10 Tips for Selecting a Roofing Contractor
Selecting a properly certified and high quality roofing contractor is important and often a difficult task for consumers who are unfamiliar with the roofing industry. Roofing in the Ontario region is an unregulated industry. It is important to select certified roofers who will be in business to honour their warranty in the future. There are a large number of roofing contractors who are not certified and have both low quality installations and poor workmanship. The average start-up business is usually closed within three years, and may be out of business when potential roofing problem could arise.
The following are tips and important questions that can help you select a professional roofing contractor…
- How long has the company been in business?
An established company will most likely be around in the future should any problems arise.
- Does the contractor have a permanent business office address, phone, and email?
An established contractor should be able to provide a business address, phone, and email. A permanent business address is a sign of a stable company.
- Does the contractor use subcontractors?
Subcontractors are often paid on a per job basis, which can result in poor workmanship as the job is completed as fast as possible.
- Does the company supply a written contract and estimate (and do they require a deposit)?
All job specifications and prices should be supplied in writing. Established companies with strong financial stability usually do not require a deposit. Deposits are common, be wary of any contractor requesting more than 1/3 of the cost of the project.
- Check to see if the company is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Research all potential contractors on the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. Look for the overall business rating and keep in mind the general size of the company when checking for complaints.
- Is the company registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and do they have liability insurance?
This is important as an established company should be in good standing with the WSIB and have liability insurance.
- Check to see if the contractor is part of local and national industry associations.
A strong established contractor should be a member of trade associations. Look for associations such as the Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association, Ottawa Construction Association, Canadian Roofing Contractors Association, and National Roofing Contractors Association.
- Look for a contractor who is a certified installer of the products they offer.
Certified contractors can offer stronger warranties on the products they install and follow stricter installation guidelines.
- Look for a contractor who offers emergency service.
A contractor who offers emergency service will be able to address a serious problem quickly, even after regular business hours.
- Ask the contractor for references of previous customers.
An established company should have a long list of satisfied customers who are willing to be contacted.
Never decide on price alone. In an unregulated industry anyone can become a roofing contractor. Self-proclaimed handymen can provide a lower price and substandard workmanship. Always look for differences in materials and job specifications when comparing quotes.