1. Locally Owned and Operated- Make sure the roofing company has a physical presence and history in your city/ state. Often times, roofers will travel out-of-state (storm chasers) to a known hail storm area. They may not be licensed in your state to replace roofs or back up their warranties once they leave the area.
2. Licensed in Your State- Being licensed ensures that the roofing company has met the requirements for that state to properly install your roof. Some states don’t require a roofing company to be licensed. This means that they could have just recently become a roofing company without the experience required to properly replace your roof.
3. Experience- Having experience in the roofing industry is crucial. They will be familiar with all of the local codes and methods of construction. This also allows roofing companies to develop long relationships with the best trades in the industry in order to provide you with the best quality job done right the first time. 10 or more years experience is a definite plus.
4. Warranties- Most solid roofing companies provide a labor warranty. Usually it’s a 1-year warranty that states if anything goes wrong on your roof due to faulty workmanship, they will fix it for free within the first year. Look for a company that has 5 year warranty or longer and beware if they don’t provide one at all.
5. Preferred Vendor- Some roofing companies have a higher status in the industry due to their ethics, customer service and business practices. They can obtain these with manufacturers like Owens Corning, GAF as wells as others. Ask for their level of status with these suppliers. They are typically members of various roofing organizations as well.
6. Insurance Claim Specialist- Working smoothly with insurance companies is a must. Sometimes there are unexpected issues that arise during your project. A great roofing company will be able to ensure you get everything you need filed under your claim even if something unforeseen happens after your initial claim.
7. Properly Insured- A $1M General liability insurance (GL) is coverage that can protect you from a variety of claims including bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and others that can arise from business operations. Some companies have worker’s compensation or have their trades supply it. Ask to see a copy of the GL at the point of sale.
8. Contractor Skills- Many insurance claims require a variety of trades to complete the scope of work. Having contractor skills usually ensures that they know construction and will be able to apply that knowledge to completing the items in the insurance estimate. They also will have a long list of qualified sub contractors to do the work.
9. References- Check to see their rating on the BBB, Angie’s List and other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Ask to see if they have reference letters as well.
10. Trustworthy- Make sure that they do not use high-pressure tactics to make you sign a contract first without the support of proper documentation mentioned above. Make sure they have a defined outline of how they go to business with you. Once they have proven this, go with your gut.