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How to Choose a Roofer

March 11, 2019

Discover the Benefits of Our Top-Rated Roofing Services in Roswell GA

You can trust that you’ve discovered the ideal roofing specialists in Roswell when you stumbled upon us! Whether you’re in need of roof repairs, replacements or are simply curious about roofing basics, you can find comprehensive information on all your queries here. We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding craftsmanship and customer service with every job we take on. Our team of experts have years of experience that allows them to guarantee exceptional outcomes each time. Trust us at Clark Brothers Roofing & Construction for all your roofing needs!

Starting Your Search For A Contractor

Most homeowners begin their search online, and that is the most logical place to start. But we do want to advise you to also reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to see if they can recommend a reliable roofer, because a personal recommendation will always remain as one of the most worthwhile forms of reference.

As you search online we always advise, no matter what city or state you live in, to always hire “local” (see “Buyer Beware” below). Search for “roofers near me”. Visit their websites to decipher if they actually have a dedicated presence in your area, and not just a mailing address. Their sites should also give you a sense of who they are, as well as their experience in the specific work you need done with your roof or home exterior.

Of course, check reviews on every contractor you are considering. Keep in mind that many roofers focus on just one or two platforms like that of Google, Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, or Angie’s List  to invest in for their lead-generation. So, if you are seriously considering a roofer but don’t see many reviews for them on the platform you are researching, check the other platforms to find reviews for that roofer.

If you live in a community with a homeowners association (HOA), reach out to them and ask if they maintain a list of pre-approved Roswell roofing contractors. If so, be sure to include them in your search process.

You can also consult with your local chamber of commerce, as well as ask the retail specialist in the roofing department at your The Home Depot or Lowes if they can recommend a roofer. They probably cannot provide too much insight into the quality of the work of any given contractor they might know or recommend, but they can let you know who they find easy to work with and how frequently they are in their store picking up supplies (consistent jobs is a sign of a good contractor).

If you expect to put this project through your homeowners insurance policy, be sure the contractor you hire has expertise in homeowners policies, who knows what an adjuster will or will not approve in regards to the issue with your home exterior. A contractor with expertise in this area can be invaluable, and can potentially save you a good deal of money.

Last but not least, we also advise you to check the Better Business Bureau’s site to make sure there are no red flags on any of the contractors who made your short list. You should also only consider contractors with an A+ rating from the BBB.


Hire Local

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We always advise to hire local. Knowing your contractor is immediately available for any further repairs on your roof should be considered critical. Avoid choosing a crew who may only be in your area because of a major storm that recently came through (see “Buyer Beware” below).

Storm Chasers: Buyer Beware

While some storm chasing crews might actually install a roof without any defects, we strongly suggest doing your homework before signing on with any contractor affiliated with storm chasing.

Storm chasers are contractors who base their business model on sending their crews across the region (or country) to wherever the latest bad storm has damaged the area.  Their business model prioritizes quantity, not quality, knowing there will be plenty of selling opportunities in those storm-damaged areas. They don’t have your best interests at heart, or at the least, they don’t put your interests before their own. Storm chasers canvas neighborhoods that were in the path hit hardest by the storm, preying upon homeowners when they are at their most vulnerable. They will point out that the homeowner policy will cover whatever damage might have been done and offering to inspect your roof for a “free” full roof replacement.

Much of what they are telling you about the damage to your home and insurance coverage is probably true. The risk comes for the homeowner in the lack of workmanship and the lack of reliability after the work on your home has been quickly done and they’ve left to chase the next storm.

Storm chasing crews are not known for their workmanship. They have a reputation for taking short-cuts and doing the minimum work required to properly repair your roof. By the time you realize your roof repair did not hold up, that contractor is long gone and nowhere to be found, nor are they known for returning homeowner calls once they are are off chasing that next storm.


Scheduling Contractors For Inspections

The contractors you reached out to will schedule a salesperson to inspect the work and provide you with an estimate.

The main purpose for scheduling contractors is for them to inspect your roof or home exterior and present their findings in regards to whatever the concern or issue there is with your roof or exterior. Most contractors provide this service at no cost to the homeowner, but be sure to confirm there will be no charge when you first reach out to the contractor. 

It is in your interest to be home the day you schedule the inspections. A roof replacement is one of the most costly investments you will make into your house, this is your best opportunity to discuss each contractor’s discoveries and listen to their solutions.

A thorough inspection can take 30 – 60 minutes depending on roof size, slope grade, and how extensive the damage is. When scheduling appointments allow enough time for the inspection, the post-inspection discussion, as well as enough time between appointment times so that contractors are not bumping into each other curbside in front of your home.

Take everything into consideration when they arrive at your home:

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  • their timeliness
  • their professionalism
  • were they thorough in their inspection
  • did they clearly articulate their discoveries from the inspection
  • did they provide a detailed price quote

The contractor(s) may discover that your roof is need of a full replacement or that a repair is all that is required. If your roof is around 15 years old you may be faced with a decision where a repair will fix the issue, but will it be more worthwhile if you replaced the entire roof now since you will most likely need to replace it anyway in the next five years or so.

Listen intently to what each has uncovered during the inspection. If one contractor suggests a different solution than the other two, that doesn’t mean his/her solution is not as good as the other two. In fact, it could be the better solution. The only way to know you’re securing the best value in return for your investment, is to fully understand the differences so you can compare apples-to-apples. See our blog posts on “Full Roof Replacements” or “Roof Repairs” for more insight on this. 

Many roofers also provide other services for the exterior of your home, including: gutter installment; attic insulation; siding installment; window replacements; deck building; and exterior painting. So if your home needs other work, consider requesting a separate proposal to evaluate getting that work done as well. You might find getting it all done at once could save you money down the road.

Roofers realize most homeowners don’t fully understand how much goes into a full roof replacement. They welcome your questions (at least the good ones do), so ask away. Understand the steps of work being done and the quality of materials being installed so that you can better evaluate the return you would be receiving for your hard-earned money. Any reliable contractor appreciates these qualities in a homeowner.

Last, we do advise you to bring in more than one contractor to inspect your roof/home exterior and to submit a price quote. Three contractors seem to be the general rule of thumb for most homeowners, but reach out to however many makes you the most comfortable (we just like to say be sure one of them is Clark Brothers).


Price Quotes/Contracts: What To Expect 

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If the submitted price quote does not include a line item breakdown of all materials and labor and their respective costs, request a revised proposal that includes line item breakdowns.

Review the product warranty (from the manufacturer), as well the workmanship warranty (from the contractor). Make sure you understand the exclusion terms of each.

Ask each contractor about the system they would be installing and how long that system would protect your home. Different systems can last anywhere from 10-25 years.

What are the payment terms? The vast majority of contractors use a standard practice of 50% upfront to fray some of the cost of materials and labor. Some contractors require you to pay in full upfront. We advise you to consider the potential downside of signing on with a contractor who requires more than 50% upfront. 

While we’re on the topic of price quotes, please understand if one of your neighbors has the same exact house as yours, and they recently had their roof replaced, it does not necessarily mean the two price quotes will end up the same. Your replacement could end up being more costly. Every roof has different conditions with debris, flashings, rotted decking underneath, rotted fascia boards, etc.

While surprises do pop up when working on a roof, a reputable roofing contractor will let you know of these possibilities up front. You should never be completely surprised by a significant price increase. 

It would be remiss of us if we did not also point out here, if a contractor submits a proposal unrealistically lower than the other bids you received, chances are it may be too good to be true.

Last but not least, never let any of the work begin until you have signed the contract.


Selecting Your Contractor

Some states do not require a roofer to be licensed. If you live in such a state, you can still find experienced and reliable roofers as not having a license does not necessarily equate to incompetence.

If you want peace of mind, whether the state you reside in requires a license or not, we do suggest considering a contractor who is committed enough to his/her craft that they went out and earned their license from the appropriate board or association in that state, especially if you are getting your roof completely replaced.


Do You Live In A Community With a Homeowner’s Association

If there is a homeowners’ association (HOA) for your community, make sure your new roof will meet the standards of your community. Be sure to have any and all matters covered in advance, and in writing with your HOA (emails are sufficient). Doing this will be helpful in avoiding any potential misunderstandings or disputes down the road.

Reviewing “How To Find A Roofer”

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  • Besides your own online research, be sure to also ask friends, neighbors, HOA for recommendations on a reliable roofing contractor.
  • Besides Google, also check the major contractor platforms for reviews.
  • Hire local — and be thorough in your research if you decide to go with a storm chasing crew.
  • Bring in multiple contractors
  • Will you be submitting an insurance claim for the project? If so, how much can your contractor help you navigate through that process?.
  • Schedule the inspections on a day you can be home.
  • Did the salesperson provide a line item proposal?
  • Make sure you understand the warranties and exclusion clauses.
  • If a contractor requires more than 50% upfront, consider the potential downside of signing on with that contractor.
  • Hiring a licensed contractor should provide you with more peace of mind.
  • If you live in a community with an HOA, make sure the work being done meets the HOA’s standards.
  • Never let any work start until you have signed the contract.

Decide what is your level of confidence with each contractor. If one company impresses you the most, but they’re not the lowest cost, ask the contractor why that is. You might find they are installing a higher grade product, or they invest in better insurance coverage for their workers, or they invest in a strong benefits package so they can secure the best field and office teams to provide the best service in the area.

If you are thinking about going with a contractor solely based upon them being the lowest bid, be sure to compare the products being installed and the warranties being provided.  When it comes to their roofs, most homeowners find peace of mind is their highest priority.

Hire well with our team, such as Boaz Clark, so the job gets done well.

Comprehensive Roofing Services for Your Home or Business

With an exploration of our roofing services, you will gain valuable insight into how we can effectively meet your individual roofing requirements. We offer comprehensive solutions custom-fit to tackle any problem you may have – be it a minor repair or full replacement job. Our experts are highly trained and well versed in the entire construction process, from helping choose the right materials to making sure that all expectations are met with the finished product!

If you’re looking for roofing services in Roswell GA, don’t hesitate to read through our roofing blogs and learn more about how we can assist you. We guarantee excellent service quality and utilize only the best materials so that your experience with us is reliable, effective, and efficient. Our team will make sure that your needs are met while surpassing all expectations!

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