When you buy a car, you don’t walk into the dealership, point to a car and say, “I’ll take it.” You compare prices, take a test drive and talk numbers. If you’re shopping for home improvements such as new roofing, you need to apply the same amount of time and consideration. There are five important steps you need to take when looking for a professional remodeler or roof replacement specialist, and I’ve outlined them below from my own point of view:
Step One: Talk To Local Roofing Contractors
I can contact a few reputable contractors by calling, emailing or filling out a quote request form on their website. I’ll give the contractors some details about what I’d like done (in this case, a roof replacement), the problems I have with my current roofing, my timeframe and expectations. From there, the customer service person I talked to should pass my information along to a project manager or sales rep who is familiar with the kind of project I’m interested in. The individual in charge of the potential project should contact me in order to discuss the job in more detail and with plenty of information about cost, available products and materials to be used. He should be able to explain the process in detail and answer any questions I might have. He should follow up by sending me an email with the details included. At this point, I’ll also ask them to schedule an at-home visit with one of their roofing contractors. If I’m lucky, they will email me a photo of the person who will be visiting so that I don’t let an unknown stranger into my home.
Step Two: Get Confirmation Of The Initial Meeting
I should get a phone call from the roofing contractors the day before the scheduled meeting confirming the date and time. At this time, I can ask them any questions I hadn’t thought about earlier.
Step Three: The Initial Consultation
The representative from the roofing contractors should arrive promptly and be wearing appropriate, professional clothing (a company logo should appear somewhere on their clothing). A smile and a handshake are a must. After the introductions, the company representative should review my information and confirm the details of my requested roof replacement request. I’ll expect him to ask some questions in order to clarify any potential issues before showing me examples of other roofing jobs they’ve done and some samples of the products they will be using.
Step Four: A Closer Look
Before finalizing a bid, the company representative will ask to take a closer look at my home’s roof in order to get detailed measurements, take photos and inspect the site. He should not only look around the exterior of my house, he should climb a ladder and inspect the shingles and go into the attic to take a look at the insulation, decking and roof structure in order to prepare a more accurate bid. After he has inspected the area, he will point out any potential problems and recommend solutions that will be included in his bid. At this point he will probably return to the company office to prepare the quote.
Step Five: The Final, Detailed Quote
I greet the same person who visited the first time around and we sit down to discuss the details of the roof replacement. We review the scope of work, including a detailed proposal that lists all of the products and materials to be used, the installation techniques that will be used and the timeline. We go over every page and he answers all my questions. He also reviews any potential problems and lets me know what will happen and how much it will cost if unexpected problems come up. He doesn’t pressure me to make a commitment and he is honest about what kind of timeline will be needed. At this point, I can either sign with the roofing contractors, ask for a few days to mull things over or get another quote from another company.
Regardless of which route I choose to take, if the roofing contractors have given me a detailed quote and outlined any possible problems, I should have all the information I need to make a wise decision about the roof replacement my home needs.