Dealing with a roof replacement is a royal pain. Not only is it expensive, but it also disrupts the entire home for the length of the project. Let’s not forget the random storms that make Michigan weather unpredictable, and project like this stressful.
Add to that all the horror stories you have heard about bad contractors. They cut corners and sometimes cause more damage than they fix. You should not feel a more stress once you have a new roof, but rather a sense of relief.
To help you feel that sense a relief, consider the following seven tips. If you learn and stick to them, you are likely to have a much better experience and save yourself frustration and money.
#1 Find a Roof Replacement Contractor
There are many handymen, contractors, and roofing companies who claim to be able to install a new roof. However, how do you know which ones you can trust and which ones you should be wary of?
The easiest way is to look for professional certifications. Roofing materials manufacturers provide these certifications. It is their stamp of approval that the contractor knows how to effectively install the materials to get the best life from them. The certifications you may want to look for include NRCA, GAF, Corning, or something similar.
#2 Get Referrals & Do Your Research
Referrals are critical to understanding who you can trust and who you cannot. Be sure to talk with your neighbors and local friends. If you are part of a community group, ask there to find out who others recommend.
Also, be sure to check reputable review sites such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, as well as Yelp, Facebook, and Google. Part of what you want to look for is not only the positive reviews, but also the negative. Specifically, you want to look for how the company responds when something does not go according to plan.
#3 Pay Attention To The Agreement Details
Your agreement is technically the letter of the law when it comes to your roof replacement project. Because of this, you want to pay attention to the details for what the company is responsible for, and what is included in the contract.
For instance, who is responsible for obtaining the permit for the roofing project, and is that cost included? Who is responsible for securing a dumpster or some way of removing the old shingles? These are all things that add to the cost as well as your stress, so you want to know what to expect.
#4 Be Careful of Cost Cutting Shortcuts
Some contractors have a lower cost and are loved for it. This is sometimes because they will cut some labor by not removing the old shingles before adding the new ones on time.
There are several problems with shortcuts like this. First, the rating on shingles are for being installed properly, so they may not last as long. Second, you do not get a sense of the condition of the underlying wood panels. Third, if you do not tear off the old shingles, you will not replace the water and ice shield. This can lead to leaking and additional repairs.
#5 Be Flexible but Firm
Along with the unpredictable weather in Michigan comes some level of flexibility you need to have with your roof replacement job. Be sure when you review your agreement there is some detail as to what happens if inclement weather forces a postponement of your project. If this happens, you want to know they will complete your project quickly, not push you to the end of the season.
#6 Understand Your Materials
You have heard many people say that you get what you pay for, and that includes your roof. Companies rate shingles for anywhere between 10 to 50 years. The less expensive the shingles, the more likely you are going to get a lower-rated shingle.
While the higher-rated shingles are going to cost more initially, you will end up saving a lot of labor. Labor is always going to be the greatest expense, so if you can reduce it by making your roof last longer, you reduce your overall cost.
#7 Check the Site Cleanup at the End
It seems like it should go without saying that a professional company will clean up well after they are done. However, this can be time-consuming and laborers may try to skimp on it to wrap up early. However, not cleaning up properly can cause additional damage such as punctured tires.
Ask for the magnet they used to clean up nails and do a quick once-over to make sure you approve of the job. Only then should you give your approval on the job being completed.