You’ve seen and heard the horror stories with roofing contractors already, haven’t you?
Whether it happened to you, your friend, a neighbor, or a family member; most of us have heard of a roofing story or situation that did not end well.
Leaky roofs. No returned calls. Loose shingles. Trashy flower beds. Uncaring crews.
It makes you shudder, doesn’t it?
So what can you as a homeowner do about it?
Obviously there are review sites such as HomeAdvisor that you can check, or sometimes you can
find Google or Facebook reviews, but sometimes the best solution to finding the right roofing
contractor is found in 3 simple values that you can look for before you sign the contract.
What are these values?
Integrity, knowledge, and workmanship.
Integrity is simply being honest and keeping your word. If you are looking for a roofing contractor with any kind of warranty on their work, integrity is often the key.
The problem is that when they are selling you the project you don’t know if they have integrity, right? So how can you tell if they will keep their word until they work on your roof?
There are a few things to look for when you meet with your roofing contractor. These might not seem like big things, but they will give you a glimpse of how much you can trust them in the future.
Do they keep their appointment times? If they are late, do they let you know they are running late?
Do they make a lot of excuses if they make mistakes estimating and quoting the project?
Do they really care about you, or are they only there to make the sale and commission?
Are they courteous and respectful to you and your property when they look at it?
Do they make promises that seem “too good to be true”? For example, if the salesman promises that they can underbid their competition by 10%, you may want to be careful.
Are they willing to let you contact some of their former customers?
Whenever you work with someone, you want to know that they are knowledgeable in their field
and will know what they are doing when they work on your roof.
So how do you test their knowledge?
First of all, make a
list of all the
concerns you have
before you meet
with the contractor. Even simple questions that may seem dumb should be included. Make sure you
write them down and have them with you during the meeting, otherwise you will probably forget
many of them.
If the roofing contractor is able to easily answer these questions, that is a good sign.
If you ask a tough question and they say they need to research it a bit more, that is fine. Just
make sure they actually follow up and get back to you with the answer (this is a sign of integrity
However, if you notice the contractor becoming uncomfortable with the questions, having to
think very hard about simple questions, or starting to use the same answer to everything; then
you may want to dig a little deeper.
The second thing you can do is ask the salesman if you can contact someone else in the
company, particularly the operations manager or foreman.
If you can meet or talk with someone on the install team that will actually be working on your
roof, you can often determine how knowledgeable the crew and company is.
This is usually the hardest to determine because you don’t know how well their install crew will
perform until they are actually on your roof.
That’s where the power of former customers and reviews come into play.
The first thing to do is see how your roofing contractor rates in online reviews. If they don’t do
good work, you will quickly determine this by what former customers say about them.
The second thing to do is ask the roofing contractor for 2-3 homes nearby that they worked on.
You can either call the homeowner, or maybe simply drive by their house.
If the contractor is hesitant to give you contacts, or simply refuses, then you should be cautious
about potential problems that they have faced in the past with their customers.
Contractors that do good work should always have a few happy customers that will be more
than willing to talk to you about the quality of the work and the overall experience.
In summary, any time you are hiring a new roofing contractor to do work on your property, it can
be a bit scary because you won’t know about their work until it is finished.
However, if you are aware of these factors and look for these clues during the sales and
estimating process, you will be much more prepared to spot the contractors that you want to
If you are in the PA, MD, or DE areas and looking for a reputable roofing contractor, contact us at JMK Roofing today!