WHAT CAN A PROFESSIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTOR OFFER ME?
A professional roofing contractor may have a large or small business. They may have been in business 50 years or just a few years. But all have some traits in common. Professional roofing contractors are:
Well Established. A professional roofing contractor will have a permanent place of business, a telephone number, a tax identification number and where appropriate, certification or a business license.
Experienced and Knowledgeable. The contractor should be an experienced problem-solver, with a thorough understanding of his/her industry. Roofing skills cannot be learned overnight. There are accepted methods for installing flashing around pipes, vents and chimneys. Often, roofing materials are incompatible and can cause problems if applied by an amateur.
Insured and Committed to Safety. Roofing is a dangerous business. A sloppy operation can endanger workers and bystanders, and cause property damage. Don't be shy about asking the contractor for proof of the insurance he carries. Beware the low bidder who's cheap because he doesn't have complete insurance, including workers' compensation coverage. Too many unsuspecting home and building owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured contractors.
Committed to Education. The roofing industry offers a variety of educational programs that a professional roofing contractor will have attended. More important, the best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who actually install your roof. Insist on having trained, experienced roofing mechanics, instead of laborers employed for one or two interim jobs.
Using Quality Materials. In today's market, you can buy dozens of different types of roofs. A professional roofing contractor is interested in more than simply getting the job done and moving on; he/she will offer service after the sale and application. Ask for a fair guarantee, written in language you can understand.
A guarantee is only as good as the company giving it. What good is a guarantee when the roofing company that did your roof is out of business? A professional roofing contractor with a proven track record will still be in business should a problem arise.
WHY A PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR?
A professional is recognized as a person who has a specialized body of knowledge and has received intensive training in a particular field. Another common way of determining that people are professionals is by contrasting them with amateurs, and that's exactly what we'd like to talk to you about.
The roofing technology has changed markedly in the last 10 years. New roof coverings, insulation materials and innovative application techniques demand the education and expertise of a professional.
Roofing is a relatively "easy-entry" business. Frankly, not all roofing contractors are professionals, and too many home and building owners have paid dearly for using amateurs. You don't have to do more than glance at the Yellow Pages to see that there are hundreds of people calling themselves roofing contractors. A year-to-year comparison of the Yellow Pages will show you that many contractors do not stay in business for very long.
Roofing is a complicated and demanding trade. A professional roofing contractor must have knowledge of materials and building technology, and a trained and skilled work force to give the best possible service to his/her customers.
Because an informed customer is a good customer, find out as much as you can about the contractor you are considering. To get the job done right the first time, and to avoid costly repairs later, insist on a professional.
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas has also developed the Licensed Roofing Contractor Program to increase consumer protection and secure the public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor's knowledge, skills, and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation. Be sure to select the "Licensed Contractor" box when searching our site for member roofing contractors.
Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LICENSED ROOFING CONTRACTORS AND THOSE NOT LICENSED? Answer: Licensed roofing contractors simply prove, by voluntarily completing the application process and passing the licensing exam, that they have the technical and business knowledge to provide top quality service.
Q. HOW DOES THE LICENSING PROGRAM HELP PREVENT CUSTOMERS FROM GETTING TAKEN BY "FLY-BY-NIGHT" OPERATIONS?Answer: All licensed roofing contractors are required to provide proof that they have been doing business in Texas for at least three years. These are usually established, qualified contractors who plan to be around for a long time. After all, a warranty is only as good as the company that offers it.
Q. WHY ISN'T THE LOWEST BID ALWAYS THE BEST DEAL? Answer: There are many factors in addition to cost to consider. A roof needs to be done right the first time. Otherwise you may face high repair cost--or even have to have the roof entirely redone. Q. WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE I'M WORKING WITH A PROFESSIONAL? Answer:
Be sure you're comfortable with the contractor and the roof system he/she is suggesting. A pro is going to be happy to answer your questions.
Check customer references. Ask for the names of several customers with roofs similar to yours. Be sure the contractor has performed as promised.
Check financial information. A professional roofing contractor will give you the names of creditors and banking references. Make sure the roofing contractor is a responsible business person.
Call the Better Business Bureau. You will find out quickly if there have been a lot of complaints about the contractor or if any complaints have not been satisfactorily resolved.
Insist on a written proposal. You'll get it from a professional roofing contractor. Examine it to make sure you think it is complete and fair.
Do not sign any document until you have had time to review the document.
Q. HOW DO I FIND A PROFESSIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTOR? Answer:
Ask friends and neighbors who have had roofing work done about their satisfactory experiences with contractors, and ask those contractors for bids on your job. Or call (512) 251-7690 and we will give you the names of roofing contractors in your area, search our membership list, or search our member list for RCAT Licensed Roofing Contractors.
Call the RCAT office for a recommendation of a roofing contractor in your area.