Hiring professional workers can be a difficult decision. If you are in the market for a good roofing contractor, here are some things you can do to help making things easier.
- Select a minimum of three companies to inspect the roof and offer an estimate. With each one, have a good conversation. Learn as much about the process and the materials as possible. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. If you have learned something new and want to run it by other bidders, give them a call. Keep notes on each contractor so that you can refer to them later and not trust your memory.
- The lowest bid is not always the best. If all the estimates are within 20% of each other, the lowest cost will be a good choice. However, if one or more are extremely high or low, beware. Ask for a detailed list of everything the estimate includes and be on the lookout for extras and hidden cots.
- Ask for documentation that the roofer is licensed and insured. Look at the insurance certificate and make note of any ID numbers so that you can check on their accuracy.
- Know the difference between an estimate and a bid. The estimate is a guess about what it will cost, usually oral, and usually before any detailed information and measurements are taken. A bid or proposal is in writing and is essentially a contract at a price agreed between the parties. When it is signed by both parties, it becomes a contract.
- Ask about payment terms. Some companies need an upfront payment, generally a percentage of the total. Others will require the payment in full at the completion of the job or within a specified period like 30 days.
- Get as many details as possible. When will the job begin and end? Does it include clean up? If the roof is a replacement, ask how many layers are already on the roof. If there are three or more layers at the present time, the roofer should remove all the existing old materials.
- Ask about the specific warranties for the materials including high winds, snow, ice, or other exposures.
- Ask about venting and flashings. These are common failure points on roofs.
Create a list of questions before you make your first call. Here are some things to consider.
- Licenses, general liability insurance, worker’s compensation coverage and their amounts.
- Will subcontractors be used? If so, find out if they also have appropriate insurance coverage and lien waivers.
- Drip edges and edge metal are pieces of aluminium under the shingle to guide runoff into the gutters. Not all roofers install these. Be sure to ask.
- Ask about how the workers will access the roof. Usually they use standoffs and stabilizers to protect the guttering from excess weight. If not ask about whether the gutters will be removed and replaced.
- If you are only having repairs, find out what they will do if they find some problems with the roof decking.
This will get you started. If you need help, contact our Ottawa roofing company today.