber of commerce, belong to roofing organizations, and participate in charity organizations.
The most important factor when it comes to hiring a legitimate contractor is verifying license and insurance. No professional roofer will avoid providing these documents.
Looking into the companies’ warranties as well as the manufacturer warranty is a way for you as the homeowner to know you are protected. The contractor warranty would help cover any workmanship issues, if they made an error during installation, they would fix it. The manufacturer warranty covers any issues with the material, like if it doesn’t stand up to the wind rating.
If you are wanting to save time and effort, Stonescape Steel Roofing is a local roofing contractor that stands by honesty, integrity, and quality. Offering a 10-year workmanship warranty is a way Stonescape guarantees the best possible experience. Don’t hesitate to contact us for your roof replacement, installation, or repairs.
When researching a commercial roofing company for your project it is very important to do your homework. There are many factors to consider and evaluate before making your final decision on your contractor. Always get a minimum of 3 contractors to bid on your project.
Before even calling out a contractor, check to make sure they are a local roofing company and how well reviewed they are. It is important to ensure that they are licensed and insured. Check with the local BBB and view their rating, as this is where the most accurate consumer reviews are held. Be aware of storm chasers and so-called contractors from other states that will claim they are local. They get the job done, collect the money, and good luck finding them if you have any warranty issues. Now that you have qualified your 3 contractors ask each of them for references to do one final check on your contractors. Talking with past clients is a sure way of verifying the quality of their work.
Now the bidding process begins. Always make expectations of when you expect your bids back. A good contractor will have it back to you within 5 days, pending the complexity of the project. What you will find is all commercial roofing contractors have their own preference of materials and manufacturers. Meaning you could end up with 3 bids all using different materials and systems.
The best possible situation is to have a scope of work describing materials and roofing systems that the contractors could bid off. This ensures each contractor is bidding apples to apples. If you have done the research and have a preference of what type of roof system you would like, tell the contractor to bid accordingly. Most manufactures offer the same warranties and get inspected by the manufacturer's representative to provide that warranty.
Typically, the contractors will core your roof to see how many layers there are. By law, you cannot have more than 2 roofs on the structure. They will be looking to see if the roof has a structural slope or if it was created with a taper system. Commercial Contractors then patch the holes to prevent leaks. Measurements will be taken, notes on the roof’s components, and photo documentation. A good contractor will get all the information they need to go to the office and work up the bid.
Bids are now in, and it is time to review them. How many of us get a bid and before we read it, we go right to the cost? The low bid is not always the best deal. This is when the scope of work comes into play, which should be very detailed. It is important to take notice of every line item in detail. Often there are important aspects left out, causing one roofing company to appear at a lower price than the other. It should state that a city roofing permit will be pulled. The proposal should be written specifically for your project. Not a cookie-cutter format in which a few items have been changed to fit your project.
There are some specific questions you should ask before signing a commercial roofing contract.
You have selected your roofer and now the projects begin. Typically, the contractor will be asking for half of the money down. Be sure to hold the contractor accountable for what was written and what you are paying for. Hopefully, you are very pleased with your contractor. At the completion of the roofing installation, you need to be sure the city signs off and the manufacturer’s representative walks the roof for your warranty. If the remainder of the balance is due upon completion, these components are crucial. At times the paperwork is in from the rep to his company, but it takes a few weeks before you receive your copy. You should be comfortable with every aspect of your commercial roof. If not, withhold some of the balance until every aspect of the contract was fulfilled.