The Top Six Tips for Finding a Roofing Contractor
Finding a good, solid roofing contractor in an industry where there is no shortage of roofing work, can render the best and worst characters. You hear horror stories of roofing contractors who are charismatic and communicative, only to leave you high and dry if any roofing issues arise after the job is completed. Sadly, because this profession is in such high demand many people are forming roofing companies with little experience only with the intention of making a quick buck. Shotty roofs are going up left and right, leaving people with nightmarish situations to clean up.
With the dark, you also have the light. You then hear stories about roofing contractors who are kind, honest, and trustworthy, in addition to being hardworking and producing authoritative and reliable work. Amazing roofing contractors do exist, in fact they’re abounding in the roofing industry, sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper to find the hidden gem.
The Very Best In Roofing Contractors Is Texas Star Roofing
This is Lee Williamson Sr, the owner of Texas Star Roofing. The inception of Texas Star Roofing was in 1997 when Williamson made the transition, with all of his on-site roofing experience in tow, and translated that knowledge to form his own roofing business.
Williamson understands and is aware of the less-than-stellar state of roofing contractors and the roofing business. So, he makes it a point to change the conversation and the tangible parts that he can — by leading the industry in authoritative roofing standards and completing roofing jobs that are nothing less than the best. He stands firmly and securely as a member of trade associations, such as North Texas Roofing Contractors Association and the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas. When you walk through the doors of Texas Star Roofing, you’ll see the little Better Business Bureau — BBB — emblem proudly displayed along with an A+ rating since 2000.
The Top Six Tips for Finding a Roofing Contractor
Tip 1: Look For An Established Roofing Contractor
Because the roofing industry has no shortage of roofing projects, especially in Texas with its windy and wet conditions that can take a toll on any roof, roofing companies are popping up overnight. This is why it is imperative to do a little research and find an established roofing contractor.
What do you look for in an established roofing contractor?
The signs of an established roofing contractor include the following:
A physical location of business – Less-than-desirable roofing contractors shockingly set up shop in a work van using it not only as an office, but a showroom, too! An established roofing contractor will have an actual brick and mortar business location. When hiring a roofing company, you should be able to look them up and find their address on the internet.
A good financial standing – An established roofing contractor will be willing and able to produce documentation from their states financial regulation office that includes the following:
- License name
- License number
- License type
- License date
- Expiration date
The documentation may vary from state-to-state, but it should provide the relevant financial information. This indicates the roofing business is an actual business recognized by the state and that they’re legally working within the state’s parameters — there is no shady business!
Licenses and insurance – It is important for your roofing contractor to provide a business license and that it has been operating under the same name for a minimum of five years. It is a common practice for companies to close under one name and open under a new name because of poor quality work and customer complaints.
Insurance is crucial in the roofing industry, because if anything does happen and they don’t have insurance, the roofing contractor must cover the cost. The scenario becomes murky if their insurance policy can’t cover the full amount or if there is no insurance. If the contractor is unable to cover the cost you may have to take legal action to find damage and financial reprieve. In this time, you may have to cover the cost of damages yourself. The moral of the story: check that your roofing contractor holds insurance in the first place and that it covers at least $500,000 to $1,000,000 in general liability coverage.
A roofing contractor will be able to provide documentation of proof of insurance.
Tip 2: Look For Authority In Their Industry
Did you know that in Texas there are no licensing requirements for the roofing industry? This leaves an industry vulnerable to unethical and poor quality roofing. Looking for a good reputation within the roofing industry is a good place to start.
What indicates authority in the roofing industry?
Endorsements – Endorsements are the biggest indication that roofing contractors are doing what they need to be doing, and they’re likely going above and beyond in their prospective field. Again, any roofing contractor should be able to provide certificates of authenticity and documentation. Endorsements help frame a roofing contractor’s reputation and this becomes a way to gauge their reliability.
So what kind of endorsements do you look for?
(emblem here) Better Business Bureau (BBB) – The BBB has a mission of supporting a marketplace that is ethical in a space where buyers and sellers can trust each other. Being in good standing with the BBB as a roofing contractor is hugely important, so when you’re looking into the company look for a couple of major things such as:
How long they’ve been a member of the BBB?
What is their rating? Look for a rating of no less than an “A+”.
(emblem) North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA) – This association is specific to North Texas and supports homeowners in finding the best roofing contractors.
(emblem) Roofing Contractors Association Of Texas (RCAT) – This association is committed to providing continuing education and new techniques to the roofing industry, in addition to vetting a list of approved roofing contractors.
(emblem) Angie’s List – Angie’s List check the reviews for companies to find the best local industry providers. They aim to keep contractors honest.
Tip 3: Look For Transparency In A Roofing Contractor
A warning sign that you’re dealing with an unethical roofing contractor is they play the oldest trick in the book: they lay on a high-pressure scenario leaving you unable to gather your wits and make an informed decision. They will take advantage of your roof misfortune and exploit your need for prompt services, and have you sign a contract right then and there leaving you in the dark about their company.
If you’re put in a situation where you’re uncomfortable and everything in you is screaming “don’t do it,” listen to your intuition.
A roofing contractor is not only established an authority in their field, they also know how to communicate effectively with their customers. When they’re dealing with you they’re both transparent and professional. Look for a roofing contractor who will respect your need to investigate your options and one that doesn’t put you in a high-pressure situation.
High-pressure sales tactics are not used by transparent roofing contractors
Sometimes salespeople are so great at selling their product or services, you may not even know the sales cyclone has hit until you’re fully engulfed. Here are some typical signs and tactics of high-pressure sales.
They tap into your emotions.
Many times a high-pressure salesperson will talk relentlessly, never letting you get in a question or anything that resembles a sentence — and they do it on purpose! This sets you up to feel anxious, overwhelmed, and rushed — and this is when they go for the sale. They see that all you want is to get out of the conversation, so you’ll do anything, including buy what they’re selling! In this scenario, it’s wise to just walk away!
They tap into your lack of knowledge.
Before you set out to hire a roofing contractor always do your homework and always educate yourself. Roofing is an industry that most people don’t have a good grasp on, and this is how a high-pressure salesperson will play you. They’ll offer phony savings or a low-ball price. Do yourself a favor and shop around.
When you do decide on the right roofing contractor, they will be transparent in how they conduct the roofing job. They will communicate to you how long the job will take from start to finish, what materials and products they’re using, the type of warranty that is included, and when payment is due.
Unexperienced or unethical roofing contractor’s clarity on these concerns will waiver and they likely won’t have a definitive answer.
Does the roofing contractor hold the standard in their industry?
How do you know a roofing contractor holds high standards? When you’re looking into roofing companies, oftentimes, one company emerges over the rest. When you ask around for the best local roofer, a choir of people end up recommending the same company. You start seeing and hearing their name everywhere — this is an industry leader.
The leader has to forge ahead and blaze new trails, leaving their competitors in their wake. It’s taking risks and offering new roofing technologies and continuing their education to find to avenues to solve roofing problems for their customers.
Take a look at their “About Us” section on their website. What do they talk about? What sets them apart from their competitors? Get to know your potential roofing contractor by what they’re saying on their website, and it’ll give you a lot of valuable information about who they are and what they support and believe.
Tip 4: Look For A Roofing Contractor With Quality Work
Homeowners want a roofing contractor that completes the job, right, the first time. No one has time or energy to have to deal with any issues after the roof has been completed. It goes back to our horror story of having a great roofing contractor during the job, but when something went wrong afterwards, they packed up their office and were nowhere to be found.
Here are the tell-tale signs of high-quality work:
- A warranty is in place – A roofing contractor will not skate around the warranty issue: there will either be one, or there won’t. A typical roofing warranty will include a one year warranty on repairs and a two-year labor warranty on new roof installations.
- A photo gallery – A roofing contractor who is producing high-quality projects on a consistent basis, will have a photo gallery complete with many pictures of homes they have worked on. The photos will represent the different kinds of roofs they offer and may even provide inspiration for your new roof! Ask them right away if they have any examples of recent roofs they’ve finished, or check and see if their website has any. If a roofing contractor is unable to show you work they’ve completed, this is a huge warning sign.
Tip 5: Look For A Contractor Who Uses Quality Materials
The materials and products used will greatly affect the quality of your roof and its lifespan. Most people don’t want to replace or repair their roof every five years, so save yourself energy and money, and hire a roofing contractor who only uses cream-of-the-crop materials.
Consider the main function of your roof — its purpose to protect you from the elements. The elements in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can vary quite a bit. We experience extremely hot summers followed by temperate winters that are sometimes paved in ice and snow. Our volatile weather includes tornadoes and floods, so needless to say, the roofs in the Dallas-Fort Worth region see their fair share of weather.
Roofs in Texas can take a beating, so finding a roofing contractor who uses quality materials will increase the longevity and decrease potential damage from the elements.
Did you know that asphalt shingles are the best selling shingles on the market? On the other hand, their quality leaves little to be desired. They’re popular because they’re cost-efficient and easy to install for roofers, but their durability and longevity don’t hold up to Texas weather.
If your roofing contractor only uses and installs asphalt shingles, you may want to investigate other options. This could indicate that they don’t know how to install more complex roofing systems such as copper roofing or that their experience is only with one type of material.
Find a roofing contractor that offers and installs a range of materials, so you can make the best decision for your home. Other roofing options available include:
- Composite and composition roofing
- Corrugated panels
- EPDM rubber
- Faux slate roofing
- Fiberglass shingles
- Laminate shingles
- Metal roof installation
- Steel roofing panels
- Plastic roofing
- Slate roofing
- Steel roofing
- Concrete tile
- TPO roofing
A great indicator that your roofing contractor is producing quality work with quality materials is a Certain Teed Master Shingle Master Shingle Applicator™. Within this program they provide education and information on Certain Teed shingle installation, in addition to roofing systems, workmanship, flashing, and ventilation and product installation.
Tip 6: Look for A Roofing Contractor With Good Reviews
A roofing contractor with countless positive reviews, is indeed, a hidden gem. Reviews are priceless in providing feedback to potential customers — you know which one to avoid and which ones you would want to hire on the spot. Ask your roofing contractor if they have references on hand (printed reviews essentially) or if a review section can be found on their website.
Look for reviews that are thoughtful and go beyond “great job.” Anyone can leave a quick note that expresses a job well done, but it’s the customer who has had an overwhelmingly good experience that leaves a review of why it was so amazing. Here is an example of a good review:
“Wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the roofing job your folks recently did on my house. The price was quite fair and the job was completed on time.
My particular roof required that two layers of old roofing be removed; a layer of regular shingles and a layer of cedar shingles below that. The clean up was very thorough and looking around the perimeter of the house you can hardly tell that the roof had been completely removed and replaced. Even the attic was surprisingly free of debris.
Finally, Mr. Sieverman’s no-pressure sale and attention before and after the job made for results that exceeded my expectation.”
A great roofing contractor will have an abundance of these reviews that list exactly why their services went above and beyond.
We just covered a lot of information to help you find the hidden gem in a roofing contractor! When you’re looking to hire a roofing contractor, keep these gems in mind:
- Look for an established roofing contractor
- Look for authority in their industry
- Look for transparency in a roofing contractor
- Look For A Roofing Contractor With Quality Work
- Look For A Contractor Who Uses Quality Materials
- Look for A Roofing Contractor With Good Reviews
If your roofing contractor can meet the above criteria, congratulations, you’ve found a gem.