Monday, November 12, 2012

Roofing Contractors: Criteria For Selecting A Good One

Selecting roofing contractors requires research and foresight, as with any other professional relationship. These are good general guidelines for anyone on the lookout for good roofing contractors and honest business professionals in general:

1. Confirm that they have a permanent address and other forms of contact information: There are a number of people who work in construction that operate out of their vehicles, which creates a huge risk of unreliability and untrustworthiness. A permanent address means there is an easily accessible, physical location where you can contact them in case of problems. Permanent addresses also signify good enough finances to pay rent and other expenses, which a good roofing contractor should have at their disposal. Ideally, you should also have his or her name, number, business and personnel names, as well.

2. Talk to them in advance, before having them come to give estimates: Talking to roofing contractors before they have seen your site makes it easier for you to get an unbiased answer as to their usual rates and services.

3. Confirm that they are licensed professionals: Anyone can hang out a shingle and claim to have professional experience. A license is a credential, and it indicates basic competence and commitment, since the process of getting licensed is involved. Looking up licenses also helps verify information. You should get his or her license number.

4. Confirm that they have insurance coverage and inquire as to the amount: Insurance will potentially protect both of you in case of accidents. Any roof contractor without insurance should raise a red flag. Professionals would be unwilling to take a risk like that.

5. Check on their references and portfolio, if applicable: The best roof contractors have substantial experience, ability, and responsibility. They should have a history of previous satisfied clients, and should be enthusiastic about sharing their work history with you. Good contractors would see your business with them as another opportunity to build their reputations and further their careers.

6. Evaluate their past performance and customer service: The only real way to get a sense of a professional's skill is to see it in action, or look for prior evidence. The way they interact with customers currently, including you, is a good way to signal their level of skill and experience, as are the direct records of them.

7. Look them up in the Better Business Bureau, including complaints: Good brick and mortar businesses and others should be listed in the Better Business Bureau. Most companies will also be given detailed evaluations. Find out what even their critics say about them, since even good businesses will face criticism.

8. Ask about their warranty, its coverage, and its duration: Warranties give consumers recourse in the worst situations, and reassurance in the best situations.

9. Get a written contract: Contracts should include all terms of service, as well as details on your rights and responsibilities. You must agree to all the terms of the contract before signing anything.

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