What makes a roof contractor “reputable”? The roof contracting business is an extremely competitive industry. Hundreds of companies and individuals are vying for your business and with so many choices it can be overwhelming just deciding on who to choose.
From the cheap, one-man operation to corporations with multiple crews and locations, there is definitely no shortage of solutions when it comes time to repair or replace your roof. With so many to choose from, and knowing how prevalent roofing scams are these days, how do you tell the reputable ones from the ones who just want to separate you from your money? Here are a few things to consider:
Do they have a physical office?
Some contractors work out of their trucks or use a PO Box as a business address. Not having a physical location doesn’t necessarily mean the contractor isn’t legitimate however it could be a strong indication of the stability of the contractor. With more than half of contruction businesses failing within the first five years, ask yourself if it’s it’s worth the risk of being left “holding the bag” should the contractor fail or otherwise be unable to fulfill the terms of your warranties
Do they carry insurance and Workmen’s Compensation?
In Georgia, there is no central licensing authority for roofing contractors, pretty much anyone can set up shop with a truck, some tools, and a little know-how. However, even the best roofers make mistakes, have accidents, and are subject to Murphy’s Law. A reputable roof contractor will have liability insurance to cover damage and Workmens’s Comp. to cover any injuries. If your contractor has neither of these, this may not only leave you responsible for accidental damage, you may even be sued if an injury occurs on your property.
Ask for documentation and verify the coverage with the insurers themselves if their legitimacy is in question.
Length of time in business
How long has the roofing contractor been in business? Statistics show that over half of new constructions businesses fail within the first five years, by year ten, this goes up to a 71% failure rate, this is troublesome especially for roofing contractors whose warranties last 10 years and more. While researching your roofing contractor consider their length of time in business and determine if you are comfortable that the contractor will be there if a problem occurs.
There are many resources on the internet that allow you to view customer testimonials and reviews outside control of the contractor. The Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Home Reports, and others hold their members to the highest standards and publish reviews publically for all to see. How does the company respond to the poor reviews? Do they respond at all? A reputable company knows their online reputation is critical to establishing trust and will work hard to maintain high ratings and address any poor reviews personally and to the customers satisfaction. A poor or non-existent online reputation should be a red flag, with all the legitimate contractors out there, there is no reason to take a risk with an unknown.
A Workmanship Warranty covers any problems caused by poor workmanship, including mistakes and omissions made by the roofing installers.
A reputable roofing contractor will offer a Workmanship Warranty on top of the Manufacturers Warranty which only covers the materials. Roofers are human, they sometimes make mistakes, by having this warranty no matter what the mistake was, the problem will be solved at no cost to the homeowner whatsoever. ARS has a 10 year Workmanship Warranty that comes with every roof, for us it’s a no-brainer, if your roof contractor doesn’t have such a warranty, this should be a deal breaker as it shows they either can’t afford it (and probably unable to afford honoring it) or prefer to allow the homeowner to believe the Manufacturers Warranty covers it, in either case, you should consider a new contractor if this applies.
These are some of the major things to consider when looking for a roof contractor. Finding the cheapest isn’t the best idea when it comes to your roof, so being sure that the money you are investing is spent wisely, please “Do Your Homework” and rest assured that your investment is safe.
Check us out, we are everywhere, Google “Atlanta Roofing Specialists”, visit Angie’s List, The Better Business Bureau, or anyone else and see how we compare to the others! Then email, chat, or call us at 770-419-2222 for your FREE Estimate!