Sitting down with a contractor and letting them propose their contract in a professional manner is a wonderful way to educate yourself, but do not fall for the high pressure sales tactics. They may try and convince you that their price is only good for the day, or that you should act now to save your spot. These sales tricks will leave you wondering at the end of the day if you really got the best bang for your buck. Compile your bids, look them over and make an educated decision of who you would like to work on your home. More often then not, those “One day deals” are not as good as they seemed.
Learn more here: Roof bidding process and what to expect
Licensed and Insured
Never allow any contractor to work on your home who does not have their builders license and full insurance. You will want to get copies of both before signing a contract. If a contractor is not fully insured, the home owner takes on the liability for anything that may go wrong on the job site.
Learn more here: Licensing, insurance, and permits for roofing
How long have they been in business?
You will want to choose a company that has not only been in business for a long time, but has also been in your local area. The construction industry is notorious for companies to start up, talk big, and be gone in a matter of years (or even months!). Make sure to do a thorough background check to confirm that the amount of years they SAY they have been in business is actually true. Typically you will want to work with someone who has been around at least as long as their workmanship warranty is for.
Each manufacturer has different set of criteria in order to be certified to install their product. You never want a non-certified installer installing your roof. One of the most popular and sought after accreditations is the "CertainTeed - 5 Star - Master Shingle Applicator" certification. Being one of the highest quality manufacturers, CertainTeed has created the standard in how shingles are manufactured and installed.
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References and Referrals
Don't make any decisions until you talk to someone who has had work done by the company first. Make sure they are reliable, show up on time, professional and courteous. Companies may have a big advertising budget, but a low referral rate, so make sure to ask around and get some feedback. Some good places to call are local suppliers, building inspectors and the attorney general.
Make sure to always get a detailed proposal that includes not only the scope of work and the price, but the material specifications as well. You never want to be in the middle of project and find out that what you thought you were getting and what you were sold are completely different things. Go over each item on the contract individually and ask questions. Don't be afraid to have them explain terms and products you don't understand. That is what they are there for! They should be educating you along the way so you have a clear and precise understanding of the process.
Learn more here: What to look for in a roofing proposal