How to Find a Good Roofing Contractor | Eco Home Service

In a person’s lifetime, there are quite a few things or items that demand a sizable investment.  Getting married, moving to a new town, having children, even buying a house.  For most homeowners, their choice of roofing contractor is one of the most valuable purchases that they will ever make, and if taken care of correctly will often a significant return on their investment.  It’s little wonder why such a purchase is still considered one of the best investments that a person can make for long term financial stability and freedom.

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But owning a home is not without difficulties.  Often a home will need significant repairs over time, including the roof.  If you’re considering repairing or replacing your roof in the near future, there are quite a few things to consider before hiring a roofing contractor to do the job.  In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the major ideas to keep in mind when searching for a selecting a roofing company to complete your project.

Hiring a roofing contractor checklist

Before you even begin looking for a quality roofing contractor, it’s a good idea to develop a roofing contractor checklist, or a list of things that you will, or won’t accept when it comes to a person who will work on your home.  This is where you’ll decide exactly what you’re looking for, both in a new roof, and also in the company that will be working for you.  While there are many areas of personal preference, there are a few things that we feel are essential in most situations.

First, be sure to put that the roofing company must have a relatively local, and actual physical address at the top of your list.  This is a good way to weed out those storm chasers or less than reputable companies that could potentially take your money and run.  Plus a company local to the Seattle area will be better able to deal with the nuances and permit requirements for home improvements that are unique to the area.  And finally, you’ll have some place to go to air your grievances if things don’t go according to plan.

It’s also a good idea for the company your considering to offer a written estimate, which describes exactly what the job will entail, and to be able to answer any questions you have.  Also, if the state or local area requires any licensing, that should also be a requirement for you as well.  And finally it’s important for the roofing to have both liability and workers compensation insurance to protect both you and the workers they hire.

Dealing with roofing contractors

It’s important to remember that every roofing contractor is different, and with a project such as a roof replacement, the homeowner will often form a type of working relationship with the contractor that they hire.  Therefore it’s a good idea to make sure that the contractor you work with is professional, ethical, and flexible in their dealings with you.  If you’re considering working with a particular contractor, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, don’t be afraid of details, and be wary of any contractor who is.  A professional roofing contractor, will not be scared off by the demand for more details or information, and in most cases should welcome any questions you may have concerning the project.  There is a very simple reason for this.  The more you talk with your contractor about the finite details of the project, the less chance there is for a miscommunication, which can result in a botched job.  And since a roofing contractor can’t expect you to pay for a botched job, communication on a project should be vital.

It’s also important to make sure that both you and the contractor sign a legally binding contract that specifically details the nature of the project, what will be completed when, and how payment will be made.  While the idea of working on a simple handshake might seem nostalgic and appealing, a warm hand doesn’t offer you the protections that a contractor may.  So before any work begins, make sure all necessary documents are read, understood and signed by all interested parties.

Interview questions for roofers

You’re roofing project is perhaps one of the most expensive, and important improvements that you can make during the life of your house.  So it pays to take your time in choosing the right contractor.  While each situation is different, there are a few common questions that you can ask a potential contractor during the interview process that will make selection process that much easier.

The first question to ask is the location of the company, and what name the company is working under.  Here you want to have someone local, or within twenty miles of your home.  This helps to lower your overall cost for mobilization to the site as well as give you a place to go if there is a problem.  The second thing you need to ask is who exactly will be working on your home.  Some roofing companies use subcontractors, which might not have the necessary skills or insurance to do a proper job.  You’ll also want to know the exact details of your project, and who will be a contact for you if you have any questions during the project.  And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for proof of insurance and licensing.  Any contractor worth your time will be happy to provide this information.

Roofing contractors in my area who finance

The truth is, replacing your roof can be a major expense, one that many homeowners have difficultly affording in one fell swoop.  But don’t worry, there are options that are available if this is the case for you.  In order to win your business in the Seattle area, many roofers will offer a number of financing options that you can use to make sure you get the roof you need at a price that you can afford.

The first, and most common option is to use a home improvement loan to help finance the roof. This is a fantastic option if you have a way to make regular payments over time.  In addition, this options provides an up front payment for your roofer, which they often like, but without the risk to you as a client.  Just make sure that you make your payments on time, so that everyone wins.

Another option is to work directly with the roofing company to design a payment plan.  This is a bit riskier option for both parties involved, but it is one to explore if you’d rather not go with a bank.  Often if you work directly with the roofing company, they will insist on putting a lien on your house in case of non-payment.  A lien is simply a document that says that if the house is ever sold, or you go into bankruptcy, the roofing company has the right to demand payment before you get any money from the situation.  It’s not ideal for the homeowner, but a lien does offer a level of protection for the roofing contractor.  So if you go with this option, do everything in your power to make sure that you can make your scheduled payments on time or even early.

When should you pay a roofer

  • While most roofing companies would love a complete payment up front, the reputable ones simply won’t ask for that. They realize that you have to need a way to make sure the job is done to your satisfaction, and withholding payment until the job is completed is a common way to do just that.
  • That being said, the roofing contract needs to be able to make sure that the client will pay for the services rendered, that they are willing to put some skin in the game as it were. So, requiring an up front deposit is often the way they do just that. A deposit, often equal to a certain percentage of the total cost– such as 30% – will not only let the contractor know that you’re serious about the project, but also give them the ability to handle the immediate expenses of the project that can’t be recovered internally in case something goes wrong.
  • So when you’re discussing your payment options with your roofing contractor during the initial interview, be sure to get their take on the amount of payment needed up front. If the initial deposit is too much for you to handle financially, don’t be afraid to ask if other arrangements can be made. Chances are a roofing company will be able to work with you to find a solution that you can both agree on.

Conclusion:

As you  can see, there are quite a number of things to consider when you’re looking for a quality roofing contractor.  There is no doubt that it can be a lot to handle, especially with the added stress of needing your roof replaced.  While it’s important to keep all these things in mind, the most important thing to remember is that you are forming a relationship with the contractor.  So if you treat them with respect and honesty, they’ll likely to do the same. For Seattle homeowners, Eco Home Service offers professional services with our team of energy solutions experts ready to help you improve the energy-efficiency of your home with our roofing specialty products.