If you already have three quotes and find them so varied that you can’t decide, here’s what to do. Write six headings on a piece of paper: Reviews, Years in Business, Costs, Communication, Details, and Licences. Read more about why these six factors matter below.
Creating a quick heading with six columns makes it easy to assign a numbered result between 1 and 10 for each: Do they score a 10 for their reviews? Have they been in business for over ten years and appear responsive? Do they only score a 2 because they give excuses instead of showing you their business license, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and liability insurance?
While looking at the estimates, or before requesting your roofing estimates, you should look up a company’s reviews on their website or Google. Most reviews are from rational people who are happy or unhappy with their roofing experience and who provide prospective buyers with helpful information. Some reviews stand out as biased and should be viewed as such.
The number of years a company has been in business is essential. The first years of business can be financially challenging for any company and may result in a sense of urgency and stress, leading to the temptation to forgo licensing and insurance. A sense of timely organization is tough even for seasoned roofing companies; proficiently juggling many responsibilities is a skill that’s learned and perfected over many years of operation. Inexperience naturally translates to small and even big mistakes.
Ask each company to quote on the same shingle so that you can accurately compare estimates. If one company has omitted a cost the other two mention, call or email to get that number from them. Costs of any unknown incidentals should be explained; ask for the vents and underlayment brands. Do not choose a roofing contractor for its lowest price; don’t get too focused on cost. The quality of the work and experience of the team should be the primary concern.
A meeting with the company representative before or after they’ve written the estimate allows you to gauge their communication and listening skills.
The more details the contractor discusses with you, such as expectations, timelines, courtesies, assurances regarding the quality of workmanship, products, and guarantees of conscientious work, etc., the more confident you will feel.
A lack of effective communication understandably leaves you unsure and uneasy.
Honesty has real value, which sometimes translates into paying more for a company that can communicate its high standards and expectations to its crew.
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Roofing work is connected with air circulation (venting) and a properly sealed attic. Depending on the age of your home, you may require more venting, flashings, or new soffits. Read our article, ‘Roof Vents and Attic Insulation – How They Help.’
Ask about the brands the contractor uses for vents and soffits; do a little research to understand whether your chimney has the cap and flashing to ensure rain and snow don’t build up and crack the chimney lining or bricks. Have a discussion with the contractor about these possibilities.
Do you feel you’ve been provided with sufficient information about any extra work that may be uncovered during your project?
Installing your shingles will have warranty compliance requirements, but you may someday inadvertently void their warranty. For instance, you may use a chemical cleaner or spray a hose from below up into the shingles, damaging them. Both of these instances can void the warranty. Always read the warranty compliance requirements and talk to each contractor about the warranties offered.
Ask for photocopies or emailed images of a company’s valid liability insurance card, Workman’s Compensation certificate, and contractor license.