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Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Purchasing a new roof is an important investment. Before you make a decision, spend some time learning how to evaluate the roofing contractor who may be doing the work.

You should insist on working with a professional roofing contractor. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), in the interest of the roofing consumer, wants to assist you getting the kind of results you expect - a quality roof at fair price.

It pays to remember that all roofing contractors are not alike. The NRCA recommends that you pre-qualify your roofing contractor to get the job done right the first time.

There are a number of things you can do to make the best decision possible when evaluating contractors;

Be skeptical about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly by night contractors seem attractive with their low cost bids, but are often uninsured and perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism and quality workmanship should out way the initial cost. In storm related projects, where a claim is filed with your insurance company, you are only responsible for paying the deductible you selected with your insurance policy. The insurance company pays the rest.

Don't hesitate to ask the roofing contractor for proof of the insurance he carries. In fact, insist on seeing a copy of his liability coverage. Make sure the coverage's run through the duration of the job. Many building owners and homeowners are dragged into litigation involving uninsured roofing contractors. Also, if a contractor is not properly insured, the owner may be liable for accidents that occur on the property.

Check to see if the roofing contractor is properly licensed or bonded. Some states have very specific state licensing requirements, while others don't.

Look for a company with a proven track record that readily offers client references and a list of completed projects.

Insist on a written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications.

Have your contractor list the roofing manufacturers with which his firm has approved applicator agreements. Most materials require special application expertise in order to achieve a quality roof system that will last.

Check to see if the contractor is a member of any regional or national industry association, such as NRCA.

Call your local Better Business Bureau to check for accreditation and rating on the contractor.

Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required and the estimated time of completion.