When looking for a good roofer, you can start by seeking referrals from relatives, friends, and especially neighbors whose style of roof is probably similar to what you want. You should also check whether the roofer you’ll be considering is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association. NCRA contractors are vetted rigorously before acceptance into the group and are also subject to regular checks. They are also required to hold the right public, employers’ and third party insurance, comply with health and safety guidelines, and operate along the NCRA code of practice and U.S. standards.
Call no less than three contractors and ask each of them for a quote for a new roof installation. This will give you the opportunity to compare pricing. They will likely want to come and assess your property before anything else, and if they don’t, be wary. Reputable roofers never price even the smallest of jobs, such as replacing missing tiles or cleaning gutters, without first taking a look.
Hiring a Roofer
Once you think you’ve found the right roofer for your job, discuss with them the following:
> unanticipated additional charges
> penalties for not finishing the work before deadline
> how to deal with long periods of extreme weather
> working hours and whether there will be work on weekends
> materials, suppliers and guarantees
> outsourced vs. In-house labor
> scaffolding use and trash disposal, and whether they are part of the total cost
> available options in case you’re not satisfied with the result
Whatever you agree on, make sure it’s written on a contract. There’s no need for anything complicated. You just need a formal record of your agreement, of course with signatures for both parties. As the customer, check if you’ll need planning permission, though your roofer can easily advise you regarding that. Note as well that any considerable roof work may only be done by a certified contractor, or your local building control department will have to be notified before work begins. Definitely, you should pick a roofer who has appropriate insurance, including public liability and working at heights. And considering that a new roof installation is a major project, you should get a guarantee.
Finally, check the contract and make sure it includes a schedule for payments. This has to be done before work is begun. Expect them to ask you for an upfront instalment, which is perfectly normal for big projects such as a new roof installation. They need the money to source the materials in the first place. As for the final payment, never make it until you are happy with the results.