December 1, 2021

How to Hire a Reputable Commercial Roofing Contractor

Over 90% of the business for the commercial roofing industry comes from roof replacements.

Do you feel like your time is coming to join that overwhelming statistic?

Hiring a reputable commercial roofing contractor for your building doesn’t happen often and can feel overwhelming when it’s a necessity. Whether this is the first replacement or the hundredth in your lifetime, it’s critical to know who you’re hiring. One mistake in accepting a bid may cause a lifetime of headaches.

Don’t make a mistake while searching for a “roofing contractor near me” and learn from experience. You’re a short read away from knowing how to find the best local option for your building.

Start Local

Most Google searches will give you a collection of local companies competing for your attention. Any search for a reputable commercial roofing contractor starts with learning about these options. The best websites will represent how they address the concerns of commercial building owners like yourself.

The proven benefits of choosing a local roofing business include:

  • Better communication with project managers
  • Investing in your local community in a meaningful way
  • Having contractors who understand your local regulations
  • References you can trust from other local commercial building owners

Local contractors often come with well-known reputations that you don’t have to search for hours to verify. Any group of construction professionals worth your time will not hesitate to introduce you to their previous customers. Confidence like that only comes from a company that exceeded expectations.

Look for the Proper Credentials

Spend time studying both your state and local laws before you call anyone or accept bids. It’s also possible that the contracts you’ve signed obligate you to choose a reputable and trustworthy contractor.

You don’t want to assume that all estimates come from contractors with the proper credentials. Detail will vary depending on where you live, but it’s wise for anyone to investigate the following:

  • Is the contractor licensed?
  • Is the contractor bonded and insured?
  • Did someone provide you with references?
  • Does the company have a well-known reputation in the area?

While this may be an essential qualifier, it’s often an indicator of quality also. No local business that leaves unhappy roofing customers lasts for long. A history of proven successes will tell you most of what you need to know.

Ask for References

Looking for bids will bring everything from high-pressure sales to estimators who don’t take much time (if any) to inspect your building’s roof. It’s nearly impossible to look past the smoke screens to find the truth. Asking for local references gives you the best opportunity to see the forest from the trees.

When you talk to a contractor’s previous (or current) customers, start with the following questions:

  • Was the job completed on schedule?
  • What type of work did the contractor do for them?
  • What materials did the contractor use on the roof?
  • How did the final cost compare to the initial estimate?
  • Have they recommended the contractor to other business owners?
  • How did communication work before, during, and after the project?

Write down your list of questions to ask that will give you the confidence you need to make a decision. Walk away from the list for a while, and then come back later to decide what helps you reveal a contractor’s character.

Read Commercial Roofing Contractor Reviews

Who’s more likely to leave a review: happy customers or angry ones? It’s an unfortunate truth that most of the work a company does goes unrecognized. Even the best contractors struggle to get their clients to follow-through with posting reviews.

Would you trust a company that only has five-star reviews across the board? It’s not out of the question for a contractor to buy their online reputation without earning it on the streets. Use these tested techniques to read between the lines of online reviews:

  • Look for companies with a high volume of reviews
  • Look for the common themes in good and bad reviews
  • Look for bad reviews and how the company responded
  • Look through Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints in detail
  • Look for photos from customers to view projects without the marketing gloss

Spread out your efforts to research reviews. Dig into how the business responds to negative comments and the motivations behind them. A contractor only maintains a strong reputation by how they correct their mistakes.

Ask for Details About “Guarantees”

Everything comes down to the fine print during contracting disputes. That’s never where you want a project to go, but it’s where they can end, even with reputable commercial roofing contractors. Anyone can smile and make you a promise, but the fine print may tell you more about the company’s character than anything else.

Ask the following questions to anyone who submits a bid:

  • How are claim disputes resolved?
  • Does the warranty cover vandalism?
  • Are there exceptions that would void the warranty?
  • Who manufactures the materials they will use for repairs or replacement?
  • Does anyone pick up the guarantee if the contractor goes out of business?

States have minimum requirements for how long a contractor must support their work, but they don’t last long. In Washington, for example, a business only has to guarantee its roof repair or replacement for one year. Most companies will exceed that number to compete, but that makes attention to detail even more crucial in a state that asks for such a low number.

What Should You Do Next?

What do you do with this education about finding a commercial roofing contractor you can trust? Save this guide and refer to it while you do your research.

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