Hiring the Wrong Roofer Could be a Costly Mistake
One of the most expensive upgrades your home will ever need is a new roof.Hiring the right roofer is crucial to ensuring that your roof will be properly installed, or it could wind up being a very costly mistake. There isn't a provincial roofing watchdog agency in Ontario, so you need to do your homework before hiring a roofer. Whether you're replacing your roof in preparation to sell your home, or if you purchased a new home that is in need of a new roof, here are some important guidelines you need to consider before hiring a roofer:
Make sure the roofer your hire is established in the community. Check for details such as a street address, (not a PO Box), and a business registration number in case you need to file a complaint later on. If you only have a cell phone number and a first name, those can be red flags for potential disaster. The less information you have, the less likely you'll be able to get any satisfaction if things go wrong.
If a roofer wants 10% or more of the cost of the project up front, be careful. Roof shingles are not that expensive, so a company should have the financial means to pay for them without having to get a large sum from the customer. If a deposit is required, it should be no more than 10% of the total project cost, or nothing at all. The Canadian Roofing Contractors Association recommends no deposit at all.
A reputable roofer will always provide a detailed contract. A proper contract will include a detailed description of the work to be performed, plus a specific start date, end date, cost details and expected payment schedule. The estimate should also include disposal of old shingles and cleanup. Beware of a low-ball estimate; a roofer who does not anticipate problems or difficulties during the job will not be able to honour his original estimate. That can lead to issues with the quality of the roofer's workmanship and difficulties for the homeowner if a price significantly higher than the estimate wasn't anticipated.
Make sure your roofer does a careful, thorough inspection of your roof, and that the estimate is not just for shingling. Leaks can be caused by more than just old shingles, and you want to know exactly what needs to be done before any work commences. Every roofer needs to put up a ladder and physically check each and every roof before committing to a job, not just give a quote for shingles. If your roofer doesn't do this, it is a major red flag.
Be very wary of extended warranties or guarantees that seem too-good-to-be-true. Any guarantee is only as good as the person or company offering it to you. If a company goes out of business, your warranty goes bye-bye with it. Lifetime warranties and guarantees are especially unrealistic.
Now that you're armed with the information you need to hire a reputable roofer, you can gear up for doing what needs to be done to get your house ready for sale, or to plan on replacing your roof this spring. A new roof adds value to your home, as well as giving it a fresh, updated look.