The day has come, and more than one roofing contractor like Dependable Construction has told you it’s time to replace your roof. You also know by looking at it you can’t go another year. So where do you start?
- Before Homeowners start making calls to local roofing contractors, they need to be organized. Get a binder with pockets so you can slip brochures, contracts and proposals, addresses of roofs they have done, roofing types you like and papers with notes, phone numbers, etc.
- Think about your wants and needs when doing the roof and write them down. Write down your concerns as well like, protecting you’re landscaping, pets and what you plan to do with them, time frame to getting the roof done. Include color and type of roofing you like.
- Take time to drive around your neighborhood and see the types of roofing you like. These can be colors and styles you won’t be able to identify. Create a list of these home addresses you like, you can now provide your roofing contractor with your choices to bid the project. They will be appreciated the list and will or I should say, should know what types of roofs these are and be able to share the pros and cons of them.
- Do step 3 during a different time of day since the lighting will change the look of the roof. A roof in the morning can look totally different in the evening.
- Finding a roofing contractor can be a challenge. While doing step 3 and 4 be brave and ask the owners of the houses you like, who did their roof and ask if they were happy. Having a contractor that has worked in the neighborhood is a plus since they know the problems that the homes may have in your neighborhood. Most manufactures have a website and offer a list of certified installers of their products. This means the contractor has gone to the effort of associating themselves with that manufacture which can sometimes be quite an accomplishment. Asking a friend or relative if they know a good roofer can be helpful. It is now time for you want to do a little more diligence and check out the contractors. Calling the local Chamber of Commerce, and BBB to see if their membership is in good standing.
- Set appointments for at least 5 contractors since 2 of them will probably cancel, be late or just not show up. It is a good idea to get at least three estimates to review and compare. Provide the roofing contractor with #2 and #3 when you first meet them and prior to the estimate. All contractor should have the ability to prepare a scope of work and a proposal the same day, if they’re not using Eagleview, if they want to but some will choose to return at a later time. The reasoning could be for sales positioning. They know you are getting estimates and they are banking on you waiting for the last bid and then they try getting all the information they can and close the deal being the last roofer in, Dependable Construction has seen this allot during busy storm seasons. You cannot blame them for that, since they are there to get business for their company. Our advice is to get all the bids, compare the pros and cons of each company. Never not make a decision in front of the contractor but in private with no pressure so you can compare the different options presented to you. Chances are you will get a good vibe from at least one of them. It is tempting to pick the cheapest price but remember that all the contractors purchase the materials that are similar in cost, labor should be about the same and if they have if insurance is going to be close. The difference will be overhead and any extras you may want.
- After choosing a contractor and product line you need to have all the details in a contract. If it’s not in the contract, and a dispute arises, “he said – she said” can be difficult to sort out in court. It is hard to deviate from what is written in a contract. Payment schedule also needs to be in the contract. Lien Releases on materials and sub-contractors to be paid, should be detailed. A tentative start date should be included in the roofing contract along with the amount of days it will take to complete the roof. Contact information for key personnel should be provided.
- Safety for your family including your pets should be detailed. Keep both the kids and pets indoors or at another locations. We’ve seen and heard of unhappy customers that have lost a pet or one has gotten hurt. Your home is going to be a construction site and can be very dangerous. Request a magnet sweep on the driveway every evening and the lawn for the final cleanup. Flat tires can be costly and hard to prove fault but more important hurt when stepped on. Dependable Construction ensure this is done on every job site twice. Once after the ground is cleaned up when removing and the second once the roof is completed. Keep windows closed since roof dust from 20 years plus will seek all opening and when wet on walkways can be very slippery. You may need to access the home during the project. Try to stay away from the ladder area. The old saying “walking under a ladder is bad luck” is a saying for good reason. The ladder area is a main access point for the roofers and tools, equipment in this high traffic area is effected by a thing called gravity and I am betting you don’t own a hard hat. Ask to go over these things with the contractor prior to the job starting.
- The crews that come to your home are there to work. Try to keep out of their way. Give them access to the driveway early before they arrive. Have your cars pulled out and parked two houses away. Provide your contact numbers on a paper easily seen on the job site in case you are not there and you are needed to be contacted for a change order like rotten wood found after the shingles are removed. A pot of coffee and disposable cups with donuts always makes the roofing happy along with a cold soda at the end of a hot summer day J. Although not expected it shows the crew you appreciate their hard work and helps the crew step up and take that extra effort to please you.
- Have a final walk around the house with the project manager and be sure you’re satisfied before making the final payment. Never use cash when paying your roofer, you won’t have proof of the transaction.
Now there may be a few contractors that disagree with these 10 points but there are plenty like Dependable Construction that will welcome your requests and are happy to work with someone who makes everything clear, easy to understand and a successful roofing project for both parties.
Another thing to remember – Re-Using old flashing, box vent, and pipe boots is never a good idea.
Yes there is a standard roofers must maintain when installing a roof but some roofing contractors choose to do a few things different and beyond the standard for a reason. Because like Dependable Construction they care about their customers and the longevity of the roof. Re-using old roof flashing and box vent, and pipe boots and spreading new tar around them can cheapen the bid by hundreds of dollars but with asphalt roofs claiming to last 30 to 50 years now this is a bad idea in our opinion.
Dependable Construction can assets with all your home projects. We are a trusted contractor in Dayton, OH. We specializes in many different home improvement projects, including but not limited to roofing, siding, decks, windows, Skylights, drywall, painting and gutters. We can help you turn any house into your dream home while only using the highest-quality materials and best workmanship in the area.