No more putting it off: The time may have come to replace your home’s roof this spring or summer.
For many homeowners, this can be a dreaded task, made worse by a lack of confidence that they: A) are armed with enough credible information to make the best investment possible and B) can find a great installer or contractor to ensure the job is done right.
Because a new roof is a significant investment designed to protect your home and deliver worry-free, reliable performance for the long term, leading organizations like the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) say it pays to ask tough questions of your installer before signing on the dotted line.
“It’s true that even the best quality roofing material is only as good as the installation,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “Credible pros will welcome the opportunity to answer questions and should be happy to provide as much information as you need to help you feel confident about your decision.”
To kickstart the process, first decide what roofing material will work best for your home, given your regional climate conditions, performance needs and priorities (sustainability and energy efficiency, for example), style preferences, and how long you plan to stay in your home. Trade organizations including MRA offer free guides and resources to help you compare and learn more about different types of roofing materials and quality installation practices. Download MRA’s free Buyer’s Guide here.
Determining material preference is key because some installers may only be experienced or prefer dealing with a certain type of material, pushing you to choose something that might not be in your best interest long-term. Once you’ve decided on material, approach at least three installers to compare bids, experience, project details and claims. Interview them and ask these key questions before signing any contract:
- How long have you and your company been in business?
- Are you and your crew licensed, bonded and insured?
- What is your experience working with my preferred roofing materials?
- Can you provide three project examples and references from recent jobs you’ve completed?
- What steps will you take to protect my property, home and landscaping during the process?
- What is the brand/manufacturer of the materials you’ll be using? How long have they been in business and how long have you been working with them? What is their track record?
- What kind of product and installation warranties are offered, are they transferrable and how long is the product guaranteed to last?
- What verifiable safety, performance and environmental standards, testing and regulations does the manufacturer adhere to?
- What type of performance ratings does the product have for conditions such as severe weather and fire protection?
- What customer service support do you and the manufacturer offer should an issue, problem or question arise?
- Does the manufacturer have favorable reviews from other customers and credible, third-party business rating organizations?
- Are they members of industry-leading trade organizations, such as the MRA?
Beware of any contractor who demands cash or full payment upfront, has no physical address or identification, steers you to a specific lender or tries to act as the intermediary by asking to file insurance claims on your behalf, or wants your personal financial information prior to starting the process. Verify their web and physical address, look up online reviews and ask for references, get cost estimates, schedules and other agreements in writing (in advance) and ensure they have the right permits. Also, if applicable, don’t forget to check with your HOA to refresh yourself on any design or project rules or requirements before the job starts and communicate clearly with the contractor so that they are aware.
For more information and a comprehensive Buyer’s Guide available as a free download, click here.