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A common tactic to use when hiring roofing contractors is to select three or more bids from different companies. Price often drives the selection and is often the major influence in roofing decisions. Roofing contractors realize that price drives the market and often they and property owners overlook more important factors such as design, scope of work, and craftsmanship. Other factors just as important to consider include experience, knowledge, and insurance coverage. For example, if you hire a contractor, relative, or friend and they do not have adequate insurance, both General Liability and Workers Compensation, then you the owner are responsible for medical costs, lost wages or damages to your property in the event of an accident. Homeowners feel they are being safe by selecting the middle bid and throwing out the lower or higher bids. Quality is never cheap and although the research seems like a headache, there are many factors other than price that should be considered.
Bid-shopping works with decisions like automobile purchases, but certainly not roofing projects. You can ask three automobile dealerships to price a product with specific make, model, and equipment and feel reasonably sure you are comparing like-products, e.g. "apples to apples." You are purchasing a product you can see and test drive. When one purchases roofing, they are purchasing a concept with which they often know little about and can't see until well after the contract is signed and the damages from poor craftsmanship, inferior materials, and design threaten your investments and well being.
Make sure your roofing contractor furnishes you a written contract and specifications detailing all work required to protect your property and the investments therein. All materials and labor should be detailed and specific to insure you a quality job at an honest price. Procedures for changes in work and completion time should be discussed and understood by both parties. A warranty should be given to protect the property owner and their investments. Roofing warranties should give you protection guarantees for both labor and materials. Ask further assurance like warranties that provide added coverage and protection through Contractor Certifications and third-party guarantees such as the long-recognized Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Remember, you should be cautious. Know your contractor. Check them thoroughly. The average roofing contractor stays in business less than two or three years!
And finally, if you like a contractor and feel confident in his or her work, but they proposed a bid beyond your budget, a quality roofing contractor should have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to realign a proposal to scale down the price without sacrificing quality protection. We at Stephens Roofing have these attributes combine with over 20 years of quality roofing application, which makes us "second-to-none" in our field! Ask your contractor if any part of the job can be scaled down to meet your budget and most importantly whether something omitted would sacrifice protection or warranty. It very well may be as simple as substituting the materials or scopes of work required to install a certain roof system design.
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