Big Box Stores
There is an Orange company out there that does just that. And trust me, you are paying for it, big time. Most of the time your neighbors’ house is very similar to yours, so it might be a good idea to ask your neighbor who they used and how much they paid for their roof replacement. And of course, as the ultimate question “How were they?”… Don’t ever get just one estimate. Get a few of them and find out from companies how long that roofing company has been around (in business) as a roofing contractor. Did I forget that part? Yes, only hire a roofing contractor! Don’t hire the guy that also built your deck last year. You always want to hire the right guy for the right job. Have you ever heard about the plumber that replaced a roof? I sure hope not!
This is how you should do it.
You look in the YELLOW PAGES for a roofing contractor. Ask him to come over and give you an estimate. Rule #1 if he can come over right away and won’t take no for an answer until you agree he can come over immediately, hang up and say “next!”. Why? You may ask. Well, just how busy do you think he is that he can come right over? In short, I meet other contractors all the time that is not busy at all and have very little work. But then, why am I so busy and in the same geographic area? Hmm, what do ya think why he doesn’t have any work?
Let’s get back to our well-dressed estimator… Oh, and by the way, would you believe this guy is making 10% on the cost of your roof? Who do you think is paying him? Yup, you are!
Step 1: The roofing contractor SHOULD measure your roof and figure out just how much it will cost. Now for whatever reason, although I still haven’t figured this one out, why do we ask for an “estimate” when we are looking for the actual Cost? An Estimate means just that – an estimate doesn’t it? What you are really looking for is a cost – 100% accuracy that the price is not going to change. So make sure you make that very clear, right upfront.
However, when I give my estimates, with roofs you do have one factor that can change. This is the sheeting, the plywood. Again, any good roofing contractor will go up into your attic to inspect the plywood for rot and leaks. From the attic, you can get a good idea if you’ll need any and about just how much new plywood will be needed. If you don’t have access to the attic that’s one thing. But if you do, and they don’t go into the attic for any reason, just say that four-letter word again “Next!” Why? It’s easy, because once he has your roof off of your house and he comes and knocks on the door and says “Umm hey, you need plywood and the costs are going up.” Think about this, your roof is off at this point. Just how much would you pay now to have the job finished? Yeah, I know, so whatever price he gives you would be okay, right? So, it’s very important to get this price per sheet in your so-called estimate right upfront.
Also, have it stated in your contract that all the debris will be removed and your plants and grounds protected and cleaned as if the roofers were never there. This is very important. You only intend to hire him, not a landscaper as well.
This one cracks me up! Insurance has to be the biggest scam of all time! With contractors insurance, there are two types and each one is as important as the other. One is just general liability coverage. This type of coverage would cover things like if his ladder goes through your window or lands on your car. Stuff like that. However, the big monster here is the Workers Comp coverage. This is the big dollar one! This one protects everyone. Most importantly, it protects you the homeowner. This happens all the time, a roofer falls off the roof and gets hurt and can’t work. Think of this, just how hurt do you think he got? Chances are they died, and yes it does happen. Well if that contractor didn’t have Workers Comp coverage, guess who is paying those fees? Yup, you guessed it, you are! With the internet and computers these days, anyone can make an insurance form to give to a homeowner. So, it is most important for you to follow up with the insurance companies and just make sure that they do indeed have the right coverages and that they are active. Workers Comp is needed if the contractor has ANY EMPLOYEES. And trust me on this one, the coverage is not cheap.
Point blank, do your research.