How to Select a Contractor
DaVinci Roofscapes, Sustainable Start to Finish
- Try to find at least 2 or 3 contractors to interview so you will have a choice.
- Recommendations from friends or people in the neighborhood are a great place to start.
- Established roofing materials distributors are a good source for identifying contractors. They usually know who’s been around and who pays their bills.
- It is a good idea to talk to a codes official in your area. They usually know who does good work and who complies with codes without having to be reminded.
Doing due diligence on a roofing contractor
Find out how long the contractor has been in business. It is best to use a contractor with a minimum 3-5 years experience.
- This can often be done by searching state databases for corporations.
- Physical addresses can generally be researched from property tax reports.
- Roofing materials distributors can help here too.
- Ask for 5-7 references of similar kinds of re-roofs and call at least 2 or 3.
Ask if they have worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
- Tell the contractor you will require a certificate of insurance (in your name) if they are awarded the contract.
- The workers’ compensation must cover all the employees.
- If sub-crews are used you must verify that all workers on the sub-crew are covered with workers’ compensation.
- Worker’s compensation is especially expensive for roofing contractors (so some contractors try to work without it) and if the contractor doesn’t have it the homeowner may be liable for workers’ injuries.
- Try to get trade references from where the contractors purchase their material.
- If your jurisdiction requires a contractor’s license verify they have one. A “contractor’s license” generally requires some proof of knowledge and company stability. A business license means nothing except the contractor has paid a municipal tax.
REMEMBER THE ROOFING COMPANY'S WARRANTY IS OF NO VALUE IF THE COMPANY IS NOT AROUND TO SUPPORT IT.
- Have the exact materials being used defined by manufacturer in the proposal.
- Have some general idea of timing of the job defined in the contract. Once the job is started it must be completed when the weather permits.
- If the roof is a tear-off, define in the contract that the roofing contractor is responsible for damage inside the house once the tear-off starts.
- Have a look at the written warranty you will be given on the installation when the job is complete. Remember that it is much more important to have a very strong warranty the first 1-2 years of the warranty than having a warranty that “lasts” a very long time. Most installation problems will be apparent after one full cycle of seasons.
- It is much better as a homeowner to survive a roofing project by making sure the project is cleaned up every day.
- If you are buying a DaVinci roof and live in snow country make sure the proposal includes snow guards.
- If a roofing permit is required define who gets it and who pays for it.
- Have the payment terms completely defined.