A new roof represents a significant financial investment, but it the first line of defense that your furnishings have against the elements. With so much at stake, it only makes sense to be sure that the roofing company you select has the integrity, skills and equipment to perform the job to your satisfaction. Looking for a good Austin roofing contractor to install a new roof requires doing a little preliminary homework.
Prepare a “Short-list” of Potential Roofing Contractors
Ask for recommendations from neighbors, friends and family members who have had a roof replacement. Ask them which contractor handled their job and how satisfied they were with the work. Some questions you might want to ask include:
• Was the job started and completed on time?
• Did the crew clean up the site? (In other words, did the property owner find a number of nails in the grass or shingle wrappers in the hedges?)
• Did the crew behave respectfully? (Profanity, loud music and vulgar comments have no place on the site, nor should the property owner be subjected to arguments between crew members.)
• What was the quality of the finished work? (Was it acceptable, superior, marginal, disappointing or pleasantly surprising?)
• Would the property owner hire the same contractor again, either for another job or, if given the opportunity turn back the clock, for the same job?
You can also ask for recommendations from companies that supply roofing materials, such as lumberyards or building material wholesalers. Ask for the names of several roofing contractors that the supplier considers the best for the type of project you need.
Interview Prospective Contractors
Once you have several names, interview the contractors. Some questions to ask include:
• How long has the company been in business, and how long has it been in business under its current name? A roofing company that has been through frequent name changes may have legitimate reasons for each change, but it may also be trying to conceal a history of dissatisfied customers, complaints or even fraudulent activities.
• What are the recommendations for your roof, and why? Does the contractor recommend installing new shingles over old or removing the old ones? Which brand of shingles are recommended? Why should you choose metal roofing instead of tile?
• Can the contractor provide you with proof of liability and workers’ comp insurance, any applicable certifications, professional licenses (if required) and at least eight references from recent customers you can contact?
• Will the contractor provide you with a detailed, written quote prior to obtaining your signature on a contract? Does the quote address how potential cost overruns will be handled?
• How much experience does the contractor have with the particular roofing system you want? A contractor might have extensive experience with commercial roofing products, for example, with little recent experience in residential roofing. Perhaps the contractor has decades of experience installing asphalt shingles, but has never installed a metal roof.
Verify the Information
Verify that the information each contractor has given you is accurate. Call your local Better Business Bureau and ask for each company’s history, especially how the company handled any complaints. If you are in a jurisdiction that requires licensing, contact the board to verify that the company’s license has not been suspended or revoked. Call the references given by the contractors and ask the same questions you asked when seeking recommendations. If a company claims to manufacturer-certified in a particular roofing system, verify this with the manufacturer.
Obtain Multiple Quotes
Based on your interviews and research, select two or three contractors and obtain written quotes. Make sure that each contractor is quoting similar work. For example, one contractor might be quoting the price for a 20-year shingle while the others are quoting for a 30-year shingle, or two contractors are quoting for removal and disposal of existing shingles while the third makes no mention of disposal.
Select a Roofing Contractor
By this point, you should have all the information you need to select a contractor. Ask the chosen contractor to provide you with a written contract, and take the time to compare the contract — point by point — with your written quote. If there are differences, insist on having them corrected before you sign — and never sign a contract with blank spaces.
Finding a great roofing contractor in Austin usually requires a little work on your part. However, a new roof is too expensive to trust to luck. At Alpha Roofing Industries, we understand the uncertainties that many people face when choosing a roofing contractor. We welcome your questions — and we encourage you to compare our record, honesty, prices and quality with any other roofing contractor. If you would like a free, no-obligation quote, you can send us your information by completing our online form. If you prefer, you can call us at (512) 777-1086.