The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Roofing Company for Your Roof Replacement Project
Author: Jaques Botha
Date Posted: 15th May 2023
Believe it or not, your roof is one of the most essential components of your home. But how do you know when to repair or replace it? More importantly, how do you choose a reliable roofing company to do the job right? Navigating a crowded marketplace full of home renovation contractors or roofing companies can be overwhelming, especially in today's modern age, where there is an endless array of fantastic options to choose from. And let's face it, who has the time and energy to sift through all of them?
In this article, I will go through the exact and or detailed steps to take when selecting a roofing company. What to look out for, what to ask, when to ask it and most importantly, how to make it easy for yourself. At the end of the day, you need to feel absolutely confident in the decision you make.
Now, is selecting a roofing contractor effortless? No, it would help if you still did a bit of digging and research, but with this article, you will know what to look out for.
Qualities to Look For In A Reliable Yet Reputable Roofing Company
In recent years, numerous cities faced a growing issue with unqualified renovation contractors who provide handy work on homes without proper certifications or warranties. As a result, homeowners were left with poor workmanship that required costly repairs or even complete do-overs, half-completed projects and even legal liabilities.
Since then, several Canadian cities have established bylaws to regulate the industry in response to this issue. Unfortunately, while these measures have been somewhat effective, many contractors still fall short of the standards set by reputable exterior renovation companies.So with all that said, the primary question is how do you ensure you select a reliable yet reputable roofing or exterior contractor? To address this question, I will divide it into several concise sections.
Proper Certification & Insurance
Regarding certifications and licensing for roofing companies or general renovation contractors, it's important to recognize that not all credentials carry the same weight. Therefore, it's essential to look for certifications that are truly meaningful. One example of a certification that has merit is a manufacturer certification, which indicates that a roofing company has been trained and authorized to install the manufacturer's products.
Below are a few certifications to look out for. Keep in mind these are only examples specifically for roofing or exterior companies. However, this strategy can be used for most industries.
Shingle Master CertainTeed
CertainTeed is one of the leading asphalt shingle manufacturers in North America. To qualify for this certification, a roofing company needs to meet the following requirements:
- Have a current and up-to-date company workers' compensation policy.
- Comprehensive and current liability insurance policy.
- Hold a valid business license in the area of service required by law.
- Have been in business for at least 5 years, or have been a ShingleMaster Select company for at least a year.
- Successfully complete the ShingleMaster training course offered by CertainTeed.
- Successfully completed the Master Shingle applicator written test with flying colours. 80% is the passing score.
- Safety Training Course. Provide CertainTeed with proof of completing the OSHA 10-hour Construction Safety Training course.
Owens Corning Preferred Contractor Badge
Yet another badge or certification to look out for. Owens Corning is also one of North America's largest and most well-known asphalt shingle manufacturers. To become an Owens Corning Preferred contractor, a roofing company must meet the following requirements:
- Same as the CertainTeed certification, have a valid business license.
- Hold and maintain general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance.
- Proven track record of ethical business practices and customer satisfaction.
- Attend an Owens Corning training program and complete a written exam.
- Agree and comply with Owens Corning's installation guideline standards for workmanship and safety.
Above mentioned certifications are just two instances to be mindful of. Nevertheless, my main point is that certain certifications hold value while others do not.By choosing a roofing contractor that holds certifications from reputable manufacturers, you can have greater confidence in the quality of their work. In addition, these certifications serve as a testament to the contractor's expertise and commitment to upholding high standards in the industry, giving you greater assurance that your exterior or roofing project will be completed to a high level of quality.
Good Reputation & Positive Customer Reviews
Another excellent point to look into when making your decision. Most homeowners already do this, but I'd like to give a few fundamental tips when considering a company's reputation. First, Google My Business is the most popular review platform for any company worldwide. What exactly is Google My Business, you might ask? Google My Business, or GMB for short, is an online profile companies own and manage on Google's platform. This profile allows business owners to add essential information about their company, from services to business hours to customer reviews.
That being said, it's always a good idea to take the time to read reviews of any preferred company you're considering doing business with. Make sure to read through various reviews to get a well-rounded perspective. Some key points to look for include:
- Check for Legitimacy. 99% of GMB profiles out there have legitimate reviews. However, a few handful try to cheat the system by paying third-party companies to post fake reviews. Nevertheless, Google has done a great job of curbing this behaviour.
- Contractor Responsiveness. Take note of how the roofing company responds to posted reviews, whether positive, mediocre, or negative. Pay attention to the tone and content of their responses.
- Communication. Note any comments related to the contractor's communication, punctuality, and professionalism.
- Look for patterns or trends in the reviews. Are multiple customers reporting the same issue or concern or even success?
Overall, online reviews are a great way to determine the reputation of any business.
Years Of Experience & Expertise
Experience and expertise in any specific industry can only be acquired through years of being in business. However, individuals acquire invaluable knowledge over time, sharpen their skills, and develop a keen understanding of the industry's nuances and intricacies.In the past few months, I've personally gone through a complete roof replacement exercise. Now, we knew that this day would come; however, we kept holding it off, not really understanding how important it actually is to replace a roof when it's at the end of its lifespan. So, needless to say, we decided to look into what it takes to repair or replace a roof.
Do The Research
When it comes to purchasing any product or service, my approach typically involves thorough research. This includes exploring reputable companies, obtaining a detailed cost breakdown along with the expected installation date, as well as a comprehensive breakdown of post-maintenance or product warranty.
As part of my process, I actively ask numerous questions, allowing me to gauge a company's expertise and experience within their field. Generally, I avoid opting for the cheapest option. Instead, I prefer a company that has provided meaningful and well-informed responses to my questions. For me, it's important to prioritize quality and expertise over mere affordability.
Long story short, I selected a highly reputable roofing company that took the time to assess and review all the pros and cons of all available options on the market. And with that, we decided to go for a metal roof. Why? Well, the lifespan is almost 3 times more than an asphalt roof, and overall, it's more resilient to hail storms and cold weather.
Questions To Ask A Potential Roofing Company
As mentioned earlier, my contractor selection process involves asking questions. This serves two purposes: gaining a better understanding of the process, product, or service and assessing the company's level of experience and expertise. By posing these inquiries, I am able to make informed judgments regarding the contractor and their suitability for the job.
Now, let's dive into the questions that unveil the truth:
- What kind of roofing system would you suggest for my home and why? This introductory question is crucial as it allows you to assess whether the roofing contractor has genuinely evaluated the best match for your home or if they are simply aiming to make a quick sale. Its purpose is to prompt them to provide multiple options, complete with the advantages and disadvantages of each, demonstrating their commitment to meeting your specific needs. The reality is there are several roofing systems to choose from, and each option will provide a slightly different result.
- What kind of materials do you use? Asking this question, if not already mentioned, will give you a great understanding of product quality, warranty specs, and overall maintenance. Additionally, your budget will play a significant role in determining the most suitable material for your particular situation.
- What kind of warranty do you offer? A great question to ask to determine post-install support. By the way, just a heads-up - most reputable manufacturers usually offer a warranty, but here's the real deal: keep a closer eye on that workmanship warranty. Surprisingly, not all roofing contractors have got you covered on that front.
- How long will the project take? Determining the timeline for the project is crucial to understanding the roof installation process. By asking about the estimated duration, you gain valuable insight into the timeframe involved and can plan accordingly. Not only does this help you manage your expectations, but it also allows you to make necessary arrangements and coordinate other aspects of your life. Furthermore, knowing the project duration helps you assess the contractor's efficiency and ability to meet deadlines. A reliable contractor will provide you with a realistic timeline based on the scope of work, potential weather factors, and any other relevant considerations. This information empowers you to make informed decisions and ensures a smoother experience throughout the entire roof installation process.
- Can you provide me with a written estimate, contract, or service-level agreement? Let me emphasize I strongly value legal stability. I want to have a clear understanding of all the "If This Then That" situations and ensure that all aspects of our agreement are properly documented. It's important to me that we establish a solid foundation and avoid any potential misunderstandings or disputes down the line. Having everything in writing ensures clarity and protects both parties involved.
On a side note, it's worth mentioning that a reputable roofing company or exterior contractor with a strong online presence often has most of these questions already addressed on their website. Having a comprehensive and informative website demonstrates their commitment to transparency and customer service.
It shows that they understand the importance of providing valuable information upfront to help potential customers make informed decisions. By browsing their website, you can find answers to many of your initial questions, saving you time and allowing you to delve deeper into specific areas during your interactions with them. A well-crafted website showcases their professionalism, expertise, and attention to detail, giving you an additional layer of confidence in their capabilities.
Warning Signs Of A Questionable Roofing Company
Part of the process of selecting an ideal roofer involves being vigilant for any signs of questionable behaviour or warning flags. If any of these red flags are triggered during my interactions, I typically choose to terminate all communication. It's important to prioritize your peace of mind and protect yourself from potential issues down the line. By promptly recognizing and addressing these warning signs, you can avoid potential headaches and ensure a smoother and more positive experience throughout the roofing project.
The following are my personal red flag and or no-go signs:
- Unprofessional behaviour and lack of communication: One of the red flags to be aware of when selecting a roofer is encountering unprofessional behaviour or a lack of effective communication. This can manifest in various ways, such as unresponsiveness, frequent delays in responding to inquiries, or a dismissive and disrespectful attitude. Effective communication is crucial throughout the roofing project to ensure that expectations are aligned, updates are provided, and any concerns or issues are promptly addressed. A lack of professionalism and poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and an overall negative experience.
- Pressure tactics and unrealistic promises: Another warning sign to watch out for is encountering pressure tactics and unrealistic promises. Reputable roofing contractors focus on building trust and providing accurate information, allowing you to make informed decisions at your own pace. If a roofer resorts to high-pressure sales tactics or makes promises that seem too good to be true, it's important to be cautious. Unrealistic promises may indicate a lack of integrity or a potential intent to cut corners, compromise quality, or overlook important details to meet unrealistic expectations.
- No references or proof of past work: Lack of references or proof of past work is another red flag that can indicate potential issues. A reliable and experienced roofer should be able to provide references from satisfied customers and showcase their portfolio of past projects. This allows you to assess the quality of their workmanship, their attention to detail, and the overall satisfaction of their previous clients. Without any references or evidence of past work, it becomes difficult to gauge the roofer's capabilities and credibility.
- Extremely low pricing and shortcuts: Be cautious when encountering extremely low pricing and indications of shortcuts. While cost is a factor to consider, significantly lower prices compared to other reputable contractors can be a sign of substandard materials, poor workmanship, or shortcuts taken during the roofing process. Quality roofing work requires proper materials, skilled labour, and adherence to industry standards. Unrealistically low prices may suggest that the roofer is compromising on these essential elements, which can lead to future problems, costly repairs, and a shorter lifespan for your roof.
- No warranty or guarantees: A lack of warranty or guarantees is another warning sign to be aware of. Reputable roofing companies typically offer warranties or guarantees to provide assurance and protection for their work. These warranties often cover defects in materials or workmanship for a specified period. Without a warranty, you may be left responsible for any issues or repairs that arise after the project's completion. A reliable roofer should be willing to stand behind their work and offer appropriate warranties to give you peace of mind and protect your investment.
In conclusion, choosing the right roofing company for your roof replacement project is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the crowded marketplace and select a reliable and reputable contractor with confidence.
One such roofing contractor that meets the criteria discussed in this article is South Peak Roofing & Exterior. With their proper certifications, including ShingleMaster CertainTeed and Owens Corning Preferred Contractor, they demonstrate their commitment to quality and expertise. Their good reputation and positive customer reviews on platforms like Google My Business further solidify their standing as a trustworthy choice. Additionally, their years of experience and expertise in the industry ensure that they possess the knowledge and skills to handle your roofing project effectively.
Remember, your roof is a vital component of your home, and choosing the right roofing company is essential to protect your investment. So take the time to research, ask questions, and select a roofing contractor like South Peak Roofing & Exterior that embodies professionalism, quality workmanship, and customer satisfaction. With the right contractor by your side, you can enjoy a durable and long-lasting roof that provides peace of mind for years to come.