Seven Questions to Ask Your Roofer

Home 9 Roofing 9 Seven Questions to Ask Your Roofer

Volpe Enterprises suggests that you evaluate your roofer as carefully as you would a doctor or lawyer. It is certain that you will want a roofing contractor who employs capable applicators to install the shingles. It is also clear that you will need to look closely at the proposal offered, the products selected, and the price/value relationship of the entire package. But what criteria can you use to decide if the contractor is a true professional who will stand behind his work? While there is not a single, clear-cut answer, there are a number of indicators that you can look for when going through the evaluation process.

Interview the contractor

You cannot choose a professional roofer by looking at an estimate and comparing prices.

Allow yourself an hour, more or less, to sit down with each contractor. You might be speaking with a salesperson or even the owner. Both of you need time to ask questions and explore the possibilities. You will be surprised at how many options you have.

Good contractors take pride in their work, and so should the salesperson representing the company.

• The salesperson should show pride and enthusiasm in discussing other jobs.

• The salesperson should be knowledgeable about other jobs (which shows his amount

of involvement in the actual work).

Volpe Enterprises Suggests To Ask 7 Questions

  1. What is the full name and address of the company?

Getting the complete address of the company can be an important factor in determining a company’s time in business. If a post office box is given, ask for a full street address as well. Try to hire a contractor that has an office nearby. The likelihood of better service and quicker response time is greater if the company is based near your home. (Volpe Enterprises, Inc. is located 3238 W. Germantown Pike Norristown, PA 19403)

2. Does the company carry insurance?

A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. This can be verified by asking to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance (workers’ compensation and general liability). Let the contractor know you want current certificates sent to you by the insurer before the job is started. Contractors may also carry other kinds of insurance including health, life and auto insurance. Bland assurances of insurance coverage may refer to these. Don’t be confused. Ask for proof of general liability and workers’ compensation coverage for roofing projects. Worker accidents. Be aware that if a worker is injured on your property, the homeowner might be held liable for all costs unless the employee is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Hospital bills for serious accidents can be extraordinarily expensive. (Volpe Enterprises, Inc. has been fully insured for your protection since 1970.)

3. Is the company a licensed or credentialed contractor?

When you pose this question, you are, in effect, asking if the contractor is licensed by your state and/or city. PA now requires all contractors to have and be able to provide a license number. You can find out if your contractor is lincensed by searching on the attorney generals website. ( http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/hicsearch/ ) (Volpe Enterprises, Inc. license number is PA4947)

4. How long has the company been in business?

Needless to say, longer is usually better. Under three years may signal an unstable business or one low on the learning curve. On the other hand, everybody has to start somewhere. References will be helpful to double check any business, and are especially important when dealing with a new business. A newer business may have a great future but it is only reasonable to be more careful when considering its referrals. The failure rate of small businesses in the first three years is very high. (Volpe Enterprises, Inc. has been in business since 1970)

5. Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?

• Ask for photos of completed work, if available. Keep in mind, however, that many roofers will not have photos. (Visit our FaceBook Page to see some of our Before & After Photos) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Norristown/Volpe-Enterprises-Inc-Complete-Home-Renovations/137708369574989

• Request a list of 10 names and phone numbers of recent customers (last 12 months). It is not necessary to check all 10, but you will be able to pick randomly from the list those you do call. (Volpe Enterprises is able to provide a list for thousands of their satisfied clients.)

6. What is the company’s workmanship warranty?

Typically, contractor workmanship warranties are for one year or more. Longer warranties are not necessarily more valuable than shorter warranties. The length of the warranty is less important than the intent and ability of the roofer to stand behind his warranty. That is best evaluated using customer referrals. Ask his customers specifically for information about these four things:

1) Did he perform his work on a timely basis?

2) Was he responsive when asked for information and changes?

3) Did he act as if he cared about the customers interests?

4) And finally, would you call the company trustworthy?

The roofer will warrant his workmanship. The manufacturer, on the other hand, warranties the roofing material against defects in manufacturing. Thus, two warranties will cover the shingle roof system. Understand them both. Ask for a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty pertaining to the specific shingle products you are considering. Several roofing manufacturers offer a variety of programs to professional contractors that establish their credentials as a knowledgeable roofing company. (Volpe Enterprises, Inc. holds the highest qualification with Certainteed & GAF.

7. What is the company’s track record for solving customer complaints?

• Try to find out how your contractor handles problems when they do arise. Request a referral from a job that involved a complaint.

• Ask the contractor if he has ever lost a job-related court case.

• Ask if his contractor’s license has ever been suspended and why.

Also, in talking to the appropriate authorities, such as the Better Business Bureau and licensing departments, find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractors whom you have interviewed. Many contractors in business for any length of time have been involved in a dispute. Ask how the dispute was resolved, to test your contractor’s reputation. (If any dispute does arise Volpe Enterprises it is handled amicably.)

Special Thanks to Certainteed for this article. www.certainteed.com


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