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Choosing a Roofing Contractor 101

Installing a new roof system or just making repairs is an important decision and can be expensive, especially if you choose the wrong roofing contractor! Each of these should be treated as an investment. First and foremost, insist on working with a professional contractor. The following guidelines can help you select a professional.

  • Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, and tax identification number.
  • Ask for proof of insurance. Insist on seeing copies of liability coverage and workers’ compensation certificates.
  • Check to see if the contractor is properly licensed. South Carolina requires a specialty roofing license.
  • Make sure the contractor is financially stable. A professional roofing contractor can provide current financial information about his company.
  • Look for a proven track record along with client references and a list of completed projects. Make sure that the contractor has successfully completed projects similar in size, scope, and dollar value to your project.
  • Call some people on the client list to find out if they are satisfied.
  • Insist on a detailed, written proposal, with complete descriptions of the work, job specifications, and payment terms.
Choosing a roofing contractor 101
  • Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality-control procedures.
  • Carefully read and understand any roofing warranties offered and watch for provisions that would void them.
  • Choose a company committed to worker safety and education. Does he have a written safety program?
  • Have the contractor list the roofing manufacturers with which his firm is a licensed or approved applicator.
  • Require a letter from the chosen manufacturer that states this contractor is approved, can receive a warranty, and that the manufacturer has looked at the project, specifications, details, and approves its application.
  • Choose a contractor that has a full-time dedicated Service Department that does nothing but service, repairs, and maintenance.
  • Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. “Cheapest is not always least expensive.” Professionalism, experience, and quality workmanship should weigh heavily in your decision.

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