Tips for Hiring a Roofing Contractor for Your Houseflip
The roof is your home’s primary defense against the elements. Within budget constraints, you should choose the best available materials for it to protect your investment below. Fortunately for both homeowners and those in the house flipping business, there are a wide variety of roofing materials in the market today. Shopping for the perfect roof has become relatively easier over the years, but choosing a competent and reliable roofing contractor can still be a struggle.
As with any contracting job, roofing installation can be a hit or miss affair. Many roofers have a lot of experience and will do a great job for you, but there’s always the chance that you’ll end up hiring a less capable roofing company. You can invest in the best roofing materials for the house you’re going to flip, but it would be all for nothing if the roofing contractor you hire has several shortcomings, like not having proper roofing insurance, a lack of attention to detail, or no team to finish the work.
Always ask roofing contractors who you’re considering hiring for your house flip if they’re insured. Roofing is one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, and you wouldn’t want to be working with uninsured roofers. In case of an accident, you would end up being liable for any property damage or personal injuries that happen while they’re doing their job. Don’t just take their word for it if they say yes – always ask for verifiable, current documentary proof of coverage.
Aside from checking if they have insurance coverage, here are a few more tips that should help you find the right roofing contractor:
Ask Your Roofer For a Copy of Permits and Licenses.
Always work with roofing contractors who have the necessary permits and licenses to operate as a roofer in your state. Such documents are the ultimate proof that they are legitimate players in the roofing industry. These documents will also indicate if the contractor is in compliance with all guidelines and policies covering roofing as set forth by your state. This is the easiest way to make sure you are hiring a legitimate contractor who will back their work.
Hire Experienced Roofers.
This tip may sound unfair to newbie roofing contractors, but it’s a fact that roofers who have been in the business for some time have seen practically all possible roofing installation or repair issues. That makes them better equipped to deal with whatever roofing challenges that might come their way.
Another advantage of having experienced roofing contractors working for you is that they typically know more suppliers than new roofers. They may be able to purchase roofing materials for you at much friendlier prices.
Hire Local Roofing Contractors.
Hiring local roofers offers several advantages. Local roofing contractors, for example, have a much better grasp of the weather in your area. That makes them better prepared to provide roofing solutions for any issues that the local weather might present.
Local roofers are also more likely to provide you service as soon as you need it simply because they operate in your area. Out-of-town roofers, on the other hand, could take some time before they can address your concerns.
Do Your Research.
All roofing contractors should have a portfolio of past work, so ask for one to see if you’re going to like their results. If the prospective roofers have a website, look for non-stock pictures of roofs they have completed. While you’re at it, search the web for testimonials from their previous clients. Business directory sites and review forums are also great places to look for reviews of their services. Make sure they have a good track record of finishing on time and staying on budget.
Ask for References from Past Roofing Jobs.
A reliable roofing contractor should have no problem providing references when you ask for them. When you talk to those references, ask questions that cover anything from any issues that they’ve had with the roof since the contractor worked on it to whether or not they will hire that contractor ever again. And if the answer to the latter is no, then you already know what you need to know.
Ask About Roofing Material and Work Guarantees.
Legitimate roofers typically offer a warranty for their workmanship, but you have to make sure they do offer one, what it covers, and how long it will be in effect. Get all of these details about the guarantee in writing before the job starts. If the roof presents problems within the period specified in the warranty, the roofing contractor is obligated to inspect and fix that roofing problem free of charge.
Request and Compare Quotes From Different Contractors.
Let’s assume that you’ve narrowed down your list to three or four local roofing contractors. Since you can only hire one professional to do the work, it’s time to ask your candidates to send in quotes that you can compare.
When comparing quotes, always consider the following information:
- Itemized estimate of labor and materials
- Incidentals such as cleanup and waste disposal
- Length of the warranty, and the damages it covers, and to what extent
Ask Potential Roofers if They’ll be Hiring Subcontractors.
Some roofing contractors hire subcontractors for the projects that come their way. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but are you really comfortable with the idea of paying a roofing contractor so they can find someone else to do the work? Besides, you cant be spending a lot of time on vetting a roofing contractor only for him to find subcontractors that you will have to vet all over again. So as much as possible, avoid roofing contractors that hire subcontractors to fix or install your roof.
Avoid Roofing Contractors Known as “Storm Chasers.”
There exist people who, after a day of bad weather in a given area, come knocking on doors and offering roofing services in case the storm caused some damage. One of their most distinct characteristics of these salesmen is that they always charge dirt-cheap rates for their services.
While it’s true that the very low rates are incredibly tempting, it isn’t wise to just jump at the opportunity. In all likelihood, these people, often referred to as “storm chasers,” aren’t any good at repairing or installing roofs. You should also be wary if the people offering to check and fix your roof on the cheap came in vehicles that don’t have any markings like their business name, address, and contact details. They also typically ask for payment upfront. Avoid storm chasers as much as possible.
A stunning, newly installed roof can help raise the value of that house you’re planning to flip, so make sure you hire only the best roofing contractor available for your project. Hopefully, the tips above can help you in that regard.