Roofs, with the proper maintenance, can last up to around thirty years. However, there will come a time when that roof needs to be replaced — and even during that time, you might need some repairs done due to weather or simple wear and tear.
Roof work shouldn’t be taken on as a DIY project by the inexperienced. When your roof needs some maintenance or you think you might need a new one altogether, you’ll have to look at commercial roofing contractors.
Contractors, however, aren’t all created equal. These are the common mistakes made by people looking to hire a commercial roofing contractor — and what you should avoid.
Going With an Uninsured Contractor
There are multiple different types of insurance that they should have. At the very least, any commercial roofing contractor should have worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
Worker’s compensation will cover them for any injury they may sustain while on your property. Roofing involves being up high and using a lot of different tools. While they have the training necessary to get the job done in a safe and secure manner, it’s very possible for accidents to happen — and that’s why they need insurance that covers them for these accidents.
If they don’t have that insurance, they may end up trying to sue you for the injury since it happened on your property. If they have that insurance, there’s little point in doing this!
It’s important to know that you can be held liable for injuries if they don’t have the correct insurance.
Liability insurance covers mistakes that may happen when it comes to your property rather than the roofer themselves. For example, say they’re doing skylight installation but accidentally damage another part of the roof — the liability insurance will pay for it, meaning you don’t have to argue about who is going to cover the costs.
These two types of insurance are absolutely mandatory and you need to ensure they’re in place. It’s the most essential part of a commercial roofing contractor hiring guide.
Failing to Ask About Warranties
It’s common to think about warranties surrounding electronics and appliances, as they’re things you know have a good chance of breaking shortly after purchase through no fault of the consumer. However, it’s also important to consider warranties when it comes to a roof replacement.
A roofing company will offer a warranty in the hopes that the customer never has to use it because they don’t want to come back and do free labor — but offering one is still a necessity for peace of mind, in case something does go wrong with the work after.
There are two main types of warranty that a commercial roofing company will provide — a manufacturer warranty and a workmanship warranty. The former type covers the materials themselves and the latter covers the actual work performed.
Be careful when receiving answers about warranties. If the roofing company only provides a manufacturer warranty, then that means that you aren’t covered for any mistakes the employee might have made. It’s best to have both sets in place.
Not Shopping Around
If you’ve been searching for “roofing near me” on Google then you’ve likely seen a few roofing companies around. If you go with the first one you click on, you might be in for a shock when you soon discover they aren’t the best one you could have chosen.
You should take a look at each and every company. Consider their website, their reviews, their availability, their quote — everything you can possibly factor into the equation! When it comes to how to hire a commercial roofing contractor, bringing the very first person you talk to onboard can be a mistake, no matter how persuasive they might be!
It’s fine to look at every different company you possibly can. Consider the job you want to be done and where their expertise seems to lie too.
Rushing the Search
Rushing the search is another huge and related mistake people often make. They want their roof repaired or replaced or as quickly as possible so they grab the first result from Google and hire the contractor, even when their senses are telling them that they aren’t right for the job.
If you’re talking to a contractor and something feels off, don’t feel that you need to immediately shrug off the feeling and hire them. You’re allowed to stop and consider why things feel off:
- Are they vague about insurance?
- Are they unwilling to provide references and have no reviews?
- Are they hard to get in touch with?
- Do they simply not strike the perfect balance of warmth and professionalism?
If any of these things feel off then ask yourself if you’re being reasonable and sleep on it a few times if need be. If it doesn’t feel right, then they likely aren’t the right company for you, and it’s fine to pick someone else. Listen to your gut!
Not Placing Enough Value on Experience
Are there roofing contractors around who’ve been doing the job for a very short amount of time and are still good at what they do? Of course!
However, for the most part, the best commercial roofing contractor is one who’s been in the business for a long time. They’re the people who have been repairing and replacing roofs for many years and have a lot of happy customers under their belt.
If you want to make sure you’re getting the best person for the job, ask how long they’ve been in business.
While a new roofer may be great at what they do, you don’t want to risk being part of someone’s learning curve. Your place of business is your livelihood and you should only put such a crucial part of it in the best and most experienced hands.
Getting Work Done Without a Consultation
No roofing contractor should ever offer to complete work without a consultation appointment and a good look at your roof beforehand.
One of the main reasons for this is that the untrained eye may not know exactly what a roof needs. You may think the damage is so bad that your roof needs to be replaced, whereas a professional may be able to offer an efficient repair.
On the other hand, you may think your roof can be patched up with a quick repair and a professional may be able to tell you that that’s not possible or just not the best solution.
Even if you think you know what needs to be done up there, let the company come out and look at the roof first and advise you on what the best course of action is. If a roofing company ever says they don’t need a consultation and can show up and replace your whole roof without looking at it first, run!
The last thing you want is someone to show up and do a job only to realize all too late it wasn’t the right job for the situation.
Trusting That the Spoken Word Is Enough
As with any service carried out on such as important building, you should never take the roofer’s word for anything.
Even if you trust them completely, make sure you have everything in writing. That should include what they’re going to do to the roof and the exact price you’ll pay for it.
Even though contracts can be boring, read everything in full when you sign. That way, you’re aware of the process and if something goes wrong, you have legality on your side.
Not Googling Them Extensively
Once you’ve picked a company from Google (or from the words of your loved ones), you should then type that company into Google and do some extensive research. Their website should be one of the first results and although web design is a very different industry, it should be clean, readable, and accessible.
It should also have up-to-date contact information so you know the best way to get in touch with them.
As well as this, you can read online reviews. 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and they’re right to. Reviews are (or should be) left by the unbiased and often, they’re the more upset people.
If a company has maintained a good overall rating, they’re a good one! If you want to go deeper, you can read both the one-star and five-star reviews to see which seem deserved and which don’t.
Remember, you can’t please everyone, but reading reviews will give you a good idea of the contractor’s strong points and weak points. That helps to let you know if they’re the right people to do the job.
Not Speaking to References
Speaking to references is absolutely vital before you hire a commercial roofing contractor. The reason for this is that a contractor with experience and success should have a long list of names to provide you and if they don’t, it’s a huge red flag.
Even if they readily offer up the names, make sure you actually speak to the people. They should provide you with glowing reviews.
If a contractor is hesitant to offer up names or the customers seem reluctant to tell you much about the work that was done, run!
Settling for the Cheapest Quote
The average cost to replace a roof is $7300. That can be a very intimidating amount of money, and it’s understandable that many people want to reduce the cost as much as possible.
However, the truth is, roofs are expensive. They last for decades when done right and they’re a huge component of a building. A repair is likely not going to be cheap and a replacement even less so.
While it’s important to ensure you can afford any work being done to an important place, don’t automatically settle for the cheapest quote. The cheapest roofing contractor may be so inexpensive because they have bad reviews and can’t get business or because they aren’t paying for insurance.
If one quote is miles below the rest for the same work, it’s not a blessing — it’s a red flag.
Compare the quotes but consider them along with everything else. The experience, insurance, and references are all more important than the quote.
Remember many contractors can offer financing options to make things more affordable.
Paying Before Work Is Complete
If anyone ever asks you to pay for roofing work before it’s done, it’s time to go somewhere else. At best, they’re inexperienced and don’t know the proper protocol. At worst, they’re trying to scam you.
You should only ever pay for roofing work at the end when you’ve seen the work that’s been done on the roof. While signing a contract beforehand is normal, exchanging the full price of the service is not and you shouldn’t allow yourself to be pressured into doing so.
Not Asking Enough Questions
At the end of the day, you’re trusting contractors to do a very important job. That means you should feel entitled to ask all of the questions you want about the company and about the job itself.
If you have questions in your head but feel like you’re being a bother and swallow them, you may regret it later. Don’t feel bad about interrogating the contractor — they’re used to it and if they have nothing to hide, it won’t be a big deal to them.
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Hiring Commercial Roofing Contractors
Hiring commercial roofing contractors can be intimidating since it’s such a big job and the last thing you want to do is pick the wrong people for it!
As long as you don’t make these mistakes, you’ll be fine. Ensure they have the correct insurance, follow up with their references, and don’t rush your decision.
If you follow these basic rules, you’ll get the best contractor for you.
Are you looking for reliable roofing services in Rancho Cucamonga, California? Contact us today at Reliance Roofing and let’s see what we can do for you.