5 Simple Steps for Hiring a Roofing Contractor: A Checklist
After a storm, discovering you have damage to your roof is scary and stressful. It needs to be fixed immediately, and doing so while juggling the hassle of filing an insurance claim to repair or replace your roof can be challenging. Finding a reliable and trustworthy roofing contractor is your second step in repairing post-storm damage, following finding that damage in the first place. An experienced contractor will help guide you throughout the claims process with your insurance company, and ensure that your home is restored to its original condition as quickly as possible.
At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your roofing project. Throughout our years of doing homeowner surveys, our homeowners seeking roof repairs/replacements are consistently found to be the most stressed. With a checklist in hand and armed with information, you can help take control of a very stressful time. Here’s what to do.
1. Find a Reliable Roofing Contractor
The homeowner insurance claim process is usually prompted by an emergency repair. To restore the comfort, safety, and privacy of your home, you will need to have the repair or replacement done as soon as possible.
That’s why you’ll want to find a contractor you can trust— a local professional who can get the job done quickly and assist with your claims process:
2. Vet Your Roofing Contractors
It’s important to find a reliable roofing contractor so that your repair or replacement can be done as quickly as possible. To determine the best professional fit for your roofing project:
- Request quotes from three to four contractors in your area.
- Visit the website of each contractor.
- Is it updated and professional looking?
- Explore the customer reviews for each contractor.
- Are they mostly positive? Consider negative reviews and responses.
- Ask each roofing contractor on the phone the following questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- How much experience do you have with roof repairs or installations?
- What is your project estimate?
- Can you provide a list of references?
- Can you provide proof of insurance for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage?
After obtaining three or four written estimates and vetting each of your potential contractors, you are ready to meet with and present the estimates to your insurance adjuster. An appointment with your adjuster is part of the insurance claim process. Your project quotes will guide the cost of your repair or replacement and will be necessary for your insurance adjuster to approve the contractor’s work.
3. Meet With Your Top Contractors
Meet in-person with your top contractors to review project-specific details and expectations. We have created a free worksheet to help homeowners compare contractors. Be sure to discuss the following with each contractor:
- Ask for proof of insurance, which should provide their insurance company name, policy number, and policy limits.
- Discuss who will manage warranty details and responsibility.
- Make sure to get a fixed price before signing a contract.
4. Be Aware of Warning Signs
Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of contractors who are not honest professionals. Many of these door-to-door contractors flock to areas impacted by storms, and scam unsuspecting homeowners with offers that boast pre-payment or covered deductibles.
The best way to avoid scams is to choose a local, trusted contractor. You can confirm this by checking their physical business address and validating their licensing.
Here are additional warning signs to keep in mind:
- Avoid contractors who request the entire project cost, or large cash deposit, up front.
- Avoid anyone who pressures you to sign a contract immediately.
- Be wary of any outliers in your quotes. All estimates should be relatively similar unless the material type is significantly different.
5. Prepare for Your Final Contractor Meeting
At the final meeting, there a few steps to go over before the roofing contractor begins your project.
- Reconfirm your initial quote.
- Agree upon a payment plan.
- Obtain a paper trail of the following:
- Your contract
- Project plans
- Order changes
- Bills and invoices
- Proof of insurance and/or permitting, and
- Contractor correspondence
The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your roofing repair or replacement project is in good hands.