Most homeowners find that installing a new metal roof is a big project. The cost and expectations of a new metal roof show how important it is to find a reliable roofing contractor to ensure the roof is properly installed.
Once you have decided that you need a new roof and know all of the benefits of metal roofing, the next step is to find qualified contractors in your area who specialize in metal roofing. Most homeowners have learned the hard way that hiring the wrong contractor makes things more likely to go wrong.
As you might expect, contractors who only “dabble” or install metal roofing on occasion will often steer homeowners toward shingles because it is their comfort zone. Do not let their comfort zone force you to accept a short-term solution for one of your most valuable investments, your home.
Fortunately, there are ways to determine whether the metal roofer you are considering is credible and capable of providing you with the quality roof you require. You can easily find the best metal roofer for your roofing project by conducting thorough research while keeping the following factors in mind.
Ask family and friends who have installed a metal roof about their experience.
Look for recently completed roofing projects in your neighborhood and ask about the contractor used. Nothing beats a referral and a detailed understanding of how a contractor performed.
When possible, choose local roofing contractors. When compared to out-of-town contractors, the fact that they operate in your area means that they can be much more responsive and capable of providing the best possible service.
Hiring a local roofer is also advantageous because their familiarity with local building codes reduces the likelihood of noncompliance issues.
You might also find Home Advisor and the Better Business Bureau useful. Look for positive reviews, ratings, and a large number of projects.
Search the Internet
Begin by searching for terms such as “metal roofing contractor” or “metal roofing installation” to find a list of local contractors.
Consider the following when reviewing contractor websites:
• Customer testimonials and product types offered.
• If they blog, read several articles and decide if they appear to be a reputable company you’d like to work with.
NOTICE: Not every contractor has a website. The absence of a website does not always cause concern. Some smaller contractors do excellent work but do not have the funds or resources to create a website. While reviewing contractor websites should be part of your research, don’t rule someone out just because they don’t have their website.
Search for the contractor’s business name to find their Google My Business page. This page has a lot of reviews and comments that are helpful.
Check to see if they have a Facebook page as well. There’s a good chance that you can learn a lot about them by looking at who follows them and what people say about their posts.
Reach Out To Contractors
It’s finally time to decide after you’ve researched and identified your top two or three contenders. When you contact them, ask about their experience, product recommendations, and process.
While you are not limited, here are a few questions to consider as you begin conversations with contractors:
• Have you been installing residential metal roofing for a long time?
• How many different types of metal roofing projects have you worked on?
• Have you used any other types of systems?
• What substrate do you use?
• What paint system do you use and why for residential metal roof projects?
• What residential metal roofing training has your crew received?
• How long is the warranty for both the product and the installation?
• If I file a claim, does the warranty cover labor or only product replacement?
• Could you provide me with a list of references for residential metal roofing projects you’ve completed?
When choosing a contractor for a metal roof, buyers must consider experience. A contractor with years of experience has an advantage over those who are new to installing residential metal roofing.
More experienced roofing contractors are also likely to be more familiar with a broader range of roofing situations and, thus, better prepared to deal with them.
Finally, remember that while the price is important, it is not the only factor to consider. Most people are willing to pay a few dollars more for a responsive, available, courteous contractor with the necessary level of experience installing metal roofing.
It’s important to ask for references from the contractor’s existing customers. Yes, they will probably be the happiest ones, but that’s fine if the contractor has a lot of long-term satisfied customers.
Always ask a prospective roofing contractor for a portfolio of previous roof installations or repairs. You’ll be able to see the quality of their work for yourself, which should help you decide if they’re a good fit.
A typical portfolio for a roofing contractor has printed photos in a photo album or digital photos on laptops or tablets. Videos are also quite common, especially now that aerial drone technology is more accessible and can provide a much closer look at their work.
Confirm Licensing and Industry Associations
Licensing and insurance are required. Each state is different, so do your research and find out what it takes to be a roofing contractor in your state. All employees and subcontractors should be insured, and the roofing contractor should be willing to provide you with a copy of their insurance certificate for verification. Any contractor who is hesitant to share this information should be avoided.
A roofing contractor’s license ensures they are qualified to provide roof repair and replacement services in your area. Being a licensed roofer also means following the state’s roofing laws and guidelines.
Insurance, on the other hand, is your assurance that you will not be held liable for any third-party injuries or property damage that occurs while they are working on your roof. On the other hand, if you hire a roofer who isn’t insured, you’ll probably have to pay for any damage that might happen.
You can also ensure that the roofer you hire isn’t a “storm chaser” by looking at their license and insurance policy. “Storm chaser” is a derogatory term for contractors who pose as roofers and offer their services to people who don’t know who they are, usually after severe weather.
Too many homeowners have been taken advantage of by these storm chasers, who often charge less to get more customers but do a rushed, poor job, if they do any work at all.
Collect Roofing Estimates
Obtaining roofing estimates from at least three different roofing companies is critical. You can compare prices, materials, warranties, and other factors if you have more than one.
These estimates will also include the roofing companies. If the estimate is free and clearly outlines the essential aspects of the individual project, you know you’re dealing with a professional roofer.
A professional roofing estimate will include labor costs, a description of the materials, warranty types, payment methods, total cost, and the start and completion dates of the roofing project.
4 Red Flags to Look Out for in a Roofing Contractor
1. Poor Online Reputation
Your research will most likely include visits to several websites that post ratings and reviews of contractors in your area. This is a good place to start when looking for metal roofing contractors in your area, but keep in mind that not every review is legitimate. Investigate a roofing contractor’s online reputation by searching for their company name and the words “scam,” “rip-off,” “lawsuit,” or “complaint.” If you notice a pattern of news articles or lawsuits, you may want to avoid that contractor.
2. Low Bids and Upfront Payment in Full
While most metal roofing contractors will ask for a down payment, this is not causing concern and is a common business practice. Be wary of extremely low bids and/or metal roofing contractors who require full payment upfront.
3. Poor Communication
If a potential metal roofing contractor is unresponsive during the bidding process, communication is unlikely to improve once the project begins. Look for a metal roofing contractor who communicates effectively and responds quickly.
4. No Proof of Metal Roofing Experience
A reputable metal roofer will be happy to provide references and examples of their previous work. For example, if they only show you asphalt roofs they’ve worked on, or if they can’t give you references from people who have used their metal roofing services, that’s usually a major red flag.
Through open communication, it is essential to build a good professional relationship with your metal roofer. It is important to feel at ease enough with the roofer to ask questions about the roofing project and your specific needs.
All the factors listed above can help you locate the best, most dependable metal roofer for your roofing project, whether it is a roof replacement or a roof repair.
Please contact us today if you have any questions or want to speak with one of our metal roofing experts in Glen Burnie, Maryland.