How to Find a Contractor for a New Roof Installation
When looking for a good roofer, you can start by seeking referrals from relatives, friends, and especially neighbors whose style of roof is probably similar to what you want. Also take time to verify whether or not the contractor you’ll likely hire is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association. NCRA contractors are vetted rigorously before acceptance into the group and are also subject to regular checks. They also have to be protected by the right insurance coverage (public, employers’ and third-party insurance), compliant with health and safety regulations, and committed to the NCRA code of practice and U.S. Standards.
Call no less than three contractors and ask each of them for a quote for a new roof installation. This should provide room for smart comparisons. They should want to come and inspect your property personally before anything else, and if they don’t, watch out. Reputable roofers never price even the smallest of jobs, such as replacing missing tiles or cleaning gutters, without first taking a look.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
As soon as you’ve found someone you think is the best roofer for your project, discuss the following with them before proceeding:
> unforeseen additional charges
> penalties for not finishing the work before deadline
> how to deal with long periods of extreme weather
> work schedule on weekdays and weekends if necessary
> materials to be used, suppliers, and whether a guarantee will be provided;
> outsourced vs. In-house labor
> trash disposal, the use of scaffolding and whether they are included in the quote
> options available if you’re not happy with the result
Whatever you agree on, make sure it’s written on a contract. There’s no need for anything complicated. You just want to have a decent record of the agreement, with your and their signatures of course. Being the customer, you should find out whether you need to obtain planning permission, though the roofer should be able to advise you on that. Note as well that any considerable roof work may only be done by a certified contractor, or your local building control department will have to be notified before work begins. Definitely, you should pick a roofer who has appropriate insurance, including public liability and working at heights. And because a new roof installation is a major job, you should ask for a guarantee.
Finally, make sure the contract includes a schedule for payments. Do this before any work begins. It’s common practice to pay an instalment upfront, especially for a new roof installation. After all, they need cash to source the materials. The final payment should be withheld until you are completely satisfied with the result.