How to Select a Roofing Contractor

Jul 19, 2010 | How To's

Recommended steps on how to select a roofing contractor that will provide a real roofing solution.

If, finding a real roofing solution is your goal when selecting a roofing company than you’re in the right place. Many homeowners are unfamiliar with the steps involved in making a successful roofing investment because purchasing a new roof is an uncommon practice.  In a lifetime a homeowner may replace 2 or 3 roofs. As a result many buyers are uneasy and not prepared to make a successful buying decision. There are many things to consider before awarding your roofing project and deciding which of the Colorado Springs roofing companies to work with. There are complicated insurance protocols and procedures to understand. You will be introduced to roof terms, methods and types of applications. One of the more intriguing aspects of roof replacement is the variety of styles and knowledge of roofing contractors.

It is common practice for the insurance company to instruct the insured to receive an inspection from three contractors. The reality is the insured has the right to select the contractor of their choice. However for the sake of the insurance company let’s say you get three inspections. As a buying practice most would toss out the lowest and highest bidder, thinking the middle price is a safe zone. However, only the extremely wealthy can afford to make a poor buying decision, because they have the money to do it again. If you give the buying power to the insurance company, most would accept the lowest bid.  Now you have a dilemma.  The fact is, if a buyer is unfamiliar with the insurance restoration process, any contract they accept is risky.
When selecting a roofing contractor, often times you do not have time to practice.  The many factors required to select the best Roofing Contractor are critical. Your best choice will not only increase the value and curb appeal of your home but also provide you with the peace of mind that only comes with knowing that you will be able to enjoy the benefits for many years.

Roof inspection

First the contractor must inspect the roof to identify the amount of storm damage to the roof. Once the problems are properly identified you are ready to select the best solution. If you need a total roof replacement most insurance restoration contractors will have you sign a contingency contract. This contractor will provide claims services and once the Insurance company agrees to replace your roof he will install it for you.  It eliminates the need to get multiple inspections and gives the homeowner an advocate during the insurance process.

Choosing a roofing company

When choosing a Roofing Contractor after a storm there will be many options.  This is a confusing time because it is difficult to know the steps involved in making a successful roofing investment.  Most homeowner’s only install a couple roofs in their lifetime.  The amount of insurance and roofing information that has to be absorbed in a short period of time can be overwhelming.  Most homeowners don’t have an intimate knowledge of insurance claims and roofing processes.  Choosing an insurance restoration roofing contractor is challenging.  The critical area to focus on is whether or not the contractor is a “discounter” or a “Professional Provider”.

A discount roofer

A “discounter” is price driven.  These are well meaning contractors who think that homeowners base their buying decisions on price alone.  Many times it is difficult to discern the work ethics between the discounter and Professional provider.  It takes a focused or trained eye to see the differences.  Once someone begins to focus the contrast between the two will become apparent.

A professional roofer

A Professional Provider will provide an Integrated Insurance Roof Solution.  This contractor will provide their professional service throughout the entire insurance resolution and reroofing process.  Many will have a full time in-house insurance department, estimating department and a full team of customer representatives.  The contractor will spend money on training, testing and evaluating roof installers and office staff.  There will be phone operators, supervisors, customer service personnel and project managers.  The in-house personnel are familiar with the finer details of most insurance companies’ protocols, procedures, posturing and positioning. It takes a team to be effective in the Insurance Restoration Industry.  The project Manager and Roof Foreman are experts in application of the best roof systems.  There are a system of checks and balances to continually provide the best insurance restoration system available.  These companies pay employee and employer taxes.  They protect their clients with liability insurance burdens that cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The details behind the scenes make what happen on your roof a reality.  The best roof systems and insurance solutions are created and developed in the offices of restoration contractors. While this may increase costs, it will also increase the value of their service.  The best contractors are value focused.

Discount roofing contractors

Discount Contractors are price sensitive.  They are desensitized to value and quality.  Many contractors mistakenly believe that your buying decision is ultimately based on price.  In an ongoing effort to cut expenses and remain competitive, the price-driven contractors frequently take questionable shortcuts.  Many contractors frequently falsify liability and workmen’s compensation insurance coverage.  If they have insurance they provided false information to the insurance company in order to lower their premiums.  If something where to actually happen their insurance company would not cover the claim. Some contractors even consider evading taxes a normal practice.  Many contractors cash company checks at corner check cashing establishments in order to launder the money.
Many price-focused contractors are well intended.  They have no intention of harming their clients they simply believe they must “low-ball” in order to earn business. In the Insurance Re-Roofing Industry these contractors illegally pay all or portions of homeowner’s deductibles.  This is a wide spread practice, but it is unethical and illegal.  Many homeowner’s, unknowingly participate in insurance fraud.  It is illegal for the homeowner to profit from insurance proceeds.  The insured must pay their deductible. As a result the discount restoration contractor potentially harms the homeowner with legal court processes.  This is what is on the surface.  Now beneath the surface most Discounter’s will not charge enough to remain profitable without taking roof shortcuts.  Occasionally we hear about these guys on the news or read about them in the newspaper after they get caught.  The bad news is that many of these “Short-Cutters” are still engaging you in business, at least temporarily.  The risk-to-rewards ratio of doing business with these guys is questionable.  If you are lucky enough to get a sound roof the reward of a discount might be worth it. However, if you consider the implications of fraud on your good name the risk should be unacceptable.  It is simply not worth it!
After a storm you will have Discounters offering their services to you.  They will offer to cover part or all of your deductible in hopes of installing your roof.  This is a tempting proposition however the discounter is one who takes short-cuts. You will want to determine the true value by asking about full component based roof replacement, materials, staff members and optional upgrades.  A discounter is one that has committed insurance fraud which is punishable as a felony.  Most people do not want a known Felon working at their home. If a discounter is willing to openly misrepresent himself to your insurance company, what basis would you have to trust him with your family and home?

Value focused contractors

The value-focused contractors on the other hand, will go to great lengths to operate their companies with absolute integrity, avoiding any area that could compromise or interrupt the quality of their service, jeopardizing both the client and themselves.  They will abstain from unethical and illegal practices.  They will point out things on the roof that need to be changed.  They know their direct, overhead and operating costs and will only lower prices when specifications or terms are changed.  They will provide ongoing supervision and quality control.  They will use present day fair market value for pricing roofs for the insurance companies.  They understand what real business costs are and how much is necessary in order to be profitable.  They will negotiate with the Insurance Company to receive present day prices.  The only thing you have to do is pay your deductible.  We call this the “Integrated Integrity Roof Solution”.
The true value of an insurance re-roofing contractor is found in these questions. What are the services being provided?  How are payments made?  What kind of a roof system is being installed?  How is the roof being applied?  What components are being replaced on my roof?  What materials are being installed on my roof, and why?  What optional upgrades do you recommend?  What changes need to be made on my roof? What kind of insurance resolution support do you provide? Do you extend credit? What kind of warranty do you have?
Finally until an adjuster examines your property there is no point in getting inspections because contractors can’t apply coverage.  If your insurance company denies the claim for damage what’s the point in getting inspections unless you are willing to pay out of pocket.  Don’t waste your time, or anyone else’, by getting bids for work that you can’t be sure your insurance company will pay for.  This is why all the contractors swarming your storm damaged neighborhood tell you that their bid is your insurance deductible and your insurance company will pay the difference for the approved repairs.  The best solution is to have your contractor present when the adjuster arrives and have him prove the storm damage.  Once the adjuster totals the roof your Colorado Springs roofing provider will discuss the roof scope with the insurance company and all you pay is the deductible