When determining a roofing company, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of companies to choose from. Everyone has different needs for their home and unique qualities to account for in their roofing needs and concerns. This is especially true in Jacksonville where the companies are as diverse as the roofing requirements and expectations. In determining the best company and route for you, there are certain key things to can ask to determine the best company that matches your particular needs. Below, we have list 18 questions to ask the Jacksonville roofing company to determine it’s suitability for your particular roofing task:
1. How Long Have You Been In This Business?
This should be readily available information from the contractor. It is also easily verifiable information, if you’re willing to do a little website search on the Secretary of State’s Business site. This will assist in seeing if they really have indeed been in business as long as they claim. More time means more experience with an array of repairs and situations that may present themselves in your particular roofing needs. If their information does not match up with what is found online, it could be indicative of a company that has moved from place to place and performing less than satisfactory work.
2. What kind of licensing do you have?
The license is a company’s permission to do business in your area. You will want to consider a roofing company that has the appropriate licensing for the city and state they work in. It is important that the license be for your city and state as the code requirements can be different for roofs from city to city. This license should be active, not expired, and should not have any penalties on their name. To not do business with a roofing company that has a license is a risk for you as there is no safety net if things go wrong.
3. Is the company bonded?
A bonded company is an insured company. A bonded company is insurance for your home that the roofing company performed their job appropriately. The safety net here is that if the job is not done satisfactorily, the bond insurer will provide compensation for the botched job.
4. Do you have insurance?
Another safety net is asking whether the roofing company offers workman’s compensation insurance. This is essential to roofing work. There are too many risks for injury when combining exhaustive work, heavy equipment and high places on inclines. Workman’s compensation is now required by law, but there are still contractors who do not. It is a warning sign when they do not, especially since, if an injury occurs, you are are the chopping block of liability. If someone is injured on your property while working on your roof, you could end up not only paying for the roof, but forking over hundreds if not thousands of dollars to pay for someone’s medical bills.
Workman’s compensation covers the workers, ensuring that the roofing company has this is essential. Another essential type of insurance is general liability insurance. This insurance covers your home in the case of further damage. This could be in the form of breaking a window from a ladder slipping, or even the extreme of if your home burns down from a faulty power tool. Without this type of insurance, you will be relying on your own home owners insurance and income to repair the damage or replace the lost.
In either case, do not be shy, ask to see the proof of insurance on both of these.
5. Do you use any subcontractors?
If the company you are interviewing uses subcontractors, this can be a huge warning sign. When using subcontractors, there is no guarantee of their efficiency or the quality of work you will receive. They may not be affiliated with the present company at all, meaning they may also not be bonded or insured. WARNING SIGN!
6. Who Will Be At My House Doing The Work?
It is always wise to be aware of who will be at your home and doing what. It may not be essential to memorize their names, but it is advisable to know how many people the crew will be comprised of, who is your point man or project manager, and whether it will always be the same crew working on your home.
7. Will the roofing company obtain the necessary permits?
There are different means of acquiring permits. The easiest and best situation is if the roofing company will acquire it for you. There will be less chance of error with this method.
8. Do you have a warranty, what does it include?
Warranties are amazing. These can cover not only the work performed, but the materials used. Some material warranties are void if not installed properly, which is almost guaranteed if not working with a knowledgeable roofer. Be sure to get a copy of the warranty; do not rely on verbal guarantees of warranty. Get it in writing!
9. What may cause a variance from the price listed in the estimate?Contractors aren’t omniscient, but there are a list of issues that can result or arise on any job. These can include discovering rot or water damage underneath a roof, damaged beams, etc.
10. How long will the job take?
A good contractor, void of accounting for unforeseeable circumstances, should be able to give you a clear timeline to give an expectation of how long the job will last. It is always good to anticipate a failed timeline. It would be wise to ask about what happens if they go over the anticipated amount of time to complete the job.
11. Will My Bid Be Itemized?
Receiving a bill can sometimes be full of additional and costly surprises. There could also be padding involved on the bottom line. There could be additional materials you didn’t pay for or other fees that were not discussed. The best way to account and cover yourself for these surprises is to receive an itemized bid on the work. Be sure to remember that this itemized bid is an anticipated amount and is by no means a final guaranteed estimate. There is a risk of unforeseeable surprises in every job. Look for a bid that includes a clear statement of charges, a estimate of ordinary things that could cause a jump in the price, and an statement of what will happen if a difficulty should develop that will change your final invoice.
12. Does this include removal of the old roof?
This is an important question, as some crews will leave the disposal of your old roof to you, or leave it on the curb for the garbage a week from now. Ordinarily, this is a standard and included service with contractors, but it is best to ensure that it is included. Best not to leave it to chance, or you could receive a bill with an additional fee for removal of the old roof as a hidden surprise.
13. Can You Provide Customer References?
Customer references are always reassuring. This is a way to have the contractor’s work and customer satisfaction speak for itself. This is a great way to see what the public’s opinion is of this company. If a review includes personal information, including an address and phone number, even better, as that is verifiable.
14. How Will You Take Care Of My Property While You’re Doing The Job?
This is an important question! More often than not, a home owner will consider what is going on on the roof and not consider the effect it will have on the rest of the property. This includes considerations such as where their dumpster will be placed (on your driveway can result in cracking and more damage, for example), effect on the gutters, how they will deal with rainy weather with an open roof, or how they expect to clean up after themselves every day or after the work is completed. The roofer you want to talk to is the roofer that has a plan for how to ensure their customer’s property is respected and well maintained during their visit.
15. What training is the crew given?
Most crews learn on the job, as there are no specific requirements for training for roofers. This type of training is the norm. However, a huge plus to look for is whether the crew has had training from a manufacturer. An additional plus if it is the manufacturer of the materials being installed on your roof. In a perfect world, look for a crew that has experience installing your specific type of roof and materials.
16. Who will be my point of contact for the project?
It will hopefully never be necessary, but having a plan of communication in case unforeseeable circumstances arise. A constant person on site for you an put you at ease as there is a responsible party on site for you. Having a project manager’s contact information can allow for a huge peace of mind when worrying about coming home and seeing damage or an open roof before a storm. A good roofing company will have a project manager on site for you throughout the project.
17. What are your plans in the case of bad weather during a project?
This is an important question to consider here in Florida where it will be sunny one moment and pouring rain five minutes from now. You want to hear your interviewed company have a plan for the rain. This should include tarps or plastic covers, means of securing it on your roof, and a similar way to cover the materials to be used. It would also behoove you to ask, in the case of not just a summer rain but a long term downpour, if someone is responsible for coming by to ensure that the home is remaining dry or to secure the covering further if winds pick up.
18. What If An Issue Comes Up Where A Customer Is Not Satisfied?
The company having a plan in this instance is a sign of a well planned company. Every company should have a plan for customers to file complaints and a standardized procedure of how to correct these grievances. Knowing this procedure can ensure that your take the proper steps with your grievance to ensure it is remedied expeditiously and satisfactorily.
When considering a company for your roofing needs in Jacksonville is an involved task that includes an expanse of companies to pick from. With the myriad of companies to pick from, these 18 questions should help isolate the good from the bad and the questionable from the legitimate. These questions should assist in determining the company best for your roofing needs and those that will provide you with an abundance of quality and peace of mind.