Post Hail Storm: Roofing 101
May 17, 2010
That was quite a hail storm on Sunday! Unless you're one of the fortunate few, you're probably hearing from some roofers this week. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: Unless you are a pro, roofing is not a DIY project. Which means that the guys are out in force, knocking on your door, leaving brochures, telling you everything you want to hear. That is: "We'll fix it, and you won't owe anything." For some of us it's not exactly going to work out that way, which is another story, but there are things you can and should ask before you hire anyone. If you haven't done so, be sure to file a claim with your insurance company. Not only does this get the process started, but they may have specific vendors they want you to use. If you're on your own to select a roofer, be sure to ask for the following:
- Full name and address of the company - Someone based near your home may give you quicker service.
- Proof of license, bonding capability, liability and Workers' Compensation insurance. Don't forget to get the same information for sub-contractors
- Company history - How long have they been in business, are they members of national roofing associations, and are there any pending legal actions against the company?
- Customer references - Ask them to include someone who had a complaint, so you can get an idea of how the company handled it
- Get a written contract - The contract must include total price, deposit (how much and when due - 20% is reasonable), payment instructions, the company's guarantee and manufacturer's warranties, and latest start date. Ensure that the estimate includes replacement vent flanges and flashing, not reused materials. The contract also should include a written description of how unexpected costs, such as rotting roof decking, will be handled. Always get a written estimate for add-on expenses before authorizing the work.
- Make sure the company obtains the REQUIRED permits.
- Ask about the repair process - Be sure the crew will not remove more roof than they can replace in a single day and that they have enough tarps to cover the roof in case of bad weather.
- Be sure the estimate includes clean-up, hauling away old roofing materials and project trash, and that the contract amount covers costs for the dumpster, hauling and dumping. Don't forget to have them go over your yard with magnets to find stray nails.
- Written proposal
- Signed written contract
- Never pay in cash.
- Don't pay in full until the work has been completed and passed the final permit inspection.
- Don't pay in full until you have received both material and worker's liens.