Everybody knows what you don't want: fly-by-nights, storm troopers, uninsured, crooks...
But what do you want in your roofer so you can determine what he can do for you?
Stability is the word we're looking for. Even the best make mistakes. No one is perfect. The rub is whether or not your contractor will be in business.
Ask his wholesaler how long he has know the roofer, how long he has purchased from them, and is his credit line in good shape.
Ask the manufacturer's rep if the roofer is trained in the necessary procedures to install and ventilate your roof.
Ask him the name of his foreman and what color car or truck he drives. How long has he worked for them? turnover is acceptable only if there is training and massive supervision. Otherwise you may be an experiment and strangers may be unleashed on your home.
Recent and old references not only for the company but also for the salesman you have are a good indicator of his prowess as a roof consultant. Phone numbers alone will not do but names and addresses are a must.
Why not ask to see the job du jour to see how Aunt Bea's flowers are holding up under the onslaught of massive deconstruction and rebuilding. How did XYZ Roofing handle the murdered pansies? Did they hem and haw, give a credit, or run out and buy more than were mangled and plant them?
The labor warranty, the level (yes level) of manufacturer's warranty, the schedule and duration and payment options are important. Never pay half before materials and workers both have arrived and work has commenced.
Will their be supervision and follow up inspections? Will the manufacture come look at the job?
Any certifications? Serious business people love plaques, certificates, honors, accolades and such. They also need to know that they are on the cutting edge of technology and not bumpkins who know less than the homeowner does.
Ask the salesman if he has applied the "300 Rule" or better to his system. Ask him what the wind upgrade requires. Ask if he has any manufacturer certifications, is a member of any roofing trade group or is a member of any consumer protection groups like Angie's List.
If the roofer wants to start tomorrow, needs money now, has no references, does not know his foreman, has no insurance, does not pay his supplier, is not listed on the BBB for at least two years (boy am I going easy on that one), has no certificates of training, has out of state plates or driver's license, doesn't speak English, has shifty eyes, has a criminal record or bad record with the BBB (and boy is that hard to do), or reeks of drugs and alcohol, well, you might think twice of using him.
Shake the claw at him and look into his eyes.
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