March 22, 2010
Choosing a roofing contractor
When choosing a roofing contractor, there are several things a homeowner should consider. Choosing the right roofing contractor is essential to ensure a timely, pleasant, and successful roofing experience.
It is important to understand the mission that drives any organization you do business with. A company’s philosophy is what determines their approach to workmanship, customer service and business relationships. It is the foundation the company is built on, lives by, and influences company actions. A company’s corporate character is molded and supported by their company philosophy and understanding it is an important component in any business partnership.
Licensed and Bonded
In the State of Florida it is required to obtain a state license in order to perform any contracting work. In addition, some commercial projects require bonding from surety companies and not every contractor qualifies to secure the necessary bond. Check to see if a prospective roofing contractor is properly licensed and/or bondable. Considering a company with an insufficient bonding capacity will cause wasted time and effort. A letter from their bonding agency should be requested as a prerequisite to any contractor consideration.
Financial Stability & Credit
A professional contractor will be able to supply you with current financial information. This should include: current assets, net fixed assets, current liabilities, other liabilities and references from a financial institution or auditing firm. Contractors are infamous for credit deficiencies. Contacting local suppliers or a credit bureau to inquire about the credit and financial stability of a company will provide insight on the company’s moral character.
It is imperative when considering a roofing contractor that the company’s resources are considered. Does the company have the manpower or internal customer service support in order to effectively produce the work it was contracted for? A company’s internal and external structures are an integral part in keeping up with promises and meeting completion deadlines.
Ask the contractor if his company is a member of a local, state, regional or national industry association. Involvement in a professional organization tends to keep a contractor better informed about the latest developments and issues in the industry. It also provides a catalyst for organizational improvement and product knowledge.
Look for a company with a proven track record that readily offers client references and a list of completed projects. Verify that the company has experience working on a similar project to one at hand. A track record can give clear insight on the company’s past performance and ability. You may also contact the Better Business Bureau or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to find out if they have received any customer complaints about the contractor.
Insured and Committed to Safety
Insist on seeing copies of insurance certificates that verify workers’ compensation and general liability coverages. Make sure the coverages are in effect through the duration of your job and the adequate coverage is provided. If a contractor is not properly insured, you, the owner, may be liable for accidents that occur on the property. Many building owners and homeowners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofing contractors.
24 Hour Emergency Service
Unexpected issues may arise and is it imperative for the roofing company to always be readily available to address any situation. Verify that the contractor has a designated person on call 24 hours a day including holidays. Addressing a matter immediately can save the customer thousands of dollars and avoid unnecessary legal involvement. Piece of mind is key in maintaining a healthy relationship with your contractor.