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Learn these 7 Tips to Follow Before Hiring Any Contractor

Jul 06, 2011

Learn these 7 Tips to Follow Before Hiring Any Contractor

There are just about as many roofing contractors to choose from as there are doctors, and you should take the same care in choosing both!  So how can you make a decision?  It’s easy…interview them. Whether you are talking to a salesperson or the owner himself they should show pride and enthusiasm in discussing your project.  When meeting with each roofing contractor, use the following seven questions to guide you through your interview.

1. What is the full name and address of the company?
An established contractor will have a permanent place of business. If you are provided a PO Box, ask for the street address to their place of business and consider visiting them as well. You should get to know who you’re doing business with.

2. Does the company carry insurance?
Workers compensation and liability insurance is mandatory.  If a worker is hurt and the roofing contractor does not have insurance, you – as the homeowner – are liable. Ask to have current certificates sent to you. Do not accept the roofing contractor at their word.

3. Is the company a licensed and credentialed roofing contractor?
Many state and local governments require roofing contractors to be licensed or credentialed. Contact your city and county clerk’s office and find out if there are any requirements for roofing contractors in your area. Even if there is not, still ask your contractor. The truly professional roofing contractors will most likely have proof of license or credential from other entities.  In the Miami-Dade County area, be sure that the products being sold to you have gone through the proper product approval process.

4. How long has the company been in business?
Longer is usually better…more than five years is best. A new business should not be disqualified from your decision-making process, but if everything else is equal, longevity is usually better.

5. Will the company provide testimonials and references from previous jobs?
A qualified company will provide these upon request. Automatically reject any contractor that fails or refuses to provide you with a list of references and/or testimonials from their clients. Ask for a reference list of recently completed projects that are similar to yours. A qualified contractor will be proud of the work they provide their clients and their clients should be satisfied with their services.

6. What is the company’s workmanship warranty?

Most workmanship errors will be found within the first year, probably after the first good storm. The reason this question is important is that most roofing contractors will provide a warranty for workmanship, and the manufacturer will provide a warranty for the product as long as it is installed correctly. Make sure you understand both warranties and ask for a copy of each.

7. What is the company’s track record for solving customer complaints?
Try to find out how your roofing contractor handles problems when they do arise. Request a referral from a job that involved a complaint. Ask the contractor if he has ever lost a job-related court case. Ask if his contractor’s license has ever been suspended and why. Also, in talking to the appropriate authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau and licensing departments, find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractors whom you have interviewed. Many contractors in business for any length of time have been involved in a dispute. Ask how the dispute was resolved, to test your roofing contractor’s reputation.

With the answers to these seven questions, you’ll be on your way to a hassle-free home improvement project!

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Step One
Initial Consultation

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Step Two
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Step Three
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Step Four
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Step Five
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Step Six
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