Persons who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the roofing industry may find the process of selecting a suitable roofing contractor that possesses the requisite certification and performs quality work quite difficult. In Alberta, the roofing industry is unregulated. To ensure that the warranty can be honored in the future, it is important that only a certified roofer is contracted. Within the industry, there are several uncertified roofing contractors who provide poor workmanship and whose installations are below standard. Three years is usually the period of existence for the average start-up business, resulting in the inability to secure support in the eventuality of problems with the roofing.
In securing the services of a professional roofing contractor, the following tips and important questions should be used as guidelines:
What period of time has the company been in existence?
It is important for contact with the company to be possible if problems should arise.
Is there a permanent business office address for the contractor, as well as a phone contact and email?
An established contractor will be able to provide all these to the customer, as this is a sign of stability.
Are subcontractors used by the contractor?
Subcontractors are usually paid for each job completed, which may result in them rushing to complete several jobs with sub-par workmanship.
Are written contracts and estimates provided by the company, and do they require a deposit before commencement of the job?
The specifications of the job and the relevant costs should be detailed in writing. If the company is an established, financially viable one, a deposit is not usually required. In cases where a deposit is requested, you should be wary of amounts which exceed more than 1/3 of the total cost of the project.
It is important to ascertain if the company is a member of the local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau. Also research the company with these organizations, to gather information on their overall business rating and customer complaints concerning the size of the company.
Does the company have liability insurance, and is it registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board?
The company should have this insurance and be in good standing with the WSIB.
Are there any local and national industry associations, of which the company is an active member?
There are several trade associations which an established contractor would be a member of, such as the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association, National Roofing Contractors Association, Alberta Industrial Roofing Contractors Association.
Is the contractor certified to install the products offered by them?
Stronger warranties can be offered by certified contractors on products which they install, and they also adhere to stricter installation guidelines.
Does the contractor offer emergency services?
If serious problems occur, a contractor who provides emergency services can provide technical support, even outside of regular business hours.
Are references available from previous customers?
An established company should willingly provide an extensive list of satisfied customers, who are available to be contacted.
Do not use price as your only determining factor when selecting a roofing contractor. There are several self-proclaimed handymen operating in this unregulated industry, who will provide lower prices but whose workmanship is substandard. When comparing quotes, review the job specifications as well as the differences in the materials to be used.