8 Steps to quickly screen a contractor for your Roofing, Siding, Gutters, etc.
Choosing a contractor can seem like an overwhelming task, especially considering the crazy schedules we all have managed to create. By doing simple online research or by asking your contractor these very basic questions will reduce most of the problems that could potentially arise.
#1. Are you a LOCAL contractor or do you reside in another state?
Or worse yet, do they claim to be a local contractor by having a satellite office with a local address? Most times by doing some relatively minor research on the businesses web site, or by doing online searches this can be revealed. This is very important as we don’t want our contractor suddenly disappearing off the map when a potential issue may arise. Note: any contractor within about a 1-1/2 hour radius is considered in many circles a local contractor.
#2. Can your contractor be found?
Are they found on, the B.B.B (Better Business Bureau), Angie’s List, Facebook, Yelp, etc.? A non-existent contractor may be a bad sign.
#3. Does your contractor have ratings?
Google search the FULL business name, including LLC or Inc. Important note: Also include the state where the business resides. Using some of the sites listed above will help find a business ratings. Note: when searching ratings, if a company has a LOT of reviews, a few bad reviews out of many is not necessarily a sign of concern, as it’s impossible to please some people.
#4. Can your contractor give you labor warranties?
A labor warranty should be given by the contractor when the job is complete. A labor warranty covers any problems that may arise stemming from the installation of any given product. A contractor should be willing to do this, a contractor unwilling may be a red flag. A typical labor warranty is 1 year, better yet, a company willing to go 5-10 years depending on the trade is a real winner. Note: A labor warranty is NOT the same as a manufactures warranty.
#5. Does your contractor qualify to give out Manufacturers warranties?
Certain trades allow, if a company qualifies or is licensed to give out manufacturers warranties on certain products. A GAF roof for example, allows this if three or more trades fall into a certain criteria, a lifetime warranty can be given if a company qualifies. And often transferable to one other homeowner.
#6. Will the contractor show up on the job site?
Will he be showing up periodically or just sent the installers and not stop by to make sure the job is running smoothly?
#7. Is a contractor willing to finance your project?
“I don’t need someone to finance my project” you may say. But even if you do not intend to go this route it may show the stability of the company.
#8. Final Tip:
This is not so much a question to ask a company when screening them on a call, but something to look for when speaking to them or meeting them for the first time. Does the company, or the individual meeting you, show excitement for your project? This may sound minor, but in my 15 years in this field, it’s often a direct reflection of either burn out, or a dislike of one’s profession. Either way, don’t put your project in the hands of someone uninterested. Good Luck Hunting…….