The first step in finding the perfect roofing contractor for your home is to decide–or have a sense of–what kind of new roof you want. Do you want to simply replace the roof you’ve got with the same asphalt shingles? Or are you interested in trying a new material, such as metal, ceramic, slate or something more unusual, such as a planted “green” roof? Whatever your choice, you’ll want to find a roofing contractor who specializes in the materials that appeal to you.
If you’ve seen roofs that you like in your neighborhood or town, don’t be shy about asking the homeowner who did the job and perhaps how much the roofing job cost. Asking friends, family, and others for recommendations is a good way to start your search. Professional builder and contractor organizations are another good resource.
Bidding Your Roof Project
Conduct quick telephone interviews with each of the contractors on your list. Check their availability, whether they’re licensed and insured, and willing to provide a client list. Once you’ve narrowed your list to three or four contractors, you can begin asking for written price estimates to determine roofing costs. Be sure that contractors specify what grade of materials they plan to use and what kind of warranty is offered, so you’re able to compare apples to apples.
Bids should include the cost of materials, labor, and all other expenses, as well as profits. Materials generally account for 40 percent of the total bill; profits are typically between 15 and 20 percent.
Check your top contender’s references and make a couple of quick calls to your local Better Business Bureau and your state’s consumer protection organization to ensure the contractor doesn’t have a history of upset customers.