Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Roofing Contractor
There has been a tremendous amount of rain in Fresno, and the first few months of 2023 has been wet, with lots of rain, storms, wind, and flooding. Subsequently, many homeowners in the valley have become aware of various issues with their roofs. For instance, your home’s roof may have leaks from tile that have shifted out of place, debris built up in the valleys, gutters that have filled up and splash water back on to the roof, or… the roof has simply served its purpose and the time is up. Well, that means many of us will be looking for roofers in our area, comparing prices, and learning about our options for putting a new dome on our homes.
Join me, Brett your roofing buddy, from Armament Coatings & Roofing, Inc., while I discuss seven Need to Knows about your roof, your roofing contractor, and what you should expect during your new roof process. Based on the size of your roof, and the materials you choose, roof can be a costly part of your home. Representing up to 40% of the entire exterior of the house, there is a lot of comfort in knowing you have a sound roof over your head. Because of size, complexity and price it is a good idea to know what to look for, and what to lookout for.
First is housekeeping, you’ll want to do your due diligence, and cover your bases so you can make an informed choice, and feel good about your decision. This should be properly displayed, and made obvious, but make sure your roofer is certified, bonded, and insured. The Contractor’s State Licensing Board (CSLB) recognizes roofers under the C-39 classification. Additionally, they must carry workers compensation for every employee and subcontractor. As an example, while most workers compensation policies cover workers between $10 – 15 per $100 of labor, roofers pay insurance at $75 per $100 of labor, so having insurance on the roofing install crew is very important. At Armament our team is properly insured, the company is properly bonded, we hold the C-39 classification, and our members pass background checks and drug tests.
Next, using subcontractors and independent contractors is very common in the roofing industry. In California specifically, there are some pretty tough rules, however, like the ABC rule, and of course recent legislation with ride share companies like Uber, that specifically identifies the rules and regulations about hiring contractors, and whether or not they should be paid as employees with W2 wages. The issue is some companies offer low bids at the expense of circumventing the rules, and not respecting the team that is on your roof. At ACR we have the kindest staff, and we only hire A+ players. Our entire team members are paid employees with paid time off, sick time, medical benefits, and a generous wage.
The third attribute of a good roofer is their presentation. How well does the roofing contractor know the product they are offering, and what are their motives for offering it? For instance, do they have your best interest in mind? There is a difference between having it done right, and having it done right now. Roofing contractors will often push what the supply house versus providing you with the best options. Too continue, does the appearance and presentation seem professional, and how will that carryover onto your roof? If their truck isn’t clean, is their work area going to be clean? Can a company that doesn’t outwardly show cleanliness, and finds their crew at Home Depot, really keep your dog and children safe from falling debris like staples and nails?
Which brings us to the fourth topic, price shopping. There is a lot that goes into an estimate and your price if arranged properly. Some businesses are better at pricing than others. Some sales people wildly throw out numbers as if it’s a spray can and they’re bound to hit something. While companies like Armament Coatings & Roofing, will build you a very precise contract with a specific warranty, your guarantee, and specific description of materials and process. So, as a homeowner purchasing your new roof, it is helpful to understand how your contractor is pricing the job, and what it you’re buying with your money. As an example, are you buying a more in-depth or extended warranty, either the installer’s or the manufacturer’s, are you upgrading to better underlayment to avoid headaches in the future, or do you have issues like wood rot that must be taken care of prior to installation? There are lots of things to consider when selecting a roofing contractor in Fresno, and these are just food for thought so that you don’t accept an unanticipated offer.
Number five is about providing free estimates. When it comes to receiving estimates for a new roof, it’s traditional to get a free quote from the installer. Like a new car, you don’t have to pay to find out your off-the-lot price. However, once again estimates and prices can and will vary a lot based on your buying experience. Roofing contractors have tools like RoofSnap and EagleView to quickly retrieve measurements and dimensions about your roof from satellite. So, they don’t even need to visit your home to provide you some estimates. However, there is some information that must be known prior to starting the job. For example, does your roof only have one layer, and therefore you could save a lot of money by simply putting a second layer on top? Or does your roof have skip sheeting, and it must be converted to full deck board? Putting eyes on the job adds expertise for a more complete quote.
The sixth aspect to consider is the company’s use of technology and its ability to communicate. How well positioned is your contractor to communicate with you? Are they able to keep you informed of the process before they start, and as they go along? Friendly contractors may offer you an infographic that illustrates the steps they’ll take during the roof installation. Also, do your warranties and guarantees live in a place that you can find? For instance, do they provide you cloud access to your documents? Does their billing technology allow you to explore different prices and services with options that you can choose from, or are they deciding for you? How long is the process going to take? If it takes them a week to get you a quote, what will you expect on the performance of your roof project.
Last is what we call hot and flashy. Will the roofing contractor that you choose have staying power, are they just a hot flash in the pants? Will they be here to follow through on their promises, or are they more interested in buying a lifted Ford, and posting pictures about it on Instagram? Ask yourself, are their employees happy, and does it seem like they have a good culture? Happy employees mean better performance in both efficiency and delivery, which means a better roofing job, and an overall better experience for you.
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