Getting a new roof is a big investment and if it’s done properly, you shouldn’t need to even think about getting another one for 10 years or more.
There are a whole range of roofing options to consider now and hazardous materials which were traditionally used are very much a thing of the past.
But if you don’t know much about roofing the vast range of choices can feel overwhelming and make it difficult to decide what to do. Even the most basic of decisions such as how to choose a roofing contractor can seem almost impossible.
However, if you approach it systematically and find out a few basic facts you will be able to slowly identify the best contractor for your needs.
Here’s a guide to some of the most vital questions you should always ask when you are selecting a roofing contractor.
Price is important…but it’s not everything
For most people getting a competitive price is one of the most important aspects when choosing a roofing contractor but it’s essential that a bargain quote doesn’t disguise shortcomings in other areas.
The cheapest contractor may well not be the best and unless you are sure absolutely everything is included, you might even find they work out more expensive in the long run.
It’s always a good idea to get more than one quote, even if you like the first one you speak to. Getting another opinion could make you radically change your mind or expose flaws in the first quote that you hadn’t previously thought of. At least three quotes are generally recommended.
Find out exactly what’s included in the quote from each contractor before you make up your mind; this includes the exact nature of the materials they plan on using. This allows you to do some research to see which one is offering the best quality of service.
Make sure you get any quotes or estimates in writing…but remember that these may be based on assumptions and things may change once the work starts. Go with a contractor that seems professional and you instinctively trust.
On the subject of cash, it goes without saying that although the roofing contractor may want a deposit, particularly to cover costs of materials; you should never pay for the entire job upfront.
During the project
One aspect people often neglect to consider is the convenience of the work once it is taking place. You need to find a contractor whose method of working fits in with your lifestyle and causes the minimum of disturbance and inconvenience.
Questions you might want to ask include the hours they plan on working and on what days of the week. A contractor who only works from noon to 3pm on two days per week will take much longer to get the job done. Conversely, you may not be willing to appoint a contractor who appears at 6am every day!
Ask for estimated start and completion dates and find out how they tackle bad weather. What sorts of weather are they able to work in and what brings everything to a standstill?
And when the project is finished, what will be left for you to do? Ask the roofing contractor whether they will be taking all debris and rubbish away or whether you will be left with the task of clearing your garden of unwanted materials.
Even if you are satisfied that the roofing contractor will do a good job, it’s important to find out whether you are protected once all is complete.
Ask what kind of warranty is offered and whether this covers both materials and workmanship. It’s worth also enquiring whether the warranty is valid if their company should go out of business. Even the very best firms sometimes shut down and if your roof fails after a couple of years you need to understand if you are still covered.
All of the above questions will help you ascertain whether the roofing contractor is right for you and whether they will be able to complete the job not just to the right price, but to the very highest standard too.