1. Insurance is a must. Make sure that your contractor has worker's compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see the certificates and actually call the insurance carrier to confirm that they are valid. This keeps all bids on a level playing field, knowing that part of the cost of the roof and the service being provided to you is protected with the security of coverage.
2. Choose a local contractor Make sure that the company that you choose is local. This means that they are not just operating locally now, but have an established business and reputation in the community.
3. Price isn't everything Never choose a company based on price. Cheap bids drive down the market and anyone with overhead and proper insurance has to establish pricing to cover such costs. Those that do work on the side or are just working out of a pick-up truck can always do the work cheaper. But in the long run, you get what you pay for. Customers that are sold on price as their sole criteria ultimately end up spending more money to fix problems, and many of these problems would have been covered under a workmanship guarantee by a reputable established roofing company.
4. Get job details in writing Both belong to you and you should be in control. We suggest that you don't give funds until the work is complete. Make sure that you are satisfied with the result and that the terms of payment were discussed prior to the job and adhered to by both parties. Make sure that you ask how long a job will take. You need to have a clear idea of what size crew they have and a completion day.
5. Communication is paramount Did they return your calls? Did they send the documentation that you asked them to send? Did they follow through? If you answered "no" to these questions, then make sure you communicate your concerns to the company representative. If they still can't make good, walk away. Communication is key to every business. If you aren't getting what you need on the front end when they are trying to get your business, what will happen once you have committed the work to them?