A new roof system comes with a hefty price tag—it’s one of the biggest exterior building components you’ll ever need. It’s also one of the rare building elements that’s primarily built on site and needs to be properly applied for long-term performance.
The roof system is made up of a number of different components—deck, insulation, membrane and flashings—that need to interact with each other in perfect harmony. If any of these components aren’t properly applied, they can cause premature system failure. That’s why choosing the right roofing contractor is key to the system’s service life success.
Here are 10 things to consider when vetting and choosing a good roofer.
Cost is often the deciding factor when selecting a contractor for your project. It continues to be one of the most important factors in your roof purchase process. The traditional process calls for several contractors to submit bid estimates for the work that needs to be done. In this process, the contractor is chosen based on the lowest price they can come up with. This is a common format used in public bids for state, local, and federal government projects where the rules say that a low bidder has to be awarded the project, unless there is a reason to reject the bid.
If you’re choosing contractors on the basis of price, you’ll want to make sure they’re at least as qualified as the ones you’re bidding on. That’s why pre-qualifying your contractors is so important. It ensures that they’re all equally qualified to get the job done. The contractors you’re bidding on should have the same level of professionalism, experience and workmanship.
Scope of Work
There are many different types of roofing materials and systems on the low slope commercial market. Additionally, there are various application methods (recover or replacement) that will affect the cost of your project. The best way to ensure that all contractors bid on your project is to provide a work scope (design specifications) that includes materials, systems and application methods.
Ask the contractor to provide the company’s financial statements for a reasonable period of time (usually 3 to 5 years). Make sure the contractor is solvent and has the right financial means to get the job done. Financial stability becomes more critical as the project progresses. If the contractor can’t get the job done, it will be next to impossible to find another contractor to finish the job.
Experience and History
Experience is important. A well-established company can give you a certain degree of credibility based on the idea that they wouldn’t be in business without quality workmanship. Make sure you have the history that your company claims in your marketing materials. For example, is the ownership and management consistent or has the company recently changed hands? This could affect how the company operates today. Make sure you’ve worked under the same company name and tax ID number. Also, make sure you haven’t filed for bankruptcy or had any delinquent taxes in the past.