The condition of the roof is the most important factor in any building. A roof that has issues can compromise the whole structure, so regular roof checks and repairs when necessary should be a priority for anyone responsible for building maintenance.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of rogue roofers out there who are ready to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners, landlords and managers of commercial property by cutting corners on roof repairs.
To safeguard yourself you don’t have to study the intricacies of roofing – just make sure you use tactics to seek out the best roofer around, and have the know how to satisfy yourself of a roofing company’s integrity and ability.
How to find a roofing contractor
You can start the hunt for a reputable roofer in several ways:
- A Google search for roofers in your area
- A word-of-mouth recommendation from family or friends
- Consult a local advertising directory
- Find a flyer through your letterbox, or posted on a local noticeboard
- See a passing roofer’s van and note down the name and contact details
Any of these methods will net you a likely local roofing firm – but how will you know it’s a competent, reliable, reputable, experienced and skilled contractor?
How to do initial research for the right roofer
- Step one is to check that the roofing business you have in mind is legitimate. Look on their website (if they have one) for a physical address and phone number. Make a test call to see if a real person answers!
While you’re on the website check to see if there is a little padlock symbol in the URL bar, which shows that the site is secure (https:// at the start of the URL) and any interaction you have with the site is encrypted and safe from scammers.
- Read reviews about the business online – there’s no better way of judging a roofing contractor than to see what others say about their performance. You’ll find these with an internet search, probably on Google, Facebook and/or various consumer sites – and if you can’t find any that’s a red flag in itself.
- If the company has social media accounts you can hopefully see images of their completed work, and/or work in progress, and gauge
Questions to ask when hiring a roofing contractor
Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist of about three likely candidates for your roofing repairs, it’s time to approach them to find out more and, ultimately, obtain a quotation.
When you consult with a roofing company there are some important questions to ask that will help you make a final choice:
- How long have you been in business? And/or how much experience do you have?
- Do you have public liability insurance?
- What are your payment terms? Ask about things like whether a deposit is expected (be careful of upfront payments), and whether there are any guarantees on the work if they go out of business before completion, or if the work is poor.
- What is their working schedule? It won’t be possible to get an estimate of how long the job will take until they have ascertained what is involved, but you can get an idea of what their usual working hours are.
If you’re happy with their answers, you can move on to arranging for them to carry out a roof inspection of your premises, and then give you a detailed quotation to include things like material and labour costs.
The way the roofer inspects your roof is also a clue as to how professional they are. A reliable roofer is going to put more effort into a roof check than a cursory quick once-over.
When choosing between different quotations (its recommended you obtain at least three quotes from roofing companies for comparison purposes) remember it is not necessarily the cheapest quote that is the best to pick.
If there is a discrepancy and one is much cheaper than the other, consider why. They could be using unqualified, inexperienced labour, or poor materials.
Comparing the quotes according to a checklist can help you decide which is the best value, not necessarily the best price.
Be sure to ascertain whether the price you’re given is an estimate or a firm quotation, and whether it could change during the course of the job if problems arise.
It’s fine to insist that a quote include a timeline for the commencement and completion of the work.
You can also ask about payment terms (a deposit is a reasonable request), and make sure you get everything in writing.
All being well you’ll enjoy a trouble-free relationship with an efficient, professional roofing contractor like CH Roofing of Wiltshire. If you do, please don’t hesitate to spread the word.