Consumer Roofing and Roof Repair Information
Everything that needs to be done to get a roofing job and complete it is old hat to us. We do this every day for a living and I know my business inside and out. But, for you the consumer the first time we speak is possibly the first time you have ever thought about your roof. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a customer try to describe something on the roof while using terms like the “thingy” or “the part that sticks up”. So in an effort to promote a smoother way of communicating your problem with us we have several pages that will help. On this page alone there is a plethora of information and helpful hints on what to expect from us and more importantly from other roofers. We have a page strictly devoted to “Terms and Definitions” complete with a diagram of a typical house with the various parts of the roof labeled for you. For those of you who are not familiar with construction contracts (and that describes just about everyone) we have two pages devoted specifically to the importance of having a properly written contact and what you may want to see written in your contract. Everyone should read both of those pages. After reading through at least some (or all for you brave souls) of these pages you will have a leg up on what your roofer is up to while trying to write contract heavily leveraged in his favor. If after reading all of this information you decide “wouldn’t it be nice just to find someone who’s good at this and I can trust” I can honestly say is you have found him.
Tips for Choosing the Right Contractor
The first thing you need to establish is if the roofer providing you a quote has a valid State Contractors License. You should always ask to see a copy of his pocket license. If he does not provide at least a copy of the license you should be very careful! After you obtain his license number you should do a simple license status check. We have provided a link for you so that this can be easily be done by clicking this link: By clicking this link you will be directed away from this website to the Contractors State License Board's website. Click on the button titled "License Number". A small box will appear and that is where you you type the Contractor's license number and then click "Search for License" button. Checking a Contractor's license number will tell you if the license is active or suspended, if it has judgments, unresolved complaints pending against the license, what year he /she received the license (Contractors are notorious for saying they have been in business for more years than they actually have been), and you can get the Workers' Compensation history. insurer/provider.
After you know that the contractor is properly licensed and his license is active without pending judgments or unresolved complaints, you then need to verify that the contractor carries Workers Compensation Insurance. This will protect you and your home from any accidental injury that might occur. A reputable contractor will give you an updated copy of his insurance policy. Roofing Contractors are only required to have an active license, a bond and and current Workers Compensation insurance policy. If a roofer is hired without the proper license, bond or insurance, the property owner can be held 100% responsible for all accidents and claims that may arise. I know this does not seem fair, but it is the law. The best way to protect all parties involved is to have the Contractor's insurance company mail you a hard copy of the policy with your property address and name on the policy statement. This is called being additionally insured or added to their policy. Another good thing to do would is to contact you insurance carrier and ask them the add "Course of Construction" coverage to you policy. This is an additional coverage that you may not know about and you and should have this additional coverage when you are doing home improvements. Course of Construction coverage gives you the extra coverage you may need incase the contractors insurance doesn't cover certain damages such as: unexpected storm, earthquake, high winds, acts of God, or many other senerios.
At South County Roofing, we know the above suggestions regarding proper documentation may seem a bit much, but asking and making it mandatory from the contractor can save you from potential headaches and it helps ensure a smooth roofing project. Many roofers do not carry these or insurance policies which will greatly affect the price bid by as much as 10-20 % or more, so when going over the entire package it is important to take this into consideration.
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure your roofer is highly qualified to install the specified materials. Many roofers only specialize in certain aspects of roofing (fair or not, they are allowed to bid on products in which they are not familiar). It is not uncommon for a contractor who is not knowledgeable with a roofing product to sub out your job. This is very unfair to the homeowner who put his/her trust in the contractor's hands. Chances are if you were aware of this from the beginning you may not have wanted to hire that contractor.
There are so many different applications for the various products. New codes are constantly being implemented to upgrade the applications. If your roofer is knowledgeable and familiar with the products he should be able to supply you with a list of phone numbers and addresses as references for you to check. When following up on references make sure you call and ask specific questions that are important to you. When going by job sites try to stop and knock on the door to verify who did the roof (believe it or not many roofers will give you addresses of products that they did not install hoping you will only drive by and not stop to inquire.)
The above is so important because there are so many new roofers getting their licenses each year it is very difficult for the consumer to weed out the proper information. An informed consumer will get better results in their search for a roofing contractor, which will lead to a satisfied customer and contractor.
For some reason a lot of consumers don't want to take the time to meet all the roofers before they submit their bid. I can't tell you how often I hear a customer tell me "just leave it under the mat or email me the bid". This is a very hands off approach and I don't like it personally. When I hire someone to work on my house I make sure I am there to meet everyone who plans on submitting a bid. For one, I don't want random people running around my house and family unattended and two, I am very curious to know which contractor is going to take the time meet me personally. This, to me, says a lot about their character. I want to hire people with a reasonably high character and morals and the best way to decide that is to meet with them. As far as I am concerned, if a contractor doesn't send out the appropriate representative to meet my needs and answer my questions then he doesn't need my job.
Make sure the roofing contractor is going to pull all permits and has a city business licenses before work commences. If you live in an association you will want to contact them before the work begins. Many associations have certain requirements and regulations on color and grades. You may need to get association approval before commencing the project. If the above suggestions are not implemented you could be headed for a problem with the roofer, the city, and the association.
When interviewing roofers you should ask how he pays his employees? Make sure they are not piece workers, for these workers get paid on how fast and how much they get done which often compromises quality. We recommend that you find a roofing contractor that pays his men a salary or by hourly, for in this case there is no need to rush the job and you will get the quality you have paid for and deserve. We pay a very high hourly wage and the work our employees do shows it
Many roofing material manufacturers give achievement awards and certifications to roofing contractors who have completed their training. These credentials are earned not just given. South County Roofing is a Certainteed Select Shingle Roofer, an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor, and A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau. If your roofing contractor is concerned about quality he will more than likely have several awards. When accepting his bid ask to see a copy of these awards.
Protect your home from any liens! In order to protect your home from liens you will need to do several things to protect yourself. All material payments should be made to the suppliers directly. There may be more than one supplier involved such as the plywood supplier and the roofing material supplier. These vendors can give the contractor a 30-day grace period on his line of credit. To protect you and your home, you should ask the roofing contractor the name of the supplier(s) he plans on using and call the credit manager to find out how much the supplies are for your job. The next step is to write the check(s) for payment of the materials directly to the supplier(s) for the final amount. Under lien laws if you pay the contractor and he does not pay for the supplies, the distributor has every right to lien your property for the material amount. Make it easy on yourself, write the checks directly to the supplier and you are protected.
Be aware if your roofer subcontracts out any work. For example there could be up to three subs on your project such as roofing removal, workers/installers (day laborers) or roof loading in some cases. If the roofing contractor subs out any work you can be responsible for the subs if they do not carry insurance.
Make sure you completely understand the contract and all the details before approving and signing it. If you are not clear on any area, ask the roofer to further explain it and make the appropriate changes before approving. Never sign a contract that is not complete. The contract needs to state the color, style, serial #'s if any, weight of tile, shape and any other specific requirements. Never sign an incomplete contract or make a verbal or a handshake agreement. Take the time to initiate the proper agreement and the job will go much smoother.
Never be intimidated into signing a contract. Phony rebates and gimmicks are just that. If your roofer has confidence in his company and its abilities to provide the highest quality of service, he will invite you to explore the company until you have made an informed decision, which usually leads to a good decision. Remember, the customer is always the boss!!!
Payments: Never give more than 10% or $1000.00 deposit, this is the law. And never pay in full until the local city officials have signed off the roofing job. If the job is improperly installed and you have paid the contractor in full it may be tough to get the required changes made. Instruct the roofing contractor to include this in the contract. If he is reputable he will have no problem implementing it.
To ensure a timely installation, your job should be scheduled, materials ordered and all permits pulled and a date given.
South County Roofing provides daily roofing inspections to ensure the highest quality of installation.
If possible try to go by a job site where a job is in progress to inspect the site, the workmanship and the cleanliness of the roofer. Remember this roofer and crew could potentially be installing your new roof sometime soon; a little legwork will go a long way. At South County Roofing our employees respect your property, do not leave trash, play loud music on the site or disturb your neighbors.Here at South County Roofing, we take pride and have integrity in what we do. That is why we implement all of the above into our contracts.
We know the above may seem a bit much, but if you can use this information while screening perspective roofing contractors you will have a much better chance of hiring the right guy for the job.
Thank you, we hope we have helped you.