BBB Tips on Hiring a Roofing Contractor


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By Steve Abel – President of the Abilene BBB | July 1, 2014

BBB Tips on Hiring a Roofing ContractorBy Steve AbelUnless you have a leak and need emergency repairs, take your time in hiring a roofing contractor. A little homework ahead of time, may translate into better roof-work, and a quality job at a better value for homeowners. To find a reputable roofing contractor, the BBB urges homeowners to take the following precautions:• Work closely with your insurance company. Make sure you understand the replacement roof process, your responsibility for your deductible and payments from your insurance company. • Know the type and quality of roof you currently have. Replacement policy insurance will pay for what you currently have. Don’t be cheated with a lesser quality shingle. • If you don’t already have a trusted contractor, you might obtain bids from several firms, making sure that the specifications of each bid are identical. • Ask for a business card and the home location of the roofing company• Don’t sign anything till you are ready to hire, and don’t hire until you have checked out the company. • Obtain a reliability report on the firm by calling the Better Business Bureau at 325-691 1533 or look it up on-line at bbb.org/abilene and find out how long the company has been in business – If the contractor was in business before the hail storm they likely will be in business after the storm is over • If your home is in the city limits of Abilene, make sure the company has a contractor registration on file with the City. Require that they obtain a permit for your roof from the city and that it is part of the written estimate. Verify the requirements are being met by contacting the Building Inspection Department at 676-6273, or city hall in your location. • If possible, ask for and check references. Try to talk to previous customers, and if possible, look at a similar job that has been completed recently and one that has been done for several years• Beware of fly by night repair businesses soliciting work in unmarked trucks and requiring advance payment, and do not succumb to high pressure techniques such as the price is “good only for today.”The BBB cautions that all contracts for home repairs should include;• name, address and phone number of the contractor;• a written description of all the work to be done, including the quality of materials to be used. If the salesman is promising work to be done and it’s not on the written estimate, you write it on the contract and both parties initial any changes. • when payment is due for the job ;• when the materials arrive at the work site, physically check the wrappers in the shingles and make sure what is quoted in the contract is what has arrived at your home.And lastly, Abel warns, never pay for all repairs in advance and pay by check or credit card; make the check out to the company not the person; don’t pay cash to a contractor or a sales person.The Better Business Bureau has a free brochure on how to hire a reputable roofing contractor that is available by calling the Bureau at 325-691-1533 or you can receive it via e-mail by requesting it at info@abilene.bbb.org.