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Questions to Ask a Roof Contractor
August 26, 2014 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Sometimes, roofing projects can spring up by surprise. In those cases, when time is of the essence, you may not be able to spend the amount of time you'd like researching roofing contractors and their bids. Say, for instance, you get three proposals from three different contractors. Two of the bids are almost the same but the third is substantially lower. Most of the language in the lower-priced proposal consists of the contractor's disclaimers, exclusions and limitations of liability, and the fee. Much of the information that will have a direct effect on the longevity and ease of maintenance of the new roof is not spelled out well in the proposal. But then you think to yourself that this will look really good on the bottom line when top management sees how much money you saved on the project by choosing this roofer. The lowest bidder doesn’t always mean shoddy work. Before you sign on that dotted line, be sure you know what you are really getting.
Though it may not always be possible, the best way to get comparable bids is to determine all of the parameters before hand and tell the contractors what they’re expected to bid on. Drawing up a set of plans and specifications ahead of time will ensure the proposals are not only comparable, but they are what is required for the roof. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, a specialist in roof consulting can help make sure the roof is designed specifically for a particular building and that the contractors meet the quality control and experience requirements before they even set foot in your door. The consultants should know the way to best address all the different factors that enter into a roof design.
With or without a consultant, there are some important questions to ask the contractor before you accept his or her proposal. Is the company licensed, bonded and experienced?
- What is the contractor’s current workload?
- What is the exact type of roofing system the contractor is proposing and exactly how will it be installed?
- What are the details of the warranty?