“Apples to Apples”
Everyone wants to “compare apples to apples” but it’s difficult to compare service-based businesses that way. Simply comparing spec sheets and prices won’t tell the whole story. Zoom out and look at the entirety of the industry and customer reputation, workmanship warranty, credit standing and transparency of each contractor. Then factor in price and spec sheet as part of the overall picture.
Watch out for dropping prices
You want a company that is transparent and straight-forward. Every roofing company should be accountable for the original bid they present to you. A roofing company worth hiring is one that is always consistent and fair with its pricing and that always puts its best price forward, right from the start.
We can start on Monday
In buying a roof, you are making a 20-30 year decision. Don’t rush it. Quality roofing contractors consistently have a lead time of 6-12 weeks. If a roofing company can start next week there may be a reason for that. The good contractors have learned to employ only full-time, year-round crews and to keep a consistent lead time.
Too many bids
If you are getting five or more bids, what it is you are looking for? Buying a new roof is a big decision and excessive bids most often leads to confusion, frustration and sometimes even regret. We recommend getting three bids from reputable, residential-only roofing companies.
Do not finance your roof or agree to zero down!
If a roofing company has a financing agreement set up, trust us it’s a rip off. Get financing on your own, from your bank if you need to go that route. Any roofing company that advertises or requires “no money down” should be called into question. A 10-30% deposit is completely reasonable and should be expected.
Show them the door
If the pressure to buy is too high, the price is also too high. Most roofing companies that employ high-pressure sales tactics won’t follow up with you if you don’t hire them on the spot. This is because they know that when you get other bids, you will discover that their bid is unreasonably high.
Don’t fall into the “exclusive” trap
Don’t hire a roofer that overemphasizes one specific detail of the installation. Most often this tactic is used to create an illusion of exclusivity, while adding little to no real value. You should hire a roofing company on its overall value and reputation.
Beware of extended manufacturer warranties
Extended product warranties are not nearly as good as they sound. There are loopholes. It may sound comforting to have a big national brand “guaranteeing” your work, but we can tell you from firsthand experience this is mostly a bill of goods. If something goes wrong with your roof, your recourse goes as far as the company who installed it. Trust us on this one.
Don’t get bids from the big box guys
Avoid getting bids from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, etc. You will end up paying these middle men too much to have the work performed by a subcontractor. Stick to dealing directly with local, residential-only roofing companies.
My neighbor loved you guys!
Although that’s a good start, look at the roofing contractor’s entire reputation, even outside of your neighborhood. Any company can do well on a smaller scale but buying a roof is a decision you can’t afford to get wrong.
Consider the overall reputation and value of the roofers you are considering. Many homeowners have justified hiring a sub-par roofing contractor because of a handful of happy customers in the neighborhood. You need a roofing company that gets it right 10 times out of 10 with no variation from one crew, or project to another.