Bad contractors are a significant risk for the unwary homeowner. Not only can they extend a project's timeline by months, but they'll also take advantage of your naivete to skim more money off of you. While you need to watch for warning signs of a scammer, it's equally important to ask the right questions before hiring them.
For example, how much information can you find out about this contractor with a quick online search? How forthcoming are they about their prior work history and experience?
Here are seven important questions to ask roofing companies in Florida before they work for you.
1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
The first thing you should always verify is a contractor's qualifications. A roofing company should always have this information posted somewhere on their website. This may include details like the brands they use, any local organizations they're part of, and the services offered.
Most importantly, they should have a roofing license in your city and state. In Florida, a contractor must have a license if they want to legally do work.
In addition, the company they work for must provide both worker's compensation and liability insurance. The last thing you want is for a roofer to fall off of your home and sue you for damages. You also want the company to take responsibility if they make any mistakes and need to make repairs.
You can verify a contractor's license at www.myfloridalicense.com.
2. How Long Has Your Business Operated in This Area?
Another way to protect yourself is by hiring a local roof company that has operated in your area for a while. If they're well established in your town and known by the community, then that means they must be doing something right.
In addition, hiring a local contractor means that they'll always be available when you need them. If you hire outside of your city, then you may need to schedule a visit well in advance.
Try to avoid any new contractors until they've developed some connections in your area. You never know if people new to your area are legitimate or not.
3. How Do You Get Rid of Refuse Material?
One concern homeowners may have is whether or not their contractor will leave a mess when they're done. Ideally, they'll have some kind of method for getting rid of their refuse material. It should never be your responsibility.
Make sure that they bring some kind of contractor bin for their waste. They may also opt to bring a dump truck to gather it all up.
What matters is that they don't litter your property with nails and shingles while they work. Even if they pick it all up later on, it's still likely that they'll have damaged your yard in some way.
4. How Will You Protect My Property?
It's expected that a roofing contractor may have to tear apart your roof in order to install a new one. However, any damage they create should be contained to the area they're working in. They most certainly shouldn't be leaving behind debris during standard roof maintenance or roof repair.
Ask your contractor how they're going to protect the rest of your property while they work. What steps will they take to prevent damage to your landscaping and lawn?
If they do manage to cause some minor damage to something like your siding, will they take responsibility for it?
Most of this information should be included in the contract. If not, then you may need to push for it to get added.
5. What is the Warranty On Your Work?
How long your roof lasts will depend on the type you've purchased. Something like an asphalt roof should last for up to 25 years. A tile roof made out of clay or cement can last up to 70 years.
However, it also depends on the workmanship that goes into it as well as how stormy weather affects your roof. That's where the warranty comes into play.
A standard roof warranty provides protection for labor and installation. Extended warranties are designed to offer coverage through the manufacturer if any of their components fail.
At the very least, your contractor should offer a standard roof warranty. You can purchase them for anywhere from one year to a lifetime guarantee. Make sure to understand what exactly the warranty covers.
6. Can I Have a Timeline for the Project?
A simple roof repair can be completed in a day. More extensive repairs may take upwards of a week. If you're getting a roof replacement, it could take multiple weeks.
As a homeowner, you should find out the timeline for the project and how long it could take to complete. You may need to find other accommodations if the damage is extensive and could take some time. It's also likely that you'll need to cover up your furnishings while they work, just in case there's stormy weather.
7. Who Are Your References?
Finally, ask your roofing company if they can provide you with any references to reach out to. Speaking to past customers can help you learn more about how their roofers acted on the job and how quickly they worked.
If a roofing services provider refuses to provide references, then that suggests they have something to hide. It's also possible that they haven't established ongoing relationships with their customers, which is another red flag.
Work With Quality Roofing Companies in Florida
Even in the case of an emergency roofing situation, you always need to ask the right questions. It's all too easy to find sketchy roofing companies in Florida that would jump at the chance to take advantage of homeowners. But once you start asking questions, they're quick to run and hide.
You won't have that issue with TEK Construction Group. We offer quality roofing services in the Orlando, FL area. Contact us today for a free roofing inspection and to learn more about our line of work.