Whenever we are required to undertake major projects, like replacing a roof, we take on a great deal of stress. Projects like having a new roof installed on your house can be particularly stressful because we fear the expense, the quality and whether or not we got taken advantage of.

Most of us are not professional roofers (if we were, this wouldn’t even be an issue) and therefore we have little understanding of what to expect. Finding the right contractor is key. If you find a roofing company you can trust, most of the worry evaporates. But how do you find the right roofing company? Here are five keys.

Licensing

Is this a licensed roofing company or is it simply a collection of guys who think they can install shingles? There are lots of people who are capable of installing shingles, but remember, this is a major part of your home. It has value and a good roof adds value. If you choose poorly, the roofer my not stand by their work, guarantee their results and could even do damage.

A properly licensed roofer will give you the peace of mind that the work will be done well and that subsequent work will fall under a guarantee. Remember, this project is expected to last twenty years. If your roofing company isn’t expected to exist past the season, you can’t expect them to be responsible for issues that surface down the road.

Financing

Although you can find external sources to finance your project, finding roofing companies with financing is a good idea. Not only does it make the financing of the project simpler, it gives you insight into the company.

If they are willing to finance the project, they are also more likely to do a good job as they have their money involved. Also, their terms are often better because they are trying to win the bid for the job. Make sure you understand the terms of the financing, though. The interest rates and compounding tables can change the cost of the project and turn a real deal into a disaster.

Training

Find out if the company has any sort of training. This is important because climbing around on a roof is dangerous. You don’t just hand someone a nail gun and expect them to know what they are doing. If they have no procedures to help employees learn about safety, they could have an increased liability. This could increase the cost of their work and it could mean more mistakes on your project.

You want to minimize the chances of some worker falling off your roof or through it. Even if such an event doesn’t cost you, it is unwelcome. Also, well trained employees tend to do better work and finish faster.

Referrals

In the age of Yelp and online reviews, take the extra time to read what others have said about the company. If they have a lot of complaints, avoid them. If people (especially plural) are willing to go online and spend the time writing a complaint about a company, that should be considered credible. Perhaps you can use the reviews to interview the company and ask about the reviews.

If they used the feedback to improve their process, then that could be a good sign. If they merely dismiss the critics as nuts, then move on. They don’t take responsibility for their work and reputation. A standard rule is that three positive referrals is the minimum for a large project like a roof. Don’t be afraid to ask around either. Your friends care for you and will generally let you know if they have heard good things or bad things about a company.

Insurance

Does the company carry liability insurance? This matters, because even the most skilled workers can cause inadvertent damage. If they don’t carry insurance, this could either burden you with the cost or create an unwelcome civil suit situation. The last thing you want is to have to chase down your roofing company to make them pay for damages. Companies that carry insurance are more likely to handle accidents professionally and swiftly.

Replacing your roof after time is necessary. It is important for the value of your home, both financially and intrinsically. Who you choose to tackle the project matters because you are dealing with work that affects the resale value of your home, costs thousands of dollars and affects the way your house looks.

Make sure you consider these five keys when hiring a roofing company. If you consider these keys, you are more likely to enjoy the roof over your head and not regret hiring the wrong crew. These key points will help you save money and avoid headaches that arise from a poor choice.

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