What To Ask a Contractor

Roofing, Contractor   January 10, 2008

Hello. This is Greg Zimmerman, executive editor of Building Operating Management magazine.

Today�s tip is about how to qualify a roofing contractor. Make sure to ask four important questions to make sure your roofing contractor isn�t just some fly-by-night, shady player.

First, ask if the company is licensed, bonded and, most importantly, experienced. Make them show the documents proving their licensing and bonding, and find out if they�ve been involved in any litigation in the last five years. Ask for references and find out how many times they�ve done jobs with the roofing system you�re interested in.

Secondly, ask about the company�s current workload. This is especially critical if you�re considering a smaller company. If it�s a larger company, find out how much, if any, of the work will be subbed out. Determine whether the foreman on the job is a worker or just a supervisor.

Third, make sure you understand exactly what the contractor is proposing in his bid in terms of type of roofing system and scope of labor. Make sure the contractor is as specific as possible. Phrases like �smooth, workable surface� should be clarified.

Finally, ask about the details of the warranty, both for workmanship and for the roofing product being installed.

Asking these questions will help ensure that you�re evaluating contractors on a level playing field.


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