Replacing your roof is one of the most expensive home remodeling projects you will ever invest in. So, it is vitally important that you find a competent, experienced and proactive contractor. Before finding out if a roofing estimator should come inside your house, let’s first discuss how you should prepare for selecting a roofing contractor to replace your roof. A mistake in picking the right contractor can cost you an average of 10 years of your home’s roof life. The quickest way to finding a reliable and competent roofing contractor is by doing some due diligence when getting your first set of estimates. Get it free from us at American Construction.
Most of us intuitively think that the more information we have and higher the number of businesses there is competing for our business, the better our chances of making an informed decision. Right? Wrong! Of the top 10 web search results for “roofing contractor cherry hill, NJ” 5 of the top 10 results aren’t even for the websites of roofing companies. They are for powerful service ranking websites like Yelp, Angie’s list, and BBB. These organizations get paid to recommend roofing contractors to you at a cost to the roofing company that gets added to your tab for services rendered.
The result is that we begin to consider roofing contractors recommended to us based on a paid service or worse yet we have so many candidates that we either forget or ignore important details of what they are offering including the length of the warranty of installed roof and the certification and qualification of the installing crew.
In the end because of the massive amount of information we end up deciding simply on the basis of the lump sum price of the installation without considering critical factors that impact that price.
How to avoid such costly mistakes due to information overload?
We have devised an easy to follow screening process to root out roofing outfits that are either fly-by-the-night companies that are not licensed to do business in the State of New Jersey or are Jack-of-all-trades businesses that do not have expertise in installing roofs and can make a mess of any project.
Your homes roof will be with you for over 50 years, so it is critical to have someone install it that can service it and repair it if the roof fails to perform as expected. There are three questions that your roofing contractor must be able to answer to establish a business relationship with you.
Question 1: What is your legal business name?
Any business wanting to earn business from the public should be able to answer this question credibly. It is very easy to misrepresent who you are and what you do these days and asking for a legal business name is a quick way to establish the fact that you are dealing with a legitimate business that would be around to service you or resolve any issues with the faulty roof should you need to unfortunately claim the warranty on the roof to do so; if the person hems and haws ask them to provide you with a copy of their state license via email. This is a quick way to establish if you are dealing with a credible and dependable vendor.
Question2: What Level or Roofing Insurance do you carry?
The State of New Jersey requires a minimum of $1,000,000 liability insurance for a roofing contractor to operate. Any amount above that and the ability to fax or email a copy of a valid proof of insurance should suffice. However, any hemming or hawing or variation from the standard answer is a fair warning against hiring that contractor.
Question 3: Do You Use Subcontractors/Who Will be at the Jobsite during the Roofing of My House?
If the answer to them using the subcontractors is yes, you need to keep moving and find yourself another roofing contractor. The answer on who will be at the job site should be someone who can take the ownership of the project, not someone who is a stand-in. The answer should be along the lines of either owner of the company, manager of the company, etc. Larger companies do have project managers that are specially trained to marshal all the resources to carry a project to successful completion. An answer like a roofing crew or a foreman is just not good enough.
Roofing a house is a complex operation and a small problem can easily derail your project into a disaster zone.
Now that you have established the credibility of the roofing contractor you are considering installing a new roof over your house, it’s time to check which contractor has your best interest at heart.
Here are a few questions you need to ask the contractor:
- Can you drop off an estimate for my new roof in my mailbox? A competent roofer with your best interest at heart will need to ask you about a number of things, examine your roof to get the lay of the land of the project and explain the process to you. Anyone not willing to do that is probably either grossly incompetent or in it to make a few bucks regardless of what’s best for you.
- How much do you charge per square foot of roofing? Lots of factors go into roofing. Anywhere from the current price of the material, to the age of the roof, the pitch of the roof and specific conditions with your roof. Anyone who races for the bottom-line price isn’t looking out for your best interest.
- Can you do a layover instead of tear-off roofing? A tear-off is when the roofer tears off the old roofing down to the decking, examines and addresses any underlying issues and then puts a new roof on. A layover is basically putting shingles on top of your existing roof, drive a nail through your existing shingles and hope for the best. A contractor agreeing to do a layover without examining your roof to see if it is appropriate is out to simply make a buck and leave you with a bad roof.
- Do you need to come inside my house to give me a quote? An experienced contractor looking out for your interest would like to inspect your roof both inside and out and only after the thorough inspection would advise you on how to proceed with the roofing project. Anyone saying, no we can do the roofing without a thorough inspection of how things stand is just trying to take your money.
In conclusion, the answer to your question, “Does a roof estimator needs to come inside my house?” The answer should always be a definite ‘Yes!’