The Homeowner’s Guide to Working With Roofers

The inevitable need to fix or install new roofing systems can often feel painful to consider. Homeowners may even know their home requires upkeep, but it can be easy to put it out of mind until after it has become a problem. Even once you have decided to make the leap and find a contracting company, choosing the best one may feel overwhelming. Roofers aren’t necessarily banging on doors to find new clients, and sorting through the companies in your area may seem like a daunting process. However, a few considerations may help you find the right company for your roofing needs.

Construction Costs

Overall cost is the first thing you should consider. Most roofing companies offer free estimates, so take advantage of them! Call around and ask for a specialist to come check out the job. Using this strategy, you will be able to compare the information to other estimates and choose wisely who gets to do the job.

When To Call

Make your calls when the weather is good. Hiring roofers to work in bad weather will almost always warrant ‘hazard charges,’ which can sometimes double the overall cost of construction. Additionally, ask yourself this: would you be happy about working outdoors during a snowstorm?

Roofing Materials & Base Costs

Compare the base price of materials, e.g. slate tiles, asphalt shingles, tars, cedar shakes, and clay shingles. You can check with your local hardware store for specific pricing.

In addition to figuring out costs, ask the roofers to show you other work completed in the area and talk to the homeowners to hear their recommendations. Good reputations can go a long way. Carefully consider skill and experience over cheaper hourly rates. Having an inexperienced contractor install your new roof will just cause you to hire another one sooner than you think. Hire quality first and save yourself the headache of having to repeat the process too many times.

Contracts & Additional Info

Almost all work will be done under contract. Make sure you include material costs, labor costs, and any other costs associated with the job in the contract. If possible, try to secure a warranty or even get an expressed written warranty of the work.

Agree to specifics, such as how long your roof will be off, how long the equipment may be stored in your yard, and hours of operation. Would you mind having someone banging on your ceiling at 8 a.m.? If you answered yes, make sure the daily starting and stopping hours are expressed in writing.

Lastly, make sure to discuss and put in writing who will handle leaks within a certain period of time from the installation. Warranties and guarantees are one thing, but this is one of the specifics that many people overlook. Be sure to specify this in your contract.