Choosing a Roofer

Even if we do not get your business we would still like to assist you in having a good understanding of how to select a competent contractor for the job. After all, even if we don’t get the work it is still in the best interest of our industry for you to achieve complete satisfaction. The following list represents what we believe to be the five basic safeguards when selecting a contractor to work on either your home or business establishment.

  • Make sure the scope of work is specific as to product being provided, including metal types and gauges, tile type including manufacturer profile and color, underlayment system including felt types and, of course, all warranty information including manufacturer product warranty information. If the contract scope of work is vague DO NOT SIGN IT !!
  • Make the contractor be specific as to who will actually accomplish the work his own forces or 2nd tier subcontractors who are only responsible for a portion of the work (i.e. tear-off, hot-mop, tile setting, etc.) If subcontractors are to be utilized, state law requires they be licensed and insured individually. Make sure you receive copies of their documents prior to signing a contract or allowing them on your property. Physical injuries to 2nd tier subcontractors without proper workmens compensation can end up being your financial loss.
  • Do not allow work to start without a signed contract, notice of commencement, copies of all insurance including Workers compensation, general liability, and a state license, and including any additional documentation for any subcontractor who will be on your property.
  • Never make a down payment of more than 30% for new construction or reroofing and 50% for repair work. If the contractor needs your money to finance their own jobs up front, be careful. Never give money without a proper release of lien for the payment being given and always require releases from 2nd tier subcontractors in addition to the release from your main contractor or you could end up paying for a portion of the work twice.
  • Do not sign a contract because of an extended warranty only. Remember the warranty is only as good as the contractor standing behind it. In commercial applications try a manufacturers warranty including material and workmanship. If the contractor is good enough to be an approved applicator for the manufacturer you are probably OK. In residential applications buyer beware. Many contractors try to entice the buyer with an unusual warranty term. If that is all he has to sell you, chances are he will not be there when a problem arises. Remember, warranty term has little to do with the actual life expectancy of your roof. Sign with a quality contractor and the rest will take care of itself.

NRCA Consumer Advisory Bulletin Document