Page 1


PART ONE: LICENSE, BOND & INSURANCE

Finding a reliable roofing contractor to replace or repair your roof may seem easy, but the process isn’t as straightforward as you might think. First of all, think of the money involved. Here in South Carolina, most homeowners spend between $753 and $1,153 to have their roofs fixed and anywhere from $5,513 to $7,187 to have their roofs replaced. While those figures are lower than the national average, that’s still incentive enough for less-than-scrupulous contractors to take advantage of you. This is why when the time comes for you to invest your hard-earned money on a roofing project, you need to be 100% sure that the roofer you’re hiring is 100% reliable. Licensed, Bonded & Insured You’ve most likely heard roofing contractors say, “We are licensed, bonded and insured for your protection.” But what exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, “licensed, bonded and insured” sums up the three most basic qualifications you should look for in a roofer.


PART ONE: LICENSE, BOND & INSURANCE

Here’s a breakdown: Licensed: Licensing rules and regulations vary according to state, but generally, a roofer must have a license issued by the state in which they want to operate. Having been granted a trade license means that a contractor has passed standardized competency tests, paid the required fees, and given proof of insurance and/or bonding. Bonded: A contractor’s bond offers financial protection in the event that the roofer provides incomplete or unsatisfactory roofing work or fails to meet financial obligations related to your project. Insured: You want your roofer to have at least these two types of insurance: general liability to protect you from having to pay for injuries and property damage incurred during your project, and workers’ compensation to cover any lost wages or medical expenses incurred by workers who are injured on the job. You may also contact your state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation or organizations like NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) to verify a particular contractor’s credentials.


PART TWO: WARRANTIES & CERTIFICATIONS

We often hear from friends, family and colleagues about the importance of working only with licensed contractors. While they’re right to underscore the importance of licenses, insurance and bonds—nonnegotiable requirements discussed in Part One—there’s more to your contractor credibility checklist than these three things. Next up to bat: warranties and certifications. Warranties Because their reputation is at stake, a good roofer will only provide topnotch workmanship and use high-quality materials from trusted roofing manufacturers. That’s what warranties can tell you about a roofing contractor: that they are unwilling to gamble their good name on anything less than the best. Warranties from industry-leading brands like GAF, Carlisle SynTec, HydroStop, Duro-Last and Firestone speak volumes about a roofer. It shows that that the roofer has made a conscious decision to use materials that perform well, last for a long time and give you your money’s worth. But product warranties aren’t the only type of warranty to keep an eye out for. There are different types of warranties offering different levels of protection. Sometimes their coverage will overlap, but at the very least you’ll want to have:

a) protection against defects in the roofing materials and b) protection against defects in labor or workmanship.


PART TWO: WARRANTIES & CERTIFICATIONS

You’ll have a choice from among three basic types of roof warranties: materials only, prorated materials and labor and NDL (No Dollar Limit). Studies by GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, show that more than two-thirds of new roof problems result from poor design and/ or installation rather than from issues with materials, so materials-only warranties don’t offer sufficient protection. If that’s all your candidate roofer is able to offer, walk away. Manufacturer Certifications Manufacturers have certification programs designed to promote the proper use and installation of their products. A factory-certified contractor has the manufacturer’s own vote of confidence. And that vote carries a lot of weight. When you work with a factory-certified roofer, you can expect quality installations, durable roofing products, eligibility for special warranties, and the satisfaction of knowing that you’re really getting the most out of your investment.


PART THREE: COMPANY REPUTATION

For any business in any industry, a clean reputation is one key to success. If you’re a homeowner in need of a roofer, your first step when checking a roofing company’s local reputation is to ask for their basic business info: company name, business address, telephone number, federal tax identification number and website.

How you accomplish the next step will depend on which resources you have access to. Check as many of these sources as possible. Cutting corners during research will put you at risk of hiring a fly-by-night contractor or a roofer that provides poor customer service. Good sources of information include: • Friends, family and neighbors who have worked with the roofer on past projects • Business review sites like Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau • Trade associations like NFRC and ARMA (Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association) What to Look For A+ and five-star ratings, glowing reviews and strong recommendations to hire are all good signs, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all of checking a contractor’s reputation. You’ll also want to ask yourself questions like: • How well do they handle and resolve customer complaints? (The answer to this question can actually say more about a contractor than a 100% squeaky-clean reputation.)


PART THREE: COMPANY REPUTATION

• Do they practice good client-roofer communication before, during and after a project? • Are they able to consistently meet deadlines? • Are they easy to reach for concerns and inquiries? • Are they upfront about materials, warranties, payments, and other important aspects of a roofing project? • Do they pressure homeowners into signing up for services and addons they didn’t want in the first place? Why Be Wary: The Reality of Roofing Scams Many contractors promise quality roofing service and fast completion times, but only a fraction actually live up to these promises. Just a few months back, a series of roofing scams led to the arrest of five employees from NBRC Roofing Co., a Tampa area roofing contractor. The five NBRC employees left almost a hundred homes with unfinished roof repairs and made off with a total of $525,000. According to Florida’s chief financial officer, their modus was to visit Tampa homeowners after a storm and convince them that their roofs needed urgent repairs. They would then help the victims file insurance claims, take the money and walk away without doing any of the promised roofing work.

Situations like this happen every so often across the U.S. If you want to protect yourself and learn to differentiate a good roofer from a bad one, remember your contractor credibility checklist.


CMS Roofing 530 Vision Court Irmo, South Carolina 29063

877-425-4121 CMSofSC.com

Profile for mikecurcio

Your Contractor Credibility Checklist  

How do you check a roofing contractor’s credibility? Check out this e-book for easy and actionable contractor verification tips today.

Your Contractor Credibility Checklist  

How do you check a roofing contractor’s credibility? Check out this e-book for easy and actionable contractor verification tips today.

Advertisement