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Top five things contractors wish their customers knew

by Scott Kawulok

Whether you own a home or maintain a large real estate portfolio, hiring a roofing contractor can be a daunting task. When you’re purchasing a new roof system or need roof repairs, the process entails everything from technical jargon to evaluating dissimilar proposals. Likewise, roofing contractors constantly face a variety of clients with different knowledge levels.

To make the process easier for consumers and contractors, here are five things roofing contractors wish their consumers knew:

  1. There is a difference between price and value. Understand that no matter what you need, there always will be a contractor who will do it for less. A cheaper price doesn’t equate to better value. Roof systems and roof repairs can’t be purchased like a commodity where shopping around can pay off. Get multiple bids, but base your decision on more than price. Look for a knowledgeable and experienced contractor with good references who will provide a competitive price and superior service. If you only look at price, you risk getting a bad product and inferior service.

  2. Recognize the importance of routine maintenance. If you are proactive, your roof’s life can be extended and you ensure resources are well-spent—you also avoid having unhappy tenants. Roofing contractors often have to replace roofs that could have had longer lives with scheduled maintenance. Before you need a new roof or leak repairs, a little regular maintenance can go a long way. Find a contractor who will service your roof and make necessary repairs.

  3. Alternatively, homeowners and building owners also need to understand when roofs are beyond repair. Sometimes, a roof cannot be saved. Sometimes, repairs won’t provide lasting or appreciable value. The situation can be frustrating when a lot of roof repairs are made and leaks persist. Don’t turn your roof into a money pit; work with your roofing contractor to predict when you will need a roof system replacement so you can budget appropriately.

  4. Find a roofing contractor who is established and reputable. Ensure your contractor has proper licensing, carries appropriate and valid insurance, and performs most of the work. A contractor who only uses subcontractors may not have appropriate insurance or licensing. This is a risk for owners, so don’t be afraid to ask for proof of insurance and licensing.

  5. Finally, don’t underestimate the value of contractors who are active members of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and their local associations. NRCA members know about code changes and technical issues and are informed regarding the best practices that keep their customers happy. NRCA provides the resources contractors need to make good roofing and business decisions.
Scott Kawulok is an executive project manager for B & M Roofing, Frederick, Colo.

Date : 3/1/2016