How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

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Whether a sudden storm damaged your roof and you need to repair it immediately or you’ve decided that it’s time to replace the roof after twenty years, you’re going to need a roofing contractor. Unlike stone-washed jeans or laserdisc players, your roof is not something to be taken lightly. You can always stuff the dreadful fashion mistake into the back of your closet and pretend it never happened, but there’s no ignoring the roof that covers your house.

You’re going to need a good roofing contractor that understands your needs – but how do you go about choosing a company that is fair, fast, and competent?

Here’s how to choose a reputable roofing contractor to give you peace of mind:

Get Referrals from Friends, Family or Neighbors

This is good advice when looking for most types of businesses, such as doctors, dentists, real estate agencies, schools, cars, etc. When you know someone personally who can vouch for a roofing contractor, half the battle is already over. Typically your neighbors or friends will have used someone local, which means that the company will be familiar with local bylaws and code regulations.

You’ll want to get a few referrals if possible so that you can compare prices, quality of work, length of time it took, etc. Also, make sure that the contractor has been around for at least five years – roofers who aren’t very good tend to go out of business long before the five-year mark.

Do Your Research

Whether or not you get a referral from someone you know, it’s a good idea to do your own research. For those of you who are having flashbacks of high school or college essays, fear not – the Internet is your friend! Look up the contractors on a few good sites, like:

●      Better Business Bureau (BBB)

●      Angie’s List

●      Missouri Case Net (this website allows you to search for Missouri court records to see whether a contractor has been sued by homeowners)

●      Google the company’s name + city + reviews – for example “signature exteriors st charles reviews”

●      Google Maps – if you do a search for “roofing contractors” from within Google Maps and click on any of the companies that come up, you’ll see a summary of their business plus reviews.

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Keep in mind that anyone can get a bad review once in while, but you want to look for a predominance of good reviews. And if a company has no reviews, that could simply indicate that they’re a new company. But if a business has mostly bad reviews, you should probably avoid them.

Do They Offer Free Inspections and Warranties?

Before any work can be done – or any estimates can be given – the roofing contractor needs to inspect the roof first. If a contractor is quoting you a price for a new roof without inspecting it, walk away. You should also ask whether they offer a warranty for the work they do on your home’s roof.

Keep in mind that some warranties will be void if the new roofing shingles are put on over the existing shingles, so even though it’s an additional cost, it’s probably best to have the roofer remove the existing shingles first. Whatever the case, be sure that the roofer explains the warranty clearly and provides proper paperwork to back it up.

And to answer your follow-up question, yes we do! :-) Signature Exteriors offers a free inspection and estimate, as well as a limited lifetime warranty!

Ask the Right Questions

When choosing a contractor, you’ll want to listen to what they have to say – but equally as important is them listening to what you have to say. Your commercial or residential roofing contractor must be able to answer all your questions clearly and in a friendly manner (if they hem and haw or get defensive, that's a red flag!).

These are a few of the questions you should ask to make sure you and your potential contractor are a good match:

●      How long have you been in business?

●      Are you properly licensed and insured? Can I see your certificates?

●      Do you offer a warranty?

●      Do you offer free inspections?

●      What type of training do your technicians receive?

●      What makes you different/better from your competition?