How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
Repairing, replacing, and maintaining is an expensive project. Choosing the wrong roofing company can cost you valuable profits and causes unnecessary downtime affecting every part of your business.
For over 40 years, Ridgeworth Roofing has delivered high-quality customer service and roofing solutions. We provide top-notch commercial roof installations, regular inspections, and yearly roofing maintenance.
We understand what it takes to be a company you can trust, so we put together this short list of non-negotiables to help you choose a roofing contractor for your project.
How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
Make Sure the Roofing Company is Insured
Number one rule: it’s critical for your roofing contractor to carry insurance and plenty of it. Every reputable roofing company has the correct licenses and insurance to work on your roof.
Ask to see a certificate of insurance to ensure that you will not be liable for any onsite accidents that might occur or any damage your property or the property around you might suffer.
A trustworthy contractor carries insurance to protect their company, employees, and customers—and this serves as evidence that safety is their top priority. Ask for proof and examine it closely.
Choose a Company that has Its Own Team
Verify that the contractor uses their trained team on projects and is not subcontracting the labor.
In a subcontracting situation, you can’t be sure who is doing the work on your roof. What is their level of skill and training? Are they covered under the contractor’s insurance?
These are the questions that you shouldn’t have to worry about.
An improperly installed roof is a problem that doesn’t go away—and your wallet will pay the price in the long run.
If your contractor does not have a stable team of employees, this raises some red flags that you should pay attention to.
Ask about the roofing team. If you don’t like what you hear, move on.
Make Sure the Roofing Contractor has a Positive Reputation
What have you heard about the contractor? Ask around. Are they reliable? Do they do what they say they’re going to do?
If you haven’t heard anything about them, ask for a list of references to listen to what former clients say about their work.
In addition to some of the company’s customers, ask for the contact information of architects and general contractors they’ve worked with.
Call those people and ask questions. How was their experience with the roofing contractor? Were they pleased with the results? Would they work with them again?
A good reference will have positive things to say about the company without being prompted — or even alerted that a potential new customer will be contacting them.
Ensure that the People on Your Roof are Trained
A high-quality contractor will be happy to share information about the team’s experience level and how team members are trained for the job they’re about to do.
Does the company engage in regular training to learn new skills and techniques? Do veteran experts help train new employees?
A focus on safety is also a sign of quality.
Strong Customer Service is a Top Priority
A good contractor will partner with you on your roofing project. How they answer your questions matters, and if they don’t have answers to your questions, consider that a warning sign.
Trust your gut. If your interactions with a roofing contractor don’t feel right, you might want to keep looking. A roofing project is no small investment, and your building and budget are worth the time it takes to learn as much as possible about potential contractors.
When beginning a new relationship, personal or professional, you must know who you’ll be dealing with. Hiring a roofing contractor is no different.
10 Questions to Help You Choose the Right Roofing Contractor
Finding a roofing contractor doesn’t have to be complicated.
Not all companies are created equal, and not all will deliver your desired result. Asking questions can help you figure out whether a particular contractor is right for you and your project.
Ask these ten questions before you sign on any dotted line.
1. Does the contractor have a physical address and location?
Some roofing “companies” are just a single individual or a small group working from a pickup truck.
Nowadays, anyone can stick a sign on a truck or put up a website to make a business look larger and more successful than it is.
Without an office or physical address, how do you know a business is legitimate? How do you find them later if you have a question or a problem?
A physical location addresses most communication issues.
2. How long have they been in business?
The longer a business’s history, the better reputation they have.
If a contractor has been in business for less than five years, they might not have the financial strength to make it through a downturn, which can affect your investment.
If a roofing contractor has longevity in the business, that tells you they do good work and care for their customers.
3. Can the contractor provide references?
Ask for a list of current and previous customers and contact them.
A high-quality, stable business will have a long list of individuals willing to speak on its behalf. Go beyond just Google or Yelp reviews.
If a contractor can’t provide references, there’s likely a reason.
If they provide them, contact the referrals and ask about the customer experience.
Something else to think about asking: if a customer was unhappy, how did the contractor make things right?
4. Does the contractor offer an onsite inspection and estimate?
A quality roofing contractor will visit the project site to conduct a careful inspection and evaluation before offering an estimate.
Any contractor offering an estimate over the phone without seeing the job site calls the business into question.
An experienced professional will take a hands-on approach from the start.
5. Do they offer a written contract?
An agreement should always come with a written contract that includes information about what’s included, what’s not included, the terms of any warranties, and any other pertinent details.
If an issue should arise, it’s in writing, protecting both parties. As with any legal document, read the contract carefully before signing.
6. What kind of insurance does the contractor carry?
The building owner is liable if an employee is injured on the job site and the contractor doesn’t carry the appropriate insurance.
That’s not a risk you should be willing to take. Make sure you’re protected.
Confirm that your roofing contractor has both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance, and ask to see a certificate of insurance. A policy that includes additional insurance is even better.
7. Is the contractor licensed?
All roofing contractors require licensing in Illinois and many other states.
If your state has a license requirement, all licensed contractors will have passed an exam covering safety and proper roofing techniques.
Ask if your contractor has a license and ensure that any subcontractors are licensed as well, as an unlicensed subcontractor can jeopardize an insurance policy.
8. Does the contractor offer any type of warranty on workmanship?
A manufacturer’s warranty usually covers materials for a roofing project, but does your contractor also stand by their work?
If a contractor has confidence in the skill and expertise of their employees, labor should be covered under warranty, too. Look for a contractor who will include both material and labor warranties.
That contractor will stand by your project’s result.
9. How does the company handle complaints?
Ask the contractor and any available references about how the company handles complaints.
Whether the issue is with materials, labor, or customer service, how does the contractor address dissatisfied clients? Will they go above and beyond to get it right?
You can also check with the Better Business Bureau.
10. Does the contractor clean up the site?
Attention to detail is an excellent indicator of the quality of a business. Look beyond the roof.
How does the contractor maintain the site when working, and how do they leave it when the job is finished?
Some contractors toss trash and debris around a job site, leaving the building owner with the hard work and expense of cleaning up.
Avoid that kind of headache by learning about their practices ahead of time.
Ready to work with a commercial roofing company you can trust? Call Ridgeworth Roofing today.
The Ridgeworth Roofing team has over 40 years of experience installing, inspecting, and maintaining commercial roofing systems across the Chicagoland area. Commercial roofs are expensive and are the most crucial part of your building, so don’t settle for anything other than the best.
If you want to work with Chicagoland’s best commercial roofing company, contact Ridgeworth Roofing today.