INSIST ON A PROFESSIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTOR
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends consumers should be mindful of disreputable contractors following a significant storm event. If it is necessary to hire a roofing contractor, consumers should take some time to evaluate potential contractors before any reroofing work begins. In an effort to help homeowners and building owners select reliable roofing contractors to repair or replace damaged roof systems, NRCA has developed the following checklist.
A professional roofing contractor should have:
A permanent place of business. This is important to make sure a contractor is well-established. A contractor should have a permanent address, telephone and tax identification numbers, and business license (where required). A contractor should tell a homeowner or building owner how many years his company has been in business and provide his license or registration number(s) where applicable.
Knowledge of various roof systems. A professional contractor will be able to help homeowners and building owners choose the right roof system for their buildings and budgets, using quality materials produced by reputable manufacturers. In addition, an owner should feel comfortable with the roof system a contractor recommends.
Proof of insurance and an effective safety program. A homeowner or building owner should ask for proof of insurance and make sure it includes Workers’ Compensation and general liability coverage. A professional contractor will submit copies of his certificates of insurance when asked and have a comprehensive safety program in place.
Continuing industry education. Professional roofing contractors attend seminars, conferences and trade shows offered by industry associations and organizations. They employ trained workers who understand the importance of quality.
Financial stability. A homeowner or building owner should choose a company that is financially stable. An owner should ask for a copy of a company’s financial statements and the name of the auditing firm preparing the statements.
A written proposal. A contractor should provide a written proposal outlining a project’s details. A homeowner or building owner should read it carefully, making sure it is fair and complete.
A license and/or be bonded. Many states require that roofing contractors be licensed; many contractors are bonded by surety companies. A homeowner or building owner should ask for a contractor’s license number and evidence of bonding ability, as well as the name and address of the bonding agent.
Warranties. A contractor should provide warranties for workmanship and explain manufacturers’ materials warranties to protect an owner’s investment.
References. A homeowner or building owner should ask for the names and telephone numbers of a roofing contractor’s recent clients, inquire about other work in progress and find out whether clients are satisfied with the roofing contractor’s performance.
A maintenance program. After roofing work is completed, a professional roofing contractor will follow up with periodic inspections to ensure potential trouble spots are fixed. Many contractors offer maintenance contracts to ensure long-term roof system performance.