When deciding on any product or service, we often consider many factors. For the average consumer, price is generally the most important factor for determining which to choose. However, is it best to shop around on price alone? Let us consider the adage, “You get what you pay for.” Its application is no different with roofing companies. Although price is an important consideration when comparing contractors, you want to make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples. Read on to learn what to look for when choosing the right roofing company to use for your home.
Look For These Characteristics in an Exceptional Roofing Company
Besides price, we have boiled down essential characteristics and red flags to look for when hiring a roofing company. Remember, your roof is one of the most critical parts of your home. You want to ensure it’s properly installed on time for the best price.
Trust and Professionalism
As you begin selecting the best roofing contractor, you’re likely to start searching for information about them. While searching, answer the following questions.
- Do they have a website and social media presence?
- What about client testimonials?
- Is there a list of references you can refer to?
When you submit an inquiry via an online form through their website or call them to schedule an appointment, do they respond quickly? How well they communicate from the first touchpoint is usually a good indicator of their communication throughout the entire project.
Many roofing contractors are booked out far in advance due to supply and demand issues. However, it could be a red flag if they’re not forthcoming about their estimated wait time. The best contractors will always be the busiest and must be booked far in advance. They will also set realistic expectations up-front.
Certifications and References
Roofing companies should be fully insured and have up-to-date professional licenses and certifications. Feel free to ask them for this information as you begin corresponding with them. Licenses can be verified via the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Additionally, ask roofers if they have a list of references you can call to view their track record. Keep in mind, it’s like you’re “interviewing” roofing companies for a job much like a company would an employee. It’s easy to skip this step because it can feel intrusive or awkward, but that is better than having a project go badly later on because you didn’t properly screen them.
When receiving estimates from roofing companies, get at least 2-3 bids and favor the ones that have detailed line items. This is especially true when one estimate is significantly higher or lower than another one. For example, if one estimate is significantly lower than the other two, ask yourself, “What line items do they have listed?”
The cost may be less, but that doesn’t mean you’re comparing apples-to-apples in terms of the scope of work and the quality of materials being used. If an estimate only has one or two line items followed by the price, ask the roofing company if you can get a more detailed breakdown. In other words, don’t be too hasty to choose the lowest estimate.
Reputable roofing contractors will also provide a warranty on their workmanship. You want to select a roofing company that offers a 10-year labor warranty on their new roof installations. Warranties are important should you experience an issue with your roof 1-2 years after installation. They give you the peace of mind you need after committing to a large investment.
How a roofing company conducts its marketing efforts is an important indicator of its business model. Unfortunately, due to past legal loopholes and conflicts of interest in Florida, many unscrupulous roofing contractors have taken advantage of homeowners.
Until recently, it was easy for roofing companies to send salespeople to neighborhoods where they would identify aging roofs, knock on the door, and tell the homeowner they could get a brand new roof at the expense of their insurance carrier. They would claim they recognized significant “damage” to the roof based on their professional expertise.
Homeowners would unwittingly sign contracts like Assignments of Benefits (AOBs). Signing these documents transfers your rights as the policyholder directly to the contractor. AOBs made insurance carriers legally obligated to work with only the contractor.
Contractors could either claim the insurance money and never return to complete the work or complete the work but later have the claim denied by the insurance carrier. For the latter, the contractor either sues the carrier or comes after the homeowner for the money and places a lien on their property until their invoice is paid.
Thankfully, due to recent changes in legislation, these kinds of scams are more challenging for contractors. Nonetheless, there are still loopholes around laws, so homeowners must remain vigilant.
The McFall Difference
At McFall Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality workmanship in Gainesville, Florida. Since our inception, our goal has been to fill a need for a reputable roofing company in Alachua County that uses premium materials and industry best practices. When it comes to choosing the right roofing company, McFall has you covered! If you need residential roof repairs or installation, contact us or request an estimate today to get started on your roofing project.