When you’re looking for a roofer, decent is not good enough. You need a contractor that is dedicated to their craft, knows exactly what they’re doing, and is willing to work with you on the project in a variety of ways. Knowledge of the local area and experience with projects like yours only adds to the equation.
Finding that roofer isn’t always easy. Chances are that the first result in your local Yellow Pages or on your initial Google search doesn’t fit these criteria. If they do, it’s probably luck.
If you’re like most homeowners, of course, you don’t want to rely on luck to get your roof fix. The health of your home and safety of your family literally depends on this job. That’s why it pays to be strategic about finding the best roofing contractors in Ann Arbor for your needs.
How do you do that? It’s not a simple answer. With some tips, though, you’ll be on the right track. Any roofing contractor with these 8 characteristics should fit the bill.
Don’t underestimate this first and perhaps most important point. When you look for a qualified contractor to help with your roof, you’ll get all kinds of firm offering their services and willing to travel for them. That could present a problem. Not having knowledge of the area in and around Ann Arbor might mean not understanding the weather conditions the roof will be exposed to.
Travel also tends to mean longer repair times. The best roofing contractor for your needs, almost always, should have extensive experience working directly in and around your neighborhood. If that’s not the case, look for another firm that is more familiar with the area and can base its project on the variables that come with it.
Don’t get fooled by a company that wants to either start the project without giving you an estimate, or asks to be compensated for their services even if it just means coming out and checking out the problem. Either way, chances are you end up with a contractor who is in it for the money, rather than their chance to build and repair a high-quality roof.
The right company should be confident enough to tell you what the problem is, and what the repair could be, without a commitment from you before they actually do any of the work. Their expertise should shine through in that estimate, not because they want you to sign them up but because they present the estimate itself as a worthwhile help to your needs. Only roofing companies who offer free estimates tend to be able to achieve that goal.
How much does a roofing contractor believe in their work? The answer to that question will be crucial in figuring out whether or not you should work with them. After all, your new or repaired roof should last for years and perhaps decades to come. That can only be true if your contractor is good enough to offer a guarantee that it actually will.
These guarantees can come in multiple ways. Many roofers offer warranties on either materials or labors. Ideally, you need both. In addition, it pays to narrow your search to companies who offer no-leak guarantees. After all, even the best roof will be worth little if the next heavy rainfall (or the one five years down the road) leads to leaking, water damage, mold, and worse.
Yes, what others say should play a major role in choosing the best roofing contractor in Ann Arbor for your new or repaired roof. Not every customer, of course, is a roofing expert. Still, their words can be crucial in helping you understand what it was like to work with the contractor, how their pricing compares, and the general quality of work that they can and will perform for you as well.
Most roofers will share testimonials from happy customers on their website and through various social media channels. These help to give you an initial idea, but remember that they’re always screened by the company. Independent review sites like the Better Business Bureau, HomeAdvisor, AngiesList, and Google Reviews give you a better, more clear picture on what customers actually think about the roofer you’re considering and whether or not working with them will be a smart choice.
In your search, you’ll find roofers who insist on taking weeks to get the work done in exchange for quality. Others cannot stop talking about how fast the roof will be fixed, but without mentioning anything about what that actually does to the quality and longevity of the project. The sweet spot is in the middle, and it’s one that any roofer you’re even considering needs to occupy.
Yes, speed matters. You don’t want your roof open and exposed to the weather, especially in colder seasons that are so common for Michigan in Spring and Fall. At the same time, a roof that’s built quickly but will begin to leak just a few years don’t the road is not worth that speed. Finding the sweet spot entails making sure that the right warranties are there, even if the roofer promises speed of construction.
Pay special attention to the way any professional talks about the project. You’ll find many of them sticking with generalities; typically, that’s a cause for concern. Of course, no contractor will be able to give you every detail of the construction before they’ve even seen your site. At the same time, you should look to work with contractors who at least know what will happen when, and how.
That includes a tentative start date, as well as a timeline of completion. It also includes mention of how many people will be working on your property, the steps you should take to prepare, and how your property will be protected. The more detailed that plan is, the better. Roofers who plan ahead always outperform those who just show up, try to get work done, and leave.
There’s no such thing as the perfect roof. Instead, there’s flat roofs, shingle roofs, metal roofs, commercial roofs, residential roofs, and even heated roofs – you name it. A roofing contractor that claims to be an expert in all of them tends to be a roofing contractor that’s not being honest. Almost everyone specializes in something, and it pays to find out what that something is.
Ideally, their experience in roofing perfectly overlaps with what you’re actually looking for. A handyman that can do some repairs probably shouldn’t put in a roof. A commercial roofer might not be comfortable with residential projects. A contractor only specializing in metal roof might not want to work with shingles. Find an expert who fits exactly what you’re looking for, and chances are you’ll find the best roofing contractor for your needs.
Let’s start with a clarification: financing is not a must for most roofers. Offering it doesn’t necessarily affect their quality of work. Still, it’s a valuable bonus that’s worth thinking about further. After all, a new roof will be a major expense. Working with a prof who can help to not just fix it but make sure you can pay for it as well can pay off major dividends down the road.
That’s why it doesn’t hurt to ask the question. Find out whether the contractor offers financing, why you should finance through them instead of a bank, and what steps you should take to ensure the best possible solution for your needs. Get the conversation started, and move towards working with a roofer who will help your entire project and situation, beyond just a leaking spot in your roof.
Look for these characteristics, and you’re almost guaranteed to find the best possible roofing contractor in Ann Arbor. We’ll be honest: that requires some research and time investment on your end. But given that the health and safety of your home and family are at stake, that time will be well-spent on finding a professional who can accommodate all of your needs.
The obvious question: what’s next? It starts with finding a number of roofers who fit your initial criteria. An online search or references from your acquaintances can help. Then, contact them and make sure they all match the above characteristics. Finally, get a free estimate from those who do in order to start comparing their prices.
Finding the right roofing contractor shouldn’t be simple. However, with the right strategy, it also doesn’t need to be overly complicated. And of course, it pays to work with someone who understands your needs and can get the job done right. Contact us to learn more about our services, and how we can work together on making sure you get the best possible solution.