Choosing a Contractor

Before you spend your money, spend some time evaluating the roofing contractor who may be doing the work.

Who: Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax I.D. number and in areas where it is required, a business license.

History: Check with the Better Business Bureau for possible complaints. Check the company's track record, check references and at least three completed projects by calling the owners.

Financial Capabilities: A lien can be placed against your roof by the supplier of the materials if the materials haven't been paid for by the roofing contractor.

Insurance: Does the roofing contractor carry liability insurance, or are they relying on your home-owner insurance?

Workers Compensation: Did you know that when you hire a contractor, if the contractor has not paid his Workers' Compensation account, you as the homeowner, may be responsible for the medical costs of a workman who is injured at your home? Make sure you see the contractors Workers' Compensation certificate. Before making the final payment make sure the Workers' Compensation has been paid. Never pay in cash.

Safety: Choose a company committed to the education and safety of its workers. A commitment to safety indicates an overall commitment to quality.

Price: Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night operators seem attractive with their below cost bids, but are often uninsured and perform substandard work

Written Quote: Insist on a written proposal and examine it for a complete description of the work, materials to be used and approximate starting and completion dates. Details are important.

Workmanship: Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge on your project. Ask for copies of all material and workmanship guarantees and warranties.

Extras: Protection of your shrubs and flower gardens is important. Cleaning of gutters and yard clean-up should also be part of the deal. If they don't write it down, it may not happen.

Quality Products: You get what you pay for. A new roof is an expensive acquisition, don't waste your money by using substandard materials. Insist on Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau Certi-label® shakes and shingles. Manufacturing members produce products that are part of the Certi-Wood® family of cedar shakes and shingles including Certi-Split®, Certi-Sawn®, and Certigrade® products.