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Educational Consumer Tips

Tips for Hiring Roofing Contractors

Author: Better Business Bureau
Category: Home Improvement

Building or repairing a roof is a large project that affects a homeowner’s everyday life. A roofing project requires a skilled and qualified roofing contractor.

If you need a new roof or just a repair, your BBB® advises:

Do your research. Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts if temporary roofing repairs are necessary.

Stay calm. Although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid letting emotions get the better of you. Don't be pressured into making an immediate decision with a long-term impact.

Shop around. Get at least three estimates based on the same specifications and materials. Do not feel pressured to take the lowest offer; contractors with more experience and higher quality work may charge more. Check out references by calling them and asking specific questions about the quality of work and if it was done on time and on budget. Find out if your municipality requires roofing contractors be licensed and/or registered and if a building permit is required. And don’t forget to check out the company’s BBB Business Review.

Avoid high-pressure sales tactics. Although many legitimate contractors do solicit jobs by knocking on doors, beware of those who claim to have leftover materials from a job “down the street” or who are from another city or state.

Get everything in writing. The contract should be concise, detailed and include a description of the job, materials to be used, cost of every aspect of the job, any warranties, the estimated start and end dates, and the conditions of payment. Make sure to arrange for cleanup and disposal of trash after the job is completed; this may not be included in the original price. Never sign a blank contract and make sure to save a copy for future references.

Inspect the Work. After the job has been completed, thoroughly inspect the work that has been done. Make sure it meets the qualifications that were agreed upon. Do not make the final payment until you are completely satisfied. Always pay a contractor with a credit card or check.