TIPS TO HELP CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL
Regardless of the scope of your project, it’s important to evaluate contractors and their proposals.
- In Georgia, a contractor doesn’t need a license to go into the roofing business. There are no credentials needed at all. A contractor may have a business license, but that merely recognizes a business as a taxable entity. Check to see if a company is registered with the Georgia Secretary of State, and when the company was formed, by going to the government web site at http://www.sos.ga.gov. Click on “Corporations,” then “Corporations Search,” and enter the company name.
- Expect a contractor to show up on time for an appointment. Whether a salesperson or the owner of the company, that person should be able to clearly explain the details of the project to you, answer your questions and put it in writing.
- Does the company you’re dealing with have a track record? A company that’s been around a while should have a physical business address and an office where you can reach an employee. Local references, particularly from 10 years ago or more, are a helpful indicator of contractors’ stability. You can also visit the Better Business Bureau web site (http://www.bbb.org) to check on the accreditation, rating, and customer complaint history of the company.
- Proof that a contractor carries current comprehensive liability, specifying coverage for the type of installation you are considering, as well as coverage for workers’ compensation, is essential to protect you and your property. Call the insurance company and request proof of current, paid-up insurance coverage. Confirm that the company name on the insurance certificate is the same as the name on the proposal.
- Find out what credentials a contractor has, manufacturers often offer certifications to contractors. Some of these credentials–but not all-include extensive training, which must be renewed annually. Properly trained and credentialed installers are critical to the quality of your project.
- A request for a deposit or payment for materials in advance could be a risk. Generally, payment is due upon invoice or completion of the project. Be aware there have been instances of contractors requiring a deposit and do not complete the project.
TIPS TO HELP YOU EVALUATE A PROPOSAL
A proposal is a contract/agreement that should spell out your options in terms of products by brand, services, and prices.
- Will you receive a printed, transferrable certificate of warranty, explaining the coverage of the workmanship, after the project is completed? Will the contractor stand behind it? Most contractors haven’t been in business as long as the workmanship warranty they are offering.
- The contractor’s proposal should be more than a checklist; you want to be sure that it’s customized to your specific project.
- Be aware of the fine print on some proposals, regarding potential additional costs that are not included in the price.
- The proposal should detail parameters, such as Manufacture’s roof systems, ventilation options, flashing details and possible roof decking replacement costs.
- How does the contractor plan to handle clean up around the perimeter of your property? The proposal should spell out what steps are taken to protect your landscaping and surrounding areas and the thorough removal of debris. Is a company representative inspecting the project after it is complete?
- Does the proposal have product options? The proposal should show options and upgrades.