It’s been a long time since you thought about your roof, but in the latest round of storms you’ve noticed a coffee stain in your ceiling and so you investigate your attic space. To your horror you’ve found lots of evidence of leaks and now you think you need a new roof but don’t know where to start. The first question you ask yourself is “can my roof be repaired or does my roof need replacement?”
Stick with me here and I’ll try to answer that question and also provide you with some tips on how to select a roofing contractor. (And if you are looking for a roofing contractor in Washington DC I hope you’ll end up choosing us.)
First you need to find out if the roof is past it’s life expectancy and if it has received storm damage. These two questions must be answered by a qualified roofer. If the roof has experienced storm damage you might be eligible to have it replaced by your homeowners insurance.
Once you know the condition of your roof you can ask your roofer if he thinks it would be able to be repaired. Some roofs are just beyond the point of repair, but some can be saved.
At CJ Roofing we always try to offer options so that homeowners have the ability to make a decision about their roof, and aren’t just shoehorned into replacement.
So how do you decide what roofer to use?
That decision should come down to several factors, so here’s a list to help you decide.
1. Ask if the company is licensed
This won’t ring true in all areas of the country, but most locales (either city, county or state) require roofing contractors to be licensed. Ask if your contractor has the proper licensing and then verify it with the local licensing board. This can almost always be done online.
(In Washington DC, where we are based, the licensing entity is called DCRA)
2. Ask if the company is bonded and insured
If the company is properly licensed, then chances are they are properly insured and bonded as well. But just ask to make sure.
3. Ask how long they’ve been in the roofing business
Sometimes an employee of one roofing company will strike out on their own and start a new company, so a new company shouldn’t be a strike against a prospective roofing contractor, but it’s important to know how long they’ve been in the industry. I’ll take a new company with 40 years of experience by the owner, over a five year old company with an owner with no hands on experience.
4. Ask for references
Even in the age of online reviews, nothing beats talking to previous customers of a contractor to get a feel for how they run their business.
5. Ask for photos during the estimate phase
Everyone has cameras built into their phones and so this one is an easy ask, but make sure to ask before they look at the roof. We never mind providing some photos for a customer, but when they call days later and ask for photos that we may not have taken any or already erased, then it becomes a little harder.
6. Don’t base your decision on price alone
The cost of any home repair is important and will surely factor into the final decision, but more homeowners regret basing hiring decision when they base it on price alone than any other factor. Get two or three estimates and then of theres a substantial gap between prices make sure to ask both contractors for clarification, just so you know you are make an apples to apples comparison of quotes.
Here’s a couple of links on other tips. I hope this helps you make your decisions a little bit easier. Good luck
GAF, 10 tips on hiring a roofer