Roofing Information for the Consumer
Everything that needs to be done to get a roofing job and complete maybe second nature to us. We done this every day for the last almost 30 years and I know my business inside and out.
But, for you the consumer the first time we speak is possibly the first time you have ever thought about your roof. To help bridge the roofing information gap I have a couple of pages you may find informative.
To promote a smoother way of communicating your problem with us we have several pages that will help. On this page alone there is a plethora of roofing information and helpful hints about roofing on what to expect from us and more importantly from other roofers.
We have a four pages of detailed Consumer Roofing information for homeowners. The page “Terms and Definitions” has complete with a diagram of a typical house with the various parts of the roof labeled for you and many definitions.
One page is devoted to what you need written on your contract to protect yourself and get what you paid for.
Another page is some simple tips for keeping tract of your project. Lastly, a detailed go through of a basic roofing contract and what certain line item mean or doesn’t mean.
What Consumers should know about Roofing Contracts
For those of you who are not familiar with construction contracts (and that describes just about everyone) we have two pages devoted specifically to the importance of having a properly written contact and what you may want to see written in your contract. anyone who is shopping for a roof or looking to hire a roofer should read both of those pages.
After reading through at least some (or all for you brave souls) of these pages you will have a leg up on what your roofer is up to while trying to write contract heavily leveraged in his favor. If after reading all of this information you decide “wouldn’t it be nice just to find someone who’s good at this and I can trust” I can honestly say is you have found him.
Tips for Choosing the Right Roofer
The first thing you need to establish is if the roofer providing you a quote has a valid State Contractors License and who exactly is the owner of this roofing company. You should always ask to see a copy of his pocket license. He should be carrying it, I do. If he does not provide at least a copy of the license he may not be licensed. The reason for seeing either his pocket license or his paper license is so that you know if the company is licensed and if your dealing with the owner of the roofing company. A “Contractor” may say they are licensed or that the own the company when in fact there is no company.
After you obtain his license number you should do a simple license status check. We have provided a link for you so that this can be easily be done by clicking this link: CSLB License Status. By clicking this link you will be directed away from this website to the Contractors State License Board’s website. Click on the button titled “License Number”. A small box will appear and that is where you you type the Contractor’s license number and then click “Search for License” button.
Checking a Contractor’s license number will tell you if the license is active or suspended, if it has judgments, unresolved complaints pending against the license, what year he /she received the license (Contractors are notorious for saying they have been in business for more years than they actually have been), and you can get the Workers Compensation history which could very interesting for you to know.
After you know that the contractor is properly licensed and his license is active without pending judgments or unresolved complaints, you then need to verify that the contractor carries Workers Compensation Insurance.
This will protect you and your home from any accidental injury that might occur. A reputable contractor will give you an updated copy of his insurance policy if you request it.
Roofing Contractors are only required to have an active license, a bond and and current Workers Compensation insurance policy.
Did you know that If you hire a roofer without the proper license, bond or insurance, that you the consumer can be held 100% responsible for all accidents and claims that may arise. Having good roofing information before you deal with a roofer is very important.
Roofing Information You Need to know
Another smart thing to do would is to contact you insurance carrier and ask them the add “Course of Construction” coverage to you policy. This is an additional coverage that you may not know about and you and should have this additional coverage when you are doing home improvements. Course of Construction coverage gives you the extra coverage you may need incase the contractors insurance doesn’t cover certain damages such as: unexpected storm, earthquake, high winds, acts of God, or many other scenarios.
I know the above suggestions regarding proper documentation may seem a bit much but, making it mandatory that the roofing contractor comply with your request can save you from potential headaches and it helps ensure a smooth roofing project. Many roofers do not carry these or insurance policies which will greatly affect the price bid by as much as 10-20 % or more, so when going over the entire package it is important to take this into consideration.
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure your roofer is highly qualified to install the specified roofing materials you want installed on your roof. Many roofers only specialize in certain aspects of roofing (fair or not, they can bid on products in which they are not familiar).
It is not uncommon for a contractor who is not knowledgeable with a roofing product to sub out your job or even worse learn on your job. This is very unfair to the homeowner who put their trust in the contractor’s hands. Chances are if you were aware of this from the beginning you may not have wanted to hire that roofing contractor.
There are so many different applications for the various products. New codes are constantly being implemented to upgrade the applications. If your roofer is knowledgeable and familiar with the products, he should be able to supply you with a list of phone numbers and addresses as references for you to check.
When following up on references make sure you call and ask specific questions that are important to you. When going by job sites try to stop and knock on the door to verify who did the roof (believe it or not many roofers will give you addresses of products that they did not install hoping you will only drive by and not stop to inquire.)
The above is so important because there are so many new roofers getting their licenses each year it is difficult for the consumer to weed out the proper information. An informed consumer will get better results in their search for a roofing contractor, which will lead to a satisfied customer and contractor.
For some reason, a lot of consumers do not want to take the time to meet all the roofers before they submit their bid. I cannot tell you how often I hear a customer tell me “just leave it under the mat or email me the bid”. This is a very hands-off approach, and I don’t like it personally. Unless you are sure that you have done enough research on someone (like what you are reading on my website) I would not let them on your roof.
Most roofers I have known are not like us. Granted, some are but most or not. They will hire just about anyone. Now, when I hire someone to work on my house, I make sure I am there to meet everyone who plans on submitting a bid.
For one, I do not want random people that I cannot do the proper research on to make sure they are legit around my house unattended and two, I am very curious to know which contractor is going to take the time meet me personally.
This, to me, says a lot about their character. I want to hire people with a reasonably high character and morals and the best way to decide that is to meet with them. As far as I am concerned, if a contractor does not send out the appropriate representative to meet my needs and answer my questions then he doesn’t need my job.
When discussing the project with the roofing contractor make a list of things you feel are important and would like to implement into the proposal. Every consumer has different needs and desires. By telling the roofer about these needs before he bids the job you will help create a smoother working environment for everyone involved.
Make sure the roofing contractor is going to pull all permits and has a city business licenses before work commences. And, never ever let the roofer talk you into pulling the permit. As a homeowner if you pull you own permit you will save a little bit of money.
But you may not know that you then take all the liability for anyone working on your project. Basically, you become the contractor, but you do not have Workers Compensation insurance. That is a huge risk you are taking maybe without know it.
If you live in an association you will want to contact them before the work begins. Many associations have certain requirements and regulations on color and grades. You may need to get association approval before commencing the project.
If the above suggestions are not implemented you could be headed for a problem with the roofer, the city, and the association.
When interviewing roofers, you should ask how he pays his employees? Make sure they are not piece workers, for these workers get paid on how fast and how much they get done which often compromises quality.
We recommend that you find a roofing contractor that pays his men a salary or by hourly, for in this case there is no need to rush the job and you will get the quality you have paid for and deserve. We pay a high hourly wage and the work our employees do will show it.
Roofing Awards and Certifications are Important
Many roofing material manufacturers give achievement awards and certifications to roofing contractors who have completed their training. These credentials are earned not just given. If your roofing contractor installs new roofs and is concerned about quality, he will more than likely have several awards.
Protect your home from any liens! To protect your home from liens you will need to do several things to protect yourself. All material payments should be made to the suppliers directly. There may be more than one supplier involved such as the plywood supplier and the roofing material supplier.
These vendors can give the contractor a 30-day grace period on his line of credit. To protect you and your home, you should ask the roofing contractor the name of the supplier(s) he plans on using and call the credit manager to find out how much the supplies are for your job.
The next step is to write the check(s) for payment of the materials directly to the supplier(s) for the final amount.
Lien laws state that if you pay the contractor and he does not pay for the supplies, the distributor has every right to lien your property for the material amount. Make it easy on yourself, write the checks directly to the supplier and you are protected.
Be aware if your roofer subcontracts out any work. For example, there could be up to three subs on your project such as roofing removal, workers/installers (day laborers) or roof loading in some cases. If the roofing contractor subs out any work, you can be responsible for the subs if they do not carry insurance.
Read that Roofing Contract Before You Sign it!
Make sure you completely understand the contract and all the details before approving and signing it. If you are not clear on any area, ask the roofer to further explain it and make the appropriate changes before approving. Never sign a contract that is not complete.
The contract needs to state the color, style, serial #’s if any, weight of tile, shape and any other specific requirements. Never sign an incomplete contract or make a verbal or a handshake agreement. Take the time to initiate the proper agreement and the job will go much smoother.
Never be intimidated into signing a contract. Phony rebates and gimmicks are just that. If your roofer has confidence in his company and its abilities to provide the highest quality of service, he will invite you to explore the company until you have made an informed decision, which usually leads to a good decision. Remember, the customer is always the boss!!!
Payments: Never give more than 10% or $1000.00 deposit, this is the law. And never pay in full until the local city officials have signed off the roofing job. If the job is improperly installed and you have paid the contractor in full it may be tough to get the required changes made.
Instruct the roofing contractor to include this in the contract. If he is reputable, he will have no problem implementing it.
To ensure a timely installation, your job should be scheduled, materials ordered, and all permits pulled and a date given.
A good contractor will provide daily inspections of his work and employees to ensure the highest quality of installation.
If possible, try to go by a job site where a job is in progress to inspect the site, the workmanship and the cleanliness of the roofer. Remember this roofer and crew could potentially be installing your new roof sometime soon; a little legwork will go a long way.
I know the above may seem a bit much, but if you can use this information while screening perspective roofing contractors you will have a much better chance of hiring the right guy for the job.
And, if you just want to avoid all of the above hassle in order to find a good roofer here in Orange County, Ca then you can just hire us. We have great prices, and we do care. Give us your roof repair project and leave the rest to us. We are a roof repair only project and that means we do not contract out for reroofing jobs.