Hiring a good roofer is a big part of your roofing project, and once you’ve got that out of the way the rest of the process should run smoothly. Consider your choice carefully and do some research on the contractor first to ensure you are happy with giving them the job.
We’ve put together the top 10 ways to make sure you hire a good roofer so you can rest assured that your roofing project will be completed to the highest standard without any unexpected hitches.
1. Get a range of quotes
It’s very important that you choose at least 3 roofing contractors to quote for your job. This will help you to see whether you’re getting the best price for the work.
There are plenty of ways that you can find a good roofer – through recommendations from family and friends, trade associations or from Quotatis.
2. Ask them questions
Ask every roofer that gives you a quote what kinds of materials they would suggest using. This will help you to see who is using quality materials and who might be trying to fob you off.
Also ask them questions along the way about work they have undertaken and their experience, for example how long they have been in their profession. This is a good tool to catch out those rogue traders and will enable you to make the right choice and not the wrong one!
3. Don’t take the cheapest option
Of course, use your common sense with this one, but if the cheapest quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. Base your choice of roofer on the quality of advice you’re given and how confident you feel in them.
4. Ask for the quote in writing
You should always ask for the quote in writing to avoid any hidden costs that might not be made clear to you at the start.
Quotations should itemise what work will be carried out, the materials that need to be used, the timescale of the work to be completed and, of course, all costings.
5. Beware of estimates
If your contractor gives you an estimate for work, bear in mind that the price could change once they have removed the main part of the roof to see what they’re dealing with.
6. Advice isn’t free
Any good roofer will ensure they explain their processes and quotes with you thoroughly, but don’t expect free advice from them if you don’t have a genuine interest in giving them the work.
7. Agree payment terms
Ensure that you agree the payment terms before the roofer starts any work. Beware of contractors asking for a full upfront payment, as this isn’t good practice. If they ask for part payment for materials, make sure you know what you’re paying for.
If things go wrong, bear in mind that if you pay the company cash in a VAT-free deal, they can be difficult to track down afterwards – Quotatis recommends that you always pay by credit card or bank transfer so it’s traceable. If anything goes wrong, it’s easier to get reimbursed this way.
Always make sure you ask for a contract or a schedule of work, clearly laying out what work will be undertaken and at what cost in stages (if applicable). Agree and sign this contract and always keep a copy for yourself.
8. A good roofer offers a guarantee
Any good roofer should be able to offer you a guarantee on new or roof refurbishment work. Make sure it is an insurance-backed guarantee that is independent of their company as if they go out of business a general guarantee from them will be worthless.
Again, if this is not forthcoming, ask the contractor to provide one! Always ensure there is a paper trail and you have documents to fall back on.
9. Planning permission rules
Don’t forget that you are ultimately responsible for any planning permission that may be required on your property.
10. Building Control rules
If you’re having roof refurbishment work to 50% or more of the area of the roof, you must contact your Local Authority Building Control before the work starts.
However, if you employ a roofer certified by the CompetentRoofer scheme, you can save the hassle of having to inform them as the roofer can self-certify that their work meets building regulations.
As long as you follow these pieces of advice, you should have a happy experience with the roofer you choose.
If you need help finding a good roofer, simply use our service to get up to 4 no-obligation quotes. We’ll provide you with links to the roofers’ ratings and reviews, so you can read what other Quotatis consumers have said about each company. This should help you to select the right company you feel confident to work with.
This article was originally published in 2016 by Emily Rivers.