Some Tips From The BBB

Having to replace or repair your roof can be an overwhelming prospect. It’s one of the biggest projects you may have to consider for your home and can be expensive and time consuming. 

Better Business Bureau (BBB) has tips to keep in mind whenever you are hiring any contractor to work in your home. You can find advice on everything from researching vendors to getting estimates to signing a contract here.

What do you need to keep in mind additionally for roofers?

Make sure you understand the full scope of the project. What exactly is the roofer going to do? Will they be doing spot repairs or replacing the whole roof? Will they be removing the old roof or covering it with the new roof? Make sure you understand the pros and cons of the solutions and that everything is detailed in your contract.
Ask about clean-up and waste removal. Confirm that your contractor will be responsible for taking away all old materials and cleaning up your site after their work is complete.
Consider your gutters and landscaping. A roof job will require the use of ladders that can cause damage when leaned against your gutters or stuck in your landscaping. How will your roofer protect against damage or fix things after the job is done?
Plan for bad weather. What happens if there is bad weather while your roof project is underway? Ask your roofer about what they will do to protect your home in the case of rain or snow.
Check your insurance coverage. If your project is for fixing damage, check your homeowner’s insurance to see if your project is covered and how you should proceed if it is. (You also want to check your contractor’s insurance coverage for things like worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability.)
Different contractors for different roofing systems. Roofing contractors may be certified to install specific types of roofs. You can check with the manufacturer to see if your contractor is certified for their system.  

 

BBB General Advice When Choosing A Roofing Company
A legitimate roofing company should be able to provide the following:
· Local references and roofing testimonials
· Business License
· Roofing credentials
· Workers compensation insurance
· General liability insurance
· Written manufacturer warranties

· Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify the track record of any roofer, builder or contractor you're thinking of hiring. Ask for a list of recent customers and call them.
· Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, insurance agents or claims adjusters. Also check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you're considering.
· Take your time about signing a contract. Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises the contractor made. But remember to ask if there's a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home. Ask for explanations for price variations, and don't automatically choose the lowest bidder. Get a copy of the final, signed contract before the job begins.
· Resist dealing with any contractor who asks you to pay for the entire job up-front. A deposit of one-third of the total price is standard procedure. Pay only by check or credit card - and pay the final amount only after the work is completed to your satisfaction. Don't pay cash.
· Be skeptical of contractors who encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs. Make sure there's enough money for permanent repairs.
· Ask a knowledgeable friend, relative or attorney to review a home repair contract before you sign. If you get a loan to pay for the work, be cautious about using your home as security: If you don't repay the loan as agreed, you could lose your home. Consider asking an attorney to review the loan documents, as well.
· Be careful of any company that uses door-to-door sales or leaves a flier on your doorknob or in your mailbox, promising insurance compensation for repairs.
· Phrases to watch out for: "insurance companies are compensating" and "most homeowners are unaware of the storm damage on their roof."
· Make sure to get verification of a hailstorm in your neighborhood. The National Weather Service or your neighbors are good independent sources.
· If there was a storm, find out how large the hailstones were. It usually takes hail at least 1¼ inches in diameter to cause damage, with golf ball size or larger causing serious damage.
· The homeowner should be aware of which way the storm was moving. Many homes have roofs with various angles or pitches, which means that the angles facing the storm would receive the most damage.
· Hail damage is random. Unscrupulous repair companies may use a teaspoon, small rocks or hammers to fabricate damage.


After a storm:

• Do not be rushed into signing a contract with a particular company. Get business cards and ask for written estimates for the work.
• Talk to your insurance agent and ask for advice on how to proceed in getting repairs made. Keep receipts for temporary repairs.
• Investigate the track record of any roofer or contractor you consider hiring. Look for companies with a good reputation in your community. Call your Better Business Bureau for help, get references and do not give anyone a deposit until you are sure they are reputable.

 

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