1. Is the roofing contractor licensed? In the State of Florida, a roofing contractor must have a valid state certified roofing license or a valid residential roofing license which means he can legally do roofing work in certain counties. You can go to https://www.myfloridalicense.com/ and search by licensee name, number, or city/county. This is a site managed by the State of Florida and shows whether somebody’s license is active, null and void, inactive, etc.
2. Do they have insurance? There are two types of insurance that metal roofing contractors must have and that is General Liability and Workers Compensation. General liability covers you if the contractor does damage to your property while working on your property. If the contractor doesn’t have liability coverage, then any damage done will have to be covered by your own homeowners policy. Workers Compensation Insurance covers you in case somebody from the roofing company gets hurt while on your property. If the contractor doesn’t have Workers Compensation Insurance, you become liable for any injuries during the roofing project. Both of these types of insurances can be verified with the State of Florida Division of Workers Compensation by calling 850-413-1601.
3. Does the contractor have complaints filed against them? If they do, then you probably want to steer clear of them. Past customers and even material suppliers may file judgements or litigation against a contractor for not paying for materials, poor workmanship, or contract disputes. Most people you talk to about having your roof done outside of talking to a roofing contractor will tell you to get references from past jobs the roofing contractor did. Although this is a good idea, lets face it. Contractors aren’t going to give you references to people who had a bad experience with them. They are going to hand select those customers that are happy. Another thing you can do is go online to the county that you are located in and pull up public records on that contractor or visit the local building office to see previous roofing permits the contractor you are thinking about hiring have done. If they haven’t done a lot of work in your area, it may be another warning sign that you shouldn’t hire them.
4. What kind of material suppliers do they use? Unfortunately as in everything nowadays, there are cheap metal roofing materials that some suppliers sell to gain a competitive edge, or they strictly don’t know enough about the products or industry they are in. Metal roofing suppliers should have some kind of warranty on the metal and the warranty should come from a reputable company. There are metal roofing companies that install metal roofing that is made off of roofing coil that comes from China and the paint quality is very poor. Find out where they get their materials from and do a little research.
5. Do they have a contract? Get a clearly written contract proposal that spells out everything the contractor is going to do, including what materials he is going to be putting on your roof, what kind of material warranty there is and what kind of labor warranty there is. This is where you have to be very careful. Some metal roofing contractor’s may quote you a really low number on installing the roof, but have concessions for other things that are probably things that are going to have to be done anyway. Usually they call this a “change order” and they can add up to a significant amount of money. Just make sure when you are looking at the different proposals from different contractors, that you are comparing apples with apples.Most metal roofing contractors are in it to make an honest living, but the fact of the matter is that there those few that give the industry a bad name. Hopefully if you follow these five steps before hiring a metal roofing contractor, then you can avoid the pitfalls of working with a bad roofing contractor.
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