Most homeowners start by searching for qualified contractors online or getting recommendations from friends, family and coworkers. Make a list of about two to five siding and roofing companies. Do they have a proven reputation for providing quality services throughout the community? Consult their online reviews such as Google and Facebook. Check with your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints that have been filed. By now, you should be able to narrow the list and meet with about two to three. But, it doesn’t end there.
From warranty coverage to evaluating your estimate, here are 9 questions to ask potential siding and roofing contractors that will help you make your final decision.
- How long have you been in business? Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax identification number and, where required, a business license. And, avoid using door-to-door contractors. Many fraudulent roof scams can be traced back to door knocking contractors, so only accept bids from local contractors you have called.
- Do you have adequate insurance coverage? Your roofer should carry insurance to help protect your home from accidental damage.
- Do you comply with all local building codes and are you properly licensed and bonded to perform siding and roofing?
- What is the warranty and workmanship coverage? New siding or a roof is a big investment, typically involving thousands of your hard-earned dollars and lasting 25, 30, 40 years, or more. Your contractor should be able to offer a warranty that may include workmanship coverage. For siding look for a lifetime material warranty and an as long you own your home labor warranty. For your roof seek a 50 year full material and 10 year labor warranty.
- Which materials do you recommend using on my house? Not all roofing and siding products are the same, so be sure your contractor works with a name you can trust, such as GAF, Owens Corning, Exterior Portfolio, James Hardie Siding, Allura Siding, and Royal Celect Composite Siding. Most contractors try to give their customers service equivalent to the full value of their money. Unfortunately, home improvement rackets do exist.
- Will you provide me with a written estimate? Your contractor should provide a complete description of the work to be performed. It should include approximate starting and completion dates. Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, price is only one criterion for selecting a contractor. Professionalism and quality workmanship also should weigh heavily on your decision.
- For roofing, will you install synthetic underlayment? Roofers will install either a synthetic or felt underlayment as the first layer of protection on your roof deck. If you’re looking for advanced protection against leaks, water absorption, and mold then you’ll want to make sure your contractor will use a synthetic product rather than felt.
- For roofing, will you install ice and water barriers? Additional ice and water barriers between the shingles may be needed to help prevent ice damming, wind driven rain, or collected water.
- Will you follow the manufacturer’s specifications? Your contractor should be familiar with and follow all manufacturer’s specifications since improper application can affect your manufacturer’s warranty.
Your home is an investment in your quality of life as well as in it’s resale value. Print this checklist to keep on hand when talking with roofing and siding companies. Getting these questions answered will help you narrow down your selection and hire the right siding and roofing contractor.