How to Choose a Portland Roofing Contractor
If your home isn’t the single largest investment you’ll ever make, then it’s certainly close to being of the largest. Naturally, you want to protect it from the elements, to ensure that it will withstand the test of time and retain its value through the years.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your home’s longevity and integrity is to keep the roofing in prime condition. Missing shingles, failing granular shingle coating, moss growth, and rotting timber can all compromise your roof’s ability to keep your home dry and sturdy.
Unless you have the time and skills to inspect and repair your home’s roof on your own, you’re going to need to enlist the help of a professional roofing contractor. But with so many Portland-area roofing contractors to choose from, how can you be sure you’re making the right decision?
Check With the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering trust in the marketplace, and serving as an intermediary between businesses and the public. The BBB assigns school-style ratings to businesses in nearly every sector.
If you are in the process of choosing a roofing contractor, then you’d be well advised to look up the business’s BBB grade. The BBB’s grades are based on eight “Standards for Trust,” which include honesty in advertising, maintaining a positive track record in the marketplace, responsiveness to customer disputes, and other informative metrics designed to protect consumers.
Verify Licenses, Bonding, and Insurance
There are some contractors around who try to sidestep the costs and footwork associated with obtaining proper licensure, bonding, and insurance. What’s wrong with that?
There’s an outside chance that you’ll luck into hiring an unlicensed roofing contractor with master-craftsman-level skills, but it could just as easily go the other way. You might end up hiring someone who watched some instructional videos online and thought, “Hey! That doesn’t look so hard.”
The problem with hiring unlicensed contractors is that you really have no way of knowing if they’re capable of performing the necessary work. You could end up thousands of dollars in the hole, with a roof that needs more repairs than it did when you started. Or, you could end up with repairs that seem fine at first, but start to fall apart in a year’s time. By then, your former roofing contractor may have disappeared from the market, leaving you no way of holding them accountable for their poor workmanship.
Hiring un-bonded roofing contractors exposes you to similar risks. Bonded contractors are those who have purchased surety bonds, which are basically insurance policies that protect each contractor’s clients. In the event that a contractor damages your home and refuses to pay for repairs, or does not finish the job as agreed, you can file a claim against them, which would be paid out from the surety bond. Of course, if you hire a roofing contractor who is not bonded, you have no such recourse.
Hiring an insured roofing contractor should also be high on your list of priorities. Insured contractors protect you from liability. Should one of your contractor’s crewmembers be injured while working on your property, you could be held liable for medical bills if your contractor does not carry the proper insurance policies.
Check Your Contractor’s Reputation
There was a time when verifying a contractor’s reputation could be quite difficult. You could check with the BBB, but beyond that, there wasn’t much else.
These days, it’s easy to check out your roofing contractor’s reputation. You can read reviews on Angie’s List, check out their ratings on Google, and even contact former clients through social media. So do your due diligence before hiring, and make sure you’re enlisting the services of a reputable, reliable roofing company.