Any suggestions on how to find a good roofer

I'm finding some reviews online but most are horror story after horror story. That may be a slight exaggeration but not much.
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calvert wrote:

roofs and get names from them. Find out who the contractor was and what the products were. If you have products in mind, check out the website for the mfg. and review the types of product and installation instructions. Installation instructions at least help educate you in the basic requirements and issues that might arise.
I've helped interview contractors for various projects in our condo, and having at least basic info about products and methods helped immensely. I doubt that many contractors want to spend their time educating customers who know nothing about the project, and it invites abuse when homeowners are naive.
We had difficulty with a reroof, but once the problems appeared the contractor was good to work with and did major work to correct the issues.
When we had the condo painted, we got bids from several contractors. One, who did mainly commercial work, was our ultimate choice. I knew in about two minutes after meeting him that he seemed good - when he turned out to be the low bidder, it was a bit scary, but his work was the best on a large, difficult project.
I consider letters of reference from previous customers who are strangers in the same way I consider paid ads. Seeing their work and talking to a customer I know are better assurance for me.
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On Fri, 27 Jun 2008 12:49:58 +0000, calvert wrote:

Check in your locality about roofer complaints. Then ask around for recommendations from those with recent roof jobs. Get several bids and ask for references. In some locales, roofers need to be licensed. Check the licensing agency for complaints.
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Get some one lisenced and insured, call their broker as certs can be faked as a guy gave me a fake one. Check court records to see if he is sued much. Check rotted wood yourself, pull a permit and pay after the Free inspection.
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Hire the crew that will hand nail it. Then you get the "old timers" that know what they are doing.
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Which directly implies anyone who is using a nail gun has no idea what they are doing. Sorry Bob but I'd have to say you are full of shit.
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in

You must use a nail gun. Lou
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The crew I got by specifying that was the most experienced crew at the company. They even spoke english.
It actually implies no such thing. Think - cause and effect.
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One additional suggestion. Call your home owner's insurance company. See if they will give you the name of someone they use in your area. Likely they would do good for you.
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Let's be honest. Most neighbors wouldn't know a good roofing job from a bad one. If it doesn't leak, most people's opinion would be, they hired a good roofer.
Ask the roofer/company, if they have a brake. It's a tool of the trade, which is rather expensive. If they won't invest in a simple tool, they're not serious about being in business.
This of course, doesn't mean you'll get a good roofer. But is one of the questions, which will help narrow the field.
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Thanks for all the inputs. I have an estimate scheduled next week. I got the company name from a relative who had some work done, but they go the name from their real estate agent. I think asking my home insurance company is a good idea too.
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"calvert" wrote

Actually the home insurance company is a very good idea. They deal in the 'bottom line' and for them sometimes that means knowing who's work is good and lasts as well as reasonable in price. They can often tell you at least in 'general' a price range that would be expected for your area.
Do not be shocked if the 'general price range' doesnt match what they are allowed to pay for a job. It's often a bit more for the quality work but if you are real nice, they will 'drop a few hints of names of companies' with good reputations.
Thats how we found 2 of our contractors and we passed on the name of one they didnt have after they inspected the work (they were impressed but we warned them we are long term customers so get a deal on the price).
The 2 they helped us with was a very GOOD chimney repair company (they have a definate vested interest in preventing fireplace's making them pay out for a burned down house) and a *reputable* termite control place for a house with a termite infestation (caught before more than the loss of a baseboard thank goodness!). It was kinda like 'get estimates but we suggest you at least get one from 'insert local company franchise' (and we aint dumb, we could read between the lines).
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Get more than one estimate.
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calvert wrote:

Unless the insurance company is a highly rated one, like USAA or Amica, I wouldn't trust them, and real estate agents are interested more in appearance than price.
Stick with companies that are certified by the shingle manufacturers because otherwise you'll be stuck with no warranty if the roofer goes belly-up. Check with the shingle maker, not the roofer, for this certification. The manufacturer will inspect the roofing job when it's done, and in our case they required half the roof to be redone.
Another thing you want is a permanent work crew, meaning it's made of people who are on the company's regular payroll and not hired on the spot when some job orders come through. A permanent crew can consist of of full- or part-time employees. Some roofing companies lie about their crews being permanent employees.
Be really specific with the roofer -- type, brand, and model of shingles, how many nails per shingle, type of roof venting (including soffit venting -- our roofer installed a ridge vent but didn't want to put in soffit vents, even though they're required for the ridge vent to work), valley treatment (cut or woven shingles, galvanized or copper channel), undershingle roof covering (what weight tar paper, how far does sticky anti-ice covering extend from edges).
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Ollie N. wrote:

Sometimes a lay opinion can be useful. In my case, the roofing company did a couple of things unasked that turned out swell.
First, while the old roof was off, they built two dormers (I guess that's what you'd call them) to butt up against two four-foot wide chimneys. This resulted in two ten-foot gutters for each, but water doesn't run down and hit the chimneys before leaving the roof.
Second, since I wanted turbines installed (as well as a ridge vent), the roofers cleverly placed the turbines about three feet down from the highest point of the roof so the turbines can't be seen from the street.
The roofers did, however, neglect to connect one dryer vent which caused me some anguish when I discovered the oversight four years later.
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