First-time homeowners go through a bevy of emotions with their house so it's no wonder that when there's a problem with their home, it can become an overwhelming experience. Who can you trust? Who should you hire? Who will take care of your home like YOU do?
At the same time, you want to resolve the problem with your home in a timely manner and on budget - do you go with the 'big name' company that is a bit out of your budget and eat ramen for a month? Do you go with a company so-and-so recommends, that are super cheap, just so you can buy an extra pair of shoes?
Here is how you can be sure to hire a reliable contractor to work on your roof:
- Do Your Research!
Don't just skim the phone book or call the first five people on Google that pop up - talk to your neighbours and co-workers! Suddenly you'll remember that the house on the corner had their roof done last summer - knock on their door and ask about their experience. Make a few appointments with different companies, and interview them, as well as checking them out online. How long have they been in business? What is their standing on BBB?
- Ask About Their Warranties
What sort of installation or labour warranty do they offer? What kind of manufacturer warranties can they offer? Are they certified with major roofing product manufacturers? Certified installers can usually offer the best manufacturer's warranties.
- Demand References
Unless this is a roofing contractor's FIRST job ever, they should have references available for you.
- Ask to See Insurance Papers & Workers Compensation Clearance Letters
Any company can claim that they're "fully insured, license & bonded" - it almost seems to be a catch phrase! Ask to see these documents, they should have them readily available at their offices so they can email them over to you or show you copies. You can get your own WorkSafeBC Clearance Letter on any company for FREE by going to http://www.worksafebc.com, and simply typing in their company name. This clearance letter proves that they are in good standing with WorkSafeBC and lets you know how long they've been with them.
- Payment Terms
Some contractors require no payments to be paid until the completion of the project, others ask for 10 percent or more upfront, and others requre payment to be made for material up front and labour upon completion. When looking at various bids from different contractors, be sure to pay attention to their payment terms as well.
Always be sure to have any questions and concerns about your roof answered before the project gets started! When there is open communication between the contractor and the homeowner, you can surely be on your way towards a successful roof project when done!
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