In many states including New York, to qualify as a roofing contractor, all you need is a hammer and a classified ad. A bit of good news is most cities like Syracuse require permits for home improvement projects. A professional roofing contractor will know about this process and obtain all necessary permits and inspections. If a roofing contractor wants you to obtain permits, run, even worse if they attempt to do the roofing project without one, put your feet into high gear. The only real protection a consumer has in most states from rouge contractors is using their heads in the vetting process.
Replacing your roofing is a major project that needs major questions answered. This is my top 10 list.
- How many years have you been in the roofing business in Syracuse?
If a contractor hasn’t been around for a least a handful of years, or has moved in from another area or state, buyer beware. Even though they might be the best roofer in the world, you don’t want to roll the dice for the roof of your home.
- Do you sub contract the work or do you have full time employees that specialize in roof replacements and repairs? If so, who will be in charge of the project on site?
Don’t downplay the importance of who will be actually doing the work and who is the contact person in charge to answer any questions you may have.
- What is your schedule for starting and completing the job? Normal day working hours and who will contact me about any delays?
This will give you a good idea of how professional this roofing contractor is and how he operates his crew.
- Do you carry all the necessary insurances like workers compensation and liability? Have you ever been bonded?
Ask for the copies to verify the coverage. Then verify it with phone calls.
- Do you or any of your employees have any certifications from manufacturers or associations?
Certifications of mechanics or companies by roofing manufactures like GAF or Corning are a plus.
- Will you give a detailed, written proposal of the description of work and materials used?
This is where the rubber meets the road, separating the armatures from the professionals.
- What is your warranty on labor and materials, will I be given copies of both?
If the roofing contractor can’t provide them, don’t hire them.
- Can you provide customer references?
Get a list and randomly call at least 3 of them.
- Does your company have a physical address?
If the contractor or the company the agent represents only offers a P.O. Box or a distant address, it’s not a good sign.
10. Are you accredited by the BBB? Do you have any cases pending in court or arbitration?
You can check Syracuse BBB accreditations on the internet or by phone. BBB membership is not always a deal breaker, but membership is a very good sign that this contractor is serious about their reputation.