Roof contractors who cut corners running their business, will cut corners installing your new roof, and this is why homeowners are encouraged to look into each company they are considering (also called due diligence).
We will look into a few of the more important aspects of performing homeowners homework in this article, and provide a list of resources and suggestions to make it easier. Helping to ensure your home improvement is done by qualified workers, and your investment is protected.
Attain Building Permit:
There are several reasons to pull a permit for your job, first and foremost, is so that your job is not shut down, or stopped by the town building inspector, and to avoid the possibly of being fined.
The reason it is on our due diligence list is so that you know the person you hired is a licensed contractor in good standing with your local township and building inspector’s office. Only those qualified are able to attain the permit.
Workmans Comp Insurance
Homeowners generally ask contractors if they have insurance, contractor say’s yep, and that’s it. Any person who is hiring a contractor must verify insurance, any prospective contractor that can not name their insurance company, and what town their agent is located in, most likely has no insurance. You have to assume that if someone gets injured on your property, you and everybody involved will be sued.
Some roofing contractors get cheap 85/15 policies. This means they are claiming they only perform roofing work 15% of the time, when in all actuality, they roof 99% of the time. It’s not enough that they have some form of insurance, look at the policy break down. If a law suit is filed, they will be audited by the insurance company, and if it is discovered they lied about the nature of their work, you will not be protected!
A roofing company, even a small one that does not spend at least 10k a year on workmans comp, is not a legitimate roofing company, or they mainly hire sub contractors to perform their work. Hopefully the subs are covered!
While we are on the subject of insurance, keep this in mind, insurance companies will not pay for shoddy workmanship. If you pay banana’s you are likely to get monkey’s, and even if you install the best materials, if you end up needing repairs due to shoddy workmanship, they will come from your own pocket.
If you end up with roof leaks within two – five years, which is when shoddy work begins to breakdown, and it is discovered, that your shingles were nailed to high, with to few nails (known as skip nailing), with nails in the seams, or any other corner cutting poor workmanship method, you could end up paying for the materials and certainly the labor to have all the work redone by your self. Shingle manufacturers and insurance companies do not cover poor workmanship.
It is easy to see if your contractor is licensed in Massachusetts. Ask to see there contractors license, it will have a picture of them on it and a #. Simply go to this website and enter the type of license (Supervisor etc…) and the license number. This website will show if there are any claims against them, if there are any restrictions, and their status (current / not current)
Make use of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they list all companies, whether they pay to be sponsored, or not. The only difference is this; if a company pays to be listed, they will be promoted. If they do not pay, they will not be promoted, but you can count on the same unbiased honest report either way, and its free!
The web is now full of reviews, keep in mind that they have computers capable of being programmed to write and leave reviews, so get a reference list from your potential contractor too, of people you can call and speak with, then take the time to call a few.
The contract has four corners, and if it isn’t stated with in those four corners, you are not getting it! Our field is loaded with gypsy roofers who promise the moon and deliver a headache. Do your best to make sure you get the most value for your money by not comparing what one person say’s they will do, to what another wrote down they will do.