Here at Lighthouse Roofing, we completely understand that selecting a roofing company for your upcoming project can be quite stressful. We highly recommend that homeowners get multiple bids for their roofing projects but how do you select the best roofing contractor for your project?
Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements and one of the most important components of your home. Your roof is so much more than meets the eye. It's a system, built to protect. Under the shingles, the membrane, or the coating, layers of high quality protection are working together to help keep your structure - and the people in it - safe from wind, rain, snow, and even sun. Whether you are looking to repair or replace your roof, learn how to find a roofing company or contractor to fit your needs below:
Make a list of local roofers to consider
- Get local referrals from friends, family and neighbors. If possible, choose a contractor from your community.
- Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Check out what other homeowners have reported to the Better Business Bureau and current Accreditation at bbb.org. You can also see when the business was established as well as managing partners.
- Check for manufacturer certifications. All major roofing material manufacturers (GAF, CertainTeed, Owens Corning, etc.) have a certified installer program. Working with a manufacturer certified roofing company provides peace of mind knowing that they have been background checked, carries sufficient insurance and has successfully completed and maintains installation requirements by that specific manufacturer. GAF for example is the largest manufacturer of roofing and waterproofing materials in the world. There are 2 levels of GAF certified contractors - Certified and Master Elite. As a matter of fact, only 2% of roofers in the U.S. qualify to be recognized as GAF Master Elite Contractors and we here at Lighthouse Roofing are proud to be one!
Confirm roofer qualifications and credentialsWith referrals from friends and neighbors, online searches and ads or roofing companies, you may be starting with a small list of companies. A phone call with a set of good questions will help you narrow it down.
Questions to ask on the phone
- Where are you located, do you have a physical location?
Choosing someone from your community improves their ability to quickly address issues that may arise during or post installation. The entry barrier to become a roofing contractor in Texas is very low so it's imperative that you select an established roofing company with a physical business location you can visit just in case if they disappear on you when issues arise.
- How long have you been in business?
Choosing an established company can help ensure upfront quality and back-end support. Statistically, contracting companies fail within the first year of business. You should be very cautious hiring a roofing company offering a 3-10 year workmanship warranty if they have only been in business for a few months.
- Are you certified by manufacturers?
GAF annually verifies contractor licenses (where required), insurance and years in business before granting the factory-certified designation. As a matter of fact, only 2% of roofers in the U.S. qualify to be recognized as GAF Master Elite™ Contractors which we are. A manufacturer certification also shows you that the roofing contractor you're dealing with is dedicated to the industry and not just doing this as a part time job. You deserve to work with the best contractors for your roofing project and manufacturer certifications are earned and cannot be bought.
- Can you provide references?
You can request references and addresses of recently completed projects, to see their work. It’s also a good idea to check reviews online (Google, Better Business Bureau, etc.)
- Are you properly licensed and insured?
Roofing is one of the top 5 deadliest jobs so it's imperative to see a copy of your roofing contractors insurance policy before anyone sets foot on your roof. Roofing insurance is also one of the most expensive policies so oftentimes, contractors will not carry it and roll the dice. If an accident happens and a roofer falls off of your roof, the liability and compensation may fall directly on you and/or your homeowners policy. GAF for example requires factory-certified roofers to carry at least $1M in liability insurance, workman’s compensation and state licensing where required.
- What is your workmanship warranty?
While the manufacturer of the roofing materials typically offers a warranty on the products (no matter who installs your roof), the roofing contractor will typically offer its own warranty on the workmanship. Most workmanship warranties offered by individual roofing contractors last for one year or more. A 30 year shingle with a 3-10 year "workmanship warranty" from a non-manufacturer certified roofing contractor is only good if they return your call when an issue arises or are even still in business. A Master Elite® contractor can offer enhanced warranties, backed by GAF, which cover both the GAF Products and workmanship.
- Trade Association Memberships?
Did you know that there is no state licensing required to be a roofing contractor in the state of Texas?! This is the main reason why it's imperative to vet your roofing contractor and manufacturer certifications as well as trade association memberships are very important. The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas is currently the only licensing body of roofing contractors in the State of Texas and Lighthouse Roofing is a proud member.
Choose the roofer that best meets your project and budget needs
Once you’ve narrowed your list and invited a few roofing contractors to your home to give you an estimate, you can discuss more specific topics to help you choose the right company for your roofing installation.
Understand installation plan, clean up and costs
Local codes and ordinances
- Who will obtain the permit and Windstorm Engineering?
- Are permit and Windstorm Engineering costs included?
- Will you conduct an inspection before and after doing the work?
- How many shingle choices do you offer?
- Are they listed by the brand and manufacturer’s name?
- What warranties can you offer?
- Can you tell me the differences (like construction, texture, UL fire rating) between the product options?
Estimates and payment
- Do you offer free estimates? (Estimates are often free, but be sure to ask about this before agreeing to one.)
- Does the estimate list the product name and color?
- What are the payment terms? (It’s typical to pay one-third to half of the cost up front on designer or special order roofing systems. Resist anyone asking you to pay for it all in advance.)
- How do you accept payment? (Pay by check or credit card, not cash.)
- How do I pay my insurance deductible? (Any contractor who claims they can handle the repair without you having to pay your insurance deductible may be committing insurance fraud and/or putting you at risk. Check out more tips for dealing with insurance here.)
Clean-up and inspection
- Will you be conducting daily clean up?
- How will they make sure your yard and home stay free from stray nails and other debris?
- Who will inspect the job and when will that be?
- How far out the roofing contractor is scheduling?
- How many days will the project take?
- What might cause possible delays in the schedule?
- Is there a no-later-than finish date?
Often times, homeowners think that getting a new roof is simply installing new shingles and that's far from the case. Installation of a new roof is a major project so we hope these pointers help you select the best roofing company for your project weather you use us or not. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to Lighthouse Roofing if you have any questions or would like to schedule a no pressure roofing consultation today!
10514 South Padre Island Drive Suite G14
Corpus Christi TX, 78418