I would start in my own neighborhood - talk to neighbors who have good
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
want to spend their time educating customers who know nothing about the
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
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
better assurance for me.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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).
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.