when you want your roof to last . . .
Bellevue Roofing
Apr 19, 2017

What Seattle Homeowners Should Look For In A Roofing Contractor

When it’s time for a new roof on your Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue or Redmond home, you need to take care to select a roofing company that’s going to do a good job.

Bellevue RoofiSeattle Roof Checklistng Company has been around since 1977 and as part of our dedication to customer service, we want to give you some helpful tips and questions to ask during your search for a roofing contractor.

Questions to ask roofing companies

  • Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
  • Do you have Liability insurance and worker’s comp?
  • Do you have a business address?
  • Do you use subcontractors or do company employees do all the work?
  • Do you work from start to finish? (meaning once started, you work until it’s done)
  • Is cleanup included in the price?
  • Is the owner on the job working or supervising?
  • How do you control the quality of the work?
  • If permits are need, do I get a copy and a checklist from the final inspection?
  • Will the work meet the code, covenant or restriction requirements in my area?

Detailed written estimates are key

When you ask for an estimate, expect to get a detailed written estimate.  Any company that gives you a price scribbled on a piece of paper with no details should not even be considered as that’s usually a sign of a fly-by-night company.

They often will start a job and not finish, do substandard work or will ask for more money part way through the project and that’s NOT what you want to happen.  Written estimates should include the roofing company’s name, address, contact information and license number.

Your estimate should be broken down into separate line items with materials and labor listed in detail as that way you know the owner has taken the time to thoroughly prepare an accurate estimate and not forgotten anything.

Written estimates should contain the following:

  • Type of roof covering (asphalt, metal, PVC)
  • Manufacturer of roof materials (brand of shingles)  and color
  • Warranty of the materials
  • Materials to be included in work (i.e. underlayment)
  • Removal of existing roof
  • Scope of work to be done and installation method
  • Flashing work (use existing flashing or replacing it?)
  • Ventilation work (will new vents be added?)
  • Approximate start and end dates
  • Payment procedure

Beware the lowest bid

If one of your estimates is a lot lower than the others, you should be leary.  The company that gave you the bid is probably using lower quality materials and/or cheap labor as that’s the only way to reduce their costs.  Going this route will most certainly cause problems down the road.

Over the years, we have gotten many phone calls from people who developed problems with their roof after only a few years. While we are happy to help them, I sure they would agree Selecting a roofing contractor for your Seattle homethat it would have been better if this could have been avoided.

Get it in writing

Once you have made your decision, it’s always good practice to get everything in writing (and that goes for most services or products you may buy).  If the roofing company gave you a detailed written estimate (like Bellevue Roofing does), then your written contract should have all the details from the estimate on the contract.

Make sure you read the contract and if there’s something you don’t understand, ask for an explanation.  A good roofing contractor will go over the contract with you and take the time to explain the warranty, price, payment procedures, etc.  It goes without saying that you should receive a copy of the signed contract for your records.

Don’t make decision on price alone

Remember, price should only be 1 criteria for selecting a roofing contractor.  Other factors, such as quality workmanship, years of experience and customer service are (we would argue) more important than price as they directly impact the end result.  For example, shoddy workmanship will affect how long your new roof will last and may result in repairs being needed to fix problems caused by the substandard work.

It may also be helpful to read our post “When’s it’s time for a new roof, pick the company with the best value” as it describes how price and value are 2 different things.

We hope you found this information helpful as you search for a roofing contractor for your Seattle or Eastside home.  Bellevue Roofing offers free estimates so contact us for your free estimate today.