Getting a new roof on your home is a big investment and since it’s not done often, there’s a good chance this is your first time researching roofing companies.
As with anything, not all Seattle roofing contractors are the same so here’s some things to think about and questions to ask during your search for re-roofing your Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue or Eastside home.
A good roof starts with quality materials
The quality of the shingles and other materials is important and all asphalt shingles come with a manufacturing warranty as they are expected to last for a certain number of years.
Since your roof protects your home, it’s not a bad idea to spend a little more to get shingles which are going to last longer. For example, asphalt shingles come with different ratings so choose one that will last 30 to 40 years rather than 15 to 20 years.
Calculating cost of new roof
When looking at the cost of a new roof, you need to divide the price by the number of years the roof is estimated to last. If you do this, you may find the more expensive shingles are actually less per year than the less expensive ones. If you are comparing asphalt shingles and metal roofing, you can use the same method as it still applies.
Considering the total time involved in the process from getting estimates to the completion of your new roof, most people think it’s better to go with the longer lasting shingles or roofing material as once done, they aren’t in a hurry to go through the process any time soon.
A lasting roof is more than just the shingles
While using premium shingles and roofing materials is a good start, they are only as good as the workman who install them. Even the best shingles on your roof may leak or cause problems if they are not installed correctly.
Plus, the manufacturer’s warranty may be void IF they are not installed according to the manufacturers’ specific instructions and that could be bad news for you down the road.
In addition, the warranty may only include defects in the shingles itself so if your problems originate from HOW the shingles were installed, it would not be covered.
For instance, there might be an issue with the materials or techniques used to secure shingles around vents, skylights or other structures on your roof.
Of course, many roofing contractors have a workmanship guarantee that is meant to take care of these types of problems as it covers the actual installation. Make sure to ask if they will stand behind their work if there’s a problem later.
Don’t be afraid to ask how many years they have been in business as that can be a good indicator of their quality.
Who’s going to do the work?
When you talk with roofing companies, you should ask if the people doing the work are their employees or subcontractors. Many times, companies will subcontract out the work so they cannot guarantee who is doing the work or how much experience they have.
If a company is using their own employees, you can usually bet they have been properly trained and the owner can tell you how many years of experience they have under their belt.
Plus, employees will be familiar with the roofing materials and the correct techniques used with each specific type of material or shingle. This usually means they work quicker and that’s good for you though don’t worry, that doesn’t mean they are skipping steps.
Employees can more easily be held accountable for their work as the owner or supervisor will be on site to monitor their work for quality control.
Estimates reveal many things
An estimate is much more than just a price. Any reputable roofing contractor will provide you with a detailed written estimate listing the materials and labor needed for the job.
If you don’t get an itemized estimate, this should be a big red flag as you don’t want to get to the end of the job and have the price suddenly go up.
Here at Bellevue Roofing, our free written estimates are itemized so you can see what you’re getting. Contact us to get your free estimate.
A detailed estimate means the owner or supervisor carefully figured out exactly what will be needed (which should be easy for any experienced roofer to do) so there are no surprises in the end.
The exception would be that something unexpected may arise during the installation and if that happens, a reputable contractor will bring it to your attention right away so you can (together) decide how to deal with it.
Use common sense when getting estimates from Seattle roofing contractors. Ask questions and get everything in writing so that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
If you need more information (so that you can understand the process), check out our post on Common Roofing Terms as it may be helpful to you.