It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare—
After months of dealing with unresponsive project managers, construction delays and crew members who leave trash on your lawn, you finally see it—the new roof you broke into your savings to pay for.
It’s not the color you agreed on. The flashing is dented. And you can already see a shingle or two coming loose. When you call the contractor to address the issues, you’re met with an automated message: “We’re sorry, but this number has been disconnected.”
Horror stories like these aren’t uncommon. In fact, they’re downright predictable.
Where Roofing Projects Go Wrong
Bad roofs and poor customer service are often the results of inexperienced contractors biting off more than they can chew.
Roofing is hard work and a lot can go wrong. You can’t skip steps or shy out on materials. And you need an experienced crew that knows how to handle products with care and follow manufacturer guidelines so the roof is warranty-eligible. When a contractor is missing just one piece of that puzzle, things fall apart quickly. It’s why most roofing companies go out of business within four years, according to estimates from roofr.
So how do you go about choosing a contractor who can deliver dependable results? By asking the right questions.
Questions You Should Ask Your Roofing Contractor
When you meet with contractors to narrow down your options, come prepared with a list of questions. Keep the conversation open-ended and ask follow-up questions—especially when it comes to costs. If the contractor uses terms you don’t understand, ask them to explain.
Your list should be tailored to your home and project, but you can use the following questions to get the conversation started:
1. Are you licensed and insured in my state?
This might seem like a given—who would do business without the proper paperwork?!—but it’s a good way to weed out scammers, storm chasers and poorly organized contractors. You are perfectly within your right to ask for proof of these items if you have any doubt.
2. How long have you been in business?
A roofing contractor’s reputation is measured in the number of years they’ve been in business. As we mentioned earlier, most roofing companies fold within four years. If a contractor has been in business for 10, 20 or 30 years, that’s a good indication their community trusts them to do good work. And it’s a good indication that they have processes in place to ensure a good experience.
3. What does your process look like?
Speaking of processes…does your contractor have a proven formula for success? Do they follow strict timelines or a chain of command? The last thing you want is for a contractor to “wing it.” Dive into the details like when your project will begin, how long it will take, who will be your main contact, and what’s the best way to reach them.
4. What happens if something goes wrong?
Mistakes happen, whether they’re caused by nature, humans or some unforeseen event. But a good contractor will always have a plan for overcoming a worst-case scenario—even if they’ve never had to face one before.
Ask the contractor what product and workmanship warranties they offer, who is liable for accidental damage to your property, and what they do to make things right with unhappy customers.
5. What are the expectations for your crew?
A contractor is only as good as their crew, and a great contractor will set high expectations for the people working on your home. They should take care to protect your lawn and landscape while working on your roof and show the utmost respect for your property. They should work efficiently without cutting corners. And they should be friendly and approachable. In sum—they should treat your home as if it were their grandmother’s.
6. Can you provide references?
Before meeting with contractors, you’ll want to check out their online reviews, as well as their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. It can be even more helpful to see examples of work they’ve recently completed or speak to a former customer for yourself—this way you can get details about their experience they might hesitate to post online. Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor for references or to see a portfolio of their work!
A New Roof—and a Great Experience
When you imagine what it will be like to finally have a new roof, you’re probably focused on the final results: No more leaking! Better curb appeal! Safety and protection! But when all is said and done, you’re just as likely to remember the experience.
That’s why it’s important to choose a contractor who has proven to be responsive, reliable and respectful of their clients’ time, money and property.
When you’re ready for a new roof, lean on the experts at DeNeve. We’re here to make the process smooth from start to finish. Get your free estimate today, and let’s start a conversation. No questions are off the table!