Hiring roof contractors in the Atlanta area is a big responsiblity and should never be taken lightly. After all, they will be providing a very important service to your home. If you find yourself in need of a new roof or roof repairs, the task of finding a contractor to perform the work can seem like an enormous burden. Rest assured that there are high-quality contractors in the Atlanta area, and these tips will help you find them. If you follow each and every one of these tips, you are bound to find a reliable contractor who you can trust and refer to your friends and family.
How to find a reliable contractor:
- Consult Kudzu to find a highly recommended Atlanta-area roofer.
- Confirm that he has a physical office, and ask if you can come to the location to discuss the quote or look at product samples.
- Verify with either the Secretary of State or local/county government that the company has a valid business license to perform work in Georgia. (Notice whether license plates are out-of-state; you don't want a here-today, gone-tomorrow company.)
- Request and verify that the contractor has valid liability insurance, and then contact the insurance company and confirm this.
- Ask and verify whether the contractor is a member of any industry associations such as the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association). Contact the association and confirm his membership.
- Ask if he has received any awards or recognition from local or trade associations.
Roofing contractors are not required to have a license in Georgia, so the burden is entirely on you, as a homeowner, to do your homework. These questions will help you in the process of qualifying a roofing contractor.
Key questions to ask a potential contractor
- Do you use toe boards? (These are boards that workers nail into the roof, creating holes that eventually lead to leaks--a "no" answer is what you are looking for.)
- Do you use subcontractors to complete the job? (Subcontractors provide great service, but keep in mind that the contractor legally has no control of the scheduling or techniques of a subcontracted crew. However, they are often more experienced)
- Ask him to include the brand of roofing products as well as documentation of all warranties in your quote. (If he refuses to provide you with a brand, ask why and make sure he will not be purchasing a substandard grade of materials.)
- Request that he provides a Material Lien Release form upon the completion of the job. No deal is worth risking a lien being placed on your home.
These are a few signs you should look for to protect yourself from what could turn out to be a costly and unpleasant experience. If you experience any of these, move on to the next contractor immediately.
- The contractor never physically inspects the roof, but instead provides you with a quote from the ground only.
- The contractor requires a full payment or half of the payment up-front. Never pay more than 25 percent upfront. If a company has that much of a cash flow/credit issue, then you need to find a more stable and reliable contractor.
- Always insist on signing a contract, and if a contractor refuses to sign a service or repair contract, you need to respectfully decline to do business with him.
- If the physical address of the business is located out-of-state, you need to look for another company. It is very important that you to hire a contractor who you can find if there are any problems down the road. After all, no one is perfect, and sometimes problems arise that were unforseen at the time.
It is not possible to emphasize how important it is to not only ask these questions of potential roof contractors but to also take the extra time to confirm their answers. Don't ever rush into a contract, and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is always a good idea to request quotes from at least three different companies. Don't hesitate to compare the quotes and go back to the contractors with the different quotes and ask them to meet a price or match a product. Once you have selected your contractor, verify that the materials being installed are the same materials that you have been quoted. If there is a discrepancy, contact the contractor immediately and demand an explanation. If you aren't happy with the answer, then don't settle. This is your home and your money; you deserve what you agreed to pay for in your quote/contract.