The days and weeks following a natural disaster can be very trying, both emotionally and financially. If a storm hits Buffalo, who will you turn to for roof repair?
Whether your roof needs to be replaced or just needs repairs due to a natural disaster or the wear and tear that happens with time, you will need to find someone dependable and trustworthy. In recent years, the BBB has received millions of inquiries from customers hoping to find a roofing contractor who will treat them fairly and do a good job. During a stressful time, consumers don’t want to be taken advantage of. This is why following a few tips can make all the difference.
Research is key. Speak with your insurance agency about your coverage and paperwork you may need to do. Also, research the top rated roofers in your area. Living in an era of technology and constant connectivity makes it very easy to weed out contractors who leave a trail of unhappy customers.
Avoid Making Rushed Decisions. Although you may be anxious to get your home back to tip-top shape, it is important to make an informed decision. This may take a little time. This is a long term solution so it is imperative that you give it the thought and time that will leave you with the best results.
Get A Few Estimates. If your roof needs major repairs, get as many estimates as you need to feel comfortable enough to make a decision. Get estimates based on the same specifications and materials as well as references. You should also check that the contractor is licensed and/or registered in your area.
Stay Away From Sales Tactics. If a worker is going door-to-door and claiming they have leftover materials from a job ‘down the street,’ be cautious. Also, do not trust contractors who do not have a permanent place of business.
Go With Your Gut. If a worker comes to your door claiming your home is unsafe, be wary. Don’t taket he word of someone who is looking to make money off your situation. Have a building official or engineer inspect it, as some contractors will create damage to make money.
Get a Signed Contract. After you have chosen a contractor, ask them to chalk up a written agreement. This contract should include all of their information (name, address, license number, and phone number). Make sure to read and completely understand the contract before you sign it. Also, get a copy of it at the time of signature.
A detailed and thorough contract should be broken down into separate line items. This is a sign that they are giving full disclosure and have prepared an accurate estimate. A contract should include the following:
o Type of roof covering and color
o Manufacturer of materials
o Materials to be included
o Work that will be done
o Removal/replacement of current roof
o Flashing work
o Ventilation work
o Who is responsible for repairing exterior landscape or finishes that are damaged during the course of work
o Installation method
o Estimated start and end dates
o Payment procedures
o Warranty and what is covered
o Who will extract old materials and other waste
Last but certainly not least, avoid estimates that seem much lower than others. These contractors are often uninsured and perform subpar work. They may also require hefty fees if the homeowners decided to cancel. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Replacing or repairing a roof can be extremely stressful. But by taking the time to do it right, you can avoid future annoyances and financial burdens.