1) Ask around. You value and trust the opinion of your friends. Have they had their roofs done within the last 10 years? Any problems? Do any of them have a roof that you would like to see on your home?
2) Contact your local Better Business Bureau. The BBB has strict criteria for membership, meaning you can be sure that any member listed will offer reliable service. The last thing you want to do is to pay someone and have them not finish the job, leaving you with a huge problem on your hands, and a gaping hole in your roof! Ask for a list of members in your area.
3) Use the information from your friends and the BBB to compile a list of potential roofing contractors. Dont just settle on one. Do some comparison shopping before awarding the job to a contractor. You want to do some interviewing before committing. Think of it as dating. You dont just marry the first person you meet! And if you plan to live in your house for as long as possible, then roofing will be a lifelong commitment too!
4) Ask for license information. The roofing contractor should be able to provide you with a roofing license and this license should be for the state you reside in. Criteria for homes vary from state to state so its important that Other companies may have contractor licenses, which will work fine, but you want someone who has a roofing license working on your home.
5) Ask about insurance. No one should set foot on your property to work if he or she is not insured. Ask for an insurance number. It would be a huge mistake (and liability) if you allowed someone to work up high, on top of your roof, without any sort of insurance coverage.
6) Ask for a free written estimate. Most companies are more than happy to provide this. Have the contractor come out to your home, rather than offering this over the phone. This will prevent any sudden surprises when the contractor shows up and says the job will require more than originally anticipated.
7) Ask for references. Most companies don't have a problem with this either. don't just go off of what's on the company website. Ask for names and phone numbers, along with pictures. This will separate the roofing companies who stand by their work and the ones who just bounce around from job to job doing mediocre work.
8) Ask about options. A good roofing contractor should be able to offer a recommendation for your roof, rather than just doing the labor part of the job. Your contractor should discuss the pros and cons of different roofing systems and work with you to find a roofing system within your budget.
9) Look for a design-oriented contractor, someone who has a keen eye for what will look best with your home. A good contractor will be up-to-speed on the latest styles of roofing and techniques. After all, this isn't just about having a roof over your head it's about having a roof with some real curb appeal!
10) Ask about warranties. You want a roofing system that will last, so you can get your money's worth. Some companies will offer warranties on clay tile roofs for 50-100 years! Now that's getting real value out of your home!
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