The weather in Atlanta is known for being unpredictable at times. Severe thunderstorms--as any resident knows--are common in the summer months, in addition to oftentimes scorching heat. Both of these factors can take a toll on your roof, and before long, you may experience significant wear and tear that results in the necessity of a roof replacement. When this time comes, because of the extensive cost in replacing a roof, you want to make sure that you hire a reputable contractor. This protects your investment in both making sure that the contractor does not run off with your money as well as knowing that the job will be done correctly. When looking for a contractor, there are several factors that you should keep in mind.
Check for a solid history and location
Why: Any reputable roof contractor will have a permanent place in which they work out of, even if it is only their home. There are many con artists out there who rely on people not checking up on the company. You want to make sure that the contractor is not giving a false address and trying to con you out of the money it will cost to have your roof replaced.
Who to contact for help: Many contractors are willing to share a few references who can vouch for their work. To get an honest review, check on the major review sites to see what other customers have to say. If there are several negative reviews, consider someone else for the job.
Tip: One of the greatest sources of information that you should call on is your friends and family members. Ask them who they used for their roof and how satisfied they were with the service. Contractors rely on word of mouth and there is none better than that of a trusted friend or family member.
Ask for proof of insurance
Why: Your roof is an investment that is costly--usually ranging in several thousands of dollars. If your contractor is not insured, there is nobody to take accountability for any damage that may occur. Damage occurs when the roof is not replaced correctly, and it can be interior or exterior damage. Your homeowner's insurance will cover the damage to your home, but it will not cover any accidents that may happen to any of the contractor's employees while they are on your premises. Contractors should have both liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance certificates that they are willing to share.
Who to contact for help: When presented with the insurance certificates, do not be afraid to call the insurance companies and verify that the contractor is not only covered now, but will be covered throughout the duration of your roofing project. Shady contractors have been known to give falsified certificates of insurance that were not discovered until the job was completed cheaply and the contractor was nowhere to be found.
Tip: Workers' compensation laws vary by state--check with your local licensing office to see if one is required. A reputable contractor will have a certificate regardless of requirements. This is to protect both the contractor and the employees.
Ask for a detailed, written proposal
Why: A reputable contractor will give you a written proposal that details all the proposed costs. Roofing supplies, labor and the duration of the project should be included on the proposal. Furthermore, before any other work is done, the contractor should explain the issues and the need for additional work. The additional work should only be done if you approve, and a new detailed proposal should be given. By having a written proposal in hand, you have proof of the job that can expect to be performed. If any issues arise where the contractor charges more than the original service, the detailed proposal will be your ammunition should the case escalate to a court issue.
Who to contact for help: In this case, if a contractor is not willing to give you a detailed written proposal, it is best to call around and find other roof replacement professionals who will offer this service. A reputable contractor will have no problem providing you with a written estimate and will keep you up to date on the progress of the project as it progresses.
Tip: Do not take the contractor's word at face value, even if they are a friend or family member of yours. Protect your interests and your roof by asking for a written detailed estimate of the work that is to be provided.