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There are a number of items that you should be aware of before hiring a roofing contractor to re-roof your home. We will discuss some of the basic items you should know about roof installations. The materials themselves represent a relatively small portion of the bill. The bulk of what you’ll spend goes for the skilled labor involved. And that makes choosing an experienced pro the best way to protect your investment and ensure a professionally finished product.
First there are multiple products available to install on your roof. Although most people choose fiberglass shingles there are many grades of shingle available. The most common types of roof coverings are: three-tab, architectural, metal and tile. The three-tab shingles are very common and inexpensive however their life span is typically only 12-15 years. One of the most popular types of shingles are the architectural shingles. They are very attractive, inexpensive and when installed correctly they have a life span of up to 30 years. If you are interested in metal or tile shingles be aware of the fact that they are more expensive and will cost almost three times more than basic fiberglass shingles.
How to find an experienced roofing company or contractor? Before hiring anyone you will need to make sure that the roofing company or contractor has workers compensation and liability insurance in case an accident occurs on your property. Most professional roofers will give you a free estimate for the project. Also make sure that the roofing company or contractor will provide you with a list of references from previous jobs. This list should include names, addresses and phone numbers so that you can contact past customers to determine the roofing company or contractor’s workmanship when it comes to your roofing project.
Ensure your written contract covers your flashing ( whether replaced or re-used ) roof vent replacement, ice and water shield and drip edge. Sometimes one quote is cheaper than another for a reason.
Most important is the warranty that the roofing company or contractor you wish to hire will provide. Most shingle manufactures have a limited warranty which only valid if shingles are installed according to the manufactures installation instructions.
- Get written quotes for the work to be done on your roof and make sure that they contain everything you ask for.
- Fully understand what work you are signing for, what work is included and what work isn’t. If you don’t understand, ask questions until you do.
- Make sure you get all necessary information about the roofing contractor, such as the invoice, estimate or contract giving the full name of the sales person and the name, address and phone number of the roofing contractor.
- Ask your contractor if the workers have been trained to work safely and have taken the Working at Heights training or other fall protection training.
- Avoid any contractors who try to offer you a tax-free deal to replace your roof. This can be a sign that a business is not only avoiding tax responsibility, but other important consumer and worker protection responsibilities as well. Also, a tax-free deal without a receipt provides no legal recourse over the goods and services purchased, and can result in you having to pay twice if the job is left unfinished or done poorly.
Here are a few tips to follow when choosing a good roofing contractor:
1. Is the roofing company licensed with the province of Ontario? (are they actually a company)
2. Does the roofing company carry valid liability insurance coverage?
3. Is the company registered with the WSIB and is the account in good standing and eligible for a clearance certificate?
4. Do the company employees have (FALL ARREST) training with certificates?
5. Has at least one employee (the supervisor) on the installation crew taken a CPR course?
6. Does the company employ, or use sub-contractors for the installation? (this will play a big part in quality of work)
7. The company should have some sort of credential/special training through the material manufacturer in order to install product properly in accordance with manufacturers specs, and therefore can offer extended warranties on the entire roofing system via the manufacturer.
8. THE WORKMANSHIP GUARANTEE… The company should be able to stand behind their work for a specified period of time.
9. Look forward to seeing a proper proposal from the company that outlines the scope of the work.
10.The lowest quote is not always the best one…it comes back to that old saying “you get what you pay for”