Whether you’re fixing or replacing a roof, choosing the right company can be a tough, complicated decision. The roof is such an essential part of your home’s structure that making the wrong choice can lead to some very serious consequences.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of roofing companies that do low quality work, so you’ll want to know what some warning signs are before making your final decision. Because you want the best option available, you should take your time and research carefully.
Here’s what to look for when deciding on a Portland roofing company.
Hire a roofing company that is local. This ensures the company, as well as crews and suppliers, will be aware of local rules and regulations. It helps if the company knows how the area you live in may affect your roof, especially when it comes to Portland where the occasional harsh weather — rain, wind, ice — can really have an impact. Using a local roofing company will also be more convenient if your roof ever needs repairs or deep cleaning.
If you’re not sure where to start, try asking for local referrals. Ask your friends, neighbors, family members, and others you know and trust who live in Portland if they have any recommendations. Ideally, the roofing company should have an established reputation where you’re looking to hire.
Be suspicious of companies that go door-to-door, leave fliers on doorknobs or in mailboxes, or that approach you first. These companies typically don’t have an established reputation and may even be a scam. Sometimes these are known as storm chasers because they come out after a bad storm has hit the area, knowing that homeowners are desperate.
Check that the company is definitely a legitimate business. Make sure it has a permanent business residence, a telephone number, a tax identification number, and a company website or email.
Don’t just choose the first company you hear about. It is usually recommended that you speak to at least three roofing companies before making a final decision. Again, because this is such an important job, you want to be absolutely sure you’re hiring the best company that offers the most competitive pricing and warranties.
Ask the roofing company for a list of references and testimonials. They should be able to provide you with at least three references, and the list should include the clients’ names and phone numbers so you can contact them. When speaking to past clients, ask if they were satisfied with the work the roofing company did and if they would work with the company again. Also, check the company’s website as it may have reviews listed there for easy access.
Look into the insurance coverage. It is incredibly important that roofing companies have liability insurance. You want to make sure you’re protected so that you will not be financially responsible if something goes wrong. Ask the name of the insurance carrier and to see an insurance certificate. You can even call the insurance carrier just to make sure the coverage is valid.
Ask for credentials and licensing. Most states, including Oregon, require contractors to be licensed, but unfortunately, there are unlicensed companies out there that do work anyway. Companies can usually provide a copy of their licenses, but you can sometimes also check their status online.
For added credentials, established roofers are also usually members of a few trade associations, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association.
See if the company has manufacturer designations. These are badges of honor and show that the company has passed certain requirements. Receiving credentials from manufacturers also mean they can offer extended warranty options. For example, Executive Roof Services is a CertainTeed ShingleMaster, which means the company provides superior workmanship and customer satisfaction and can offer the SureStart Plus extended warranty.
Look into the warranties offered. Warranties should cover the materials used as well as the workmanship. Really look over the terms and conditions of the warranties, especially how long the coverage is for. These protect you if damage shows up after the roof is installed and will certainly provide peace of mind.
Check if it’s a Better Business Bureau, or BBB, accredited business. It’s also a helpful resource if you’re just starting your search into Portland roofing companies.
Don’t only choose a company because it offers the lowest price. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, the lowest cost can sometimes mean you’ll end up with the lowest quality work. While it’s understandable that you’d want to save money, using price as the main reason behind your decision ignores too many other important factors and puts you at risk, and you can’t risk a good quality roof.
You shouldn’t choose a roofing company that requires you to pay the entire cost in cash upfront. While some down payment is typically required, that is usually just a fraction of the total cost. The standard deposit is one-third of the total cost. And you should only pay by check or credit card, not cash, for extra security.
Make sure to get everything in writing. The roofing company should be able to provide you with a written contract, which you both will sign, that clearly states the details of the job. This includes how long it will take and the costs. Be sure to read the contract very carefully before you sign.
The right Portland roofing company will make safety a priority. Make sure the employees undergo proper safety training and use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliant equipment.
Good communication between you and the company is key. You don’t want there to be any misunderstandings or miscommunication. It is imperative that with something as essential as a roof you know what to expect from the company you’ve chosen to work with before consenting to a contract and the work gets underway.
Look for a company that provides you with different options. Unfortunately, some roofing companies are very limited in what they can offer. For example, not every company is capable of working on steep pitch roofs. Look for companies that have experience with all different types of roofs, from apartment buildings to smaller homes. This also extends to the options for roofing materials. You should be able to choose from a range of materials, not just be stuck with a one-size-fits-all option. If you didn’t love the material of your old roof, this gives you the opportunity to choose something you’ll be pleased with.
Once you go through each of these steps, we’re confident you’ll find the right Portland roofing company for you.