How to choose a contractor that's right for you:
Replacing your roof is one of the biggest projects you will have to do on your home. It is not a job to give just anybody. You may be asking yourself, “How do I select a good roofing contractor and assure myself of quality workmanship and service?”
Rod Powers, owner and president of Rod Powers Roofing & Construction, Inc. who has been in the roofing business over 37 years, offers the following guidelines to help you protect yourself and your home:
DON’T BE PRESSURED INTO ANYTHING.
If someone knocks on your door or calls on the phone seeking to pressure you to let them do your work, don’t fall for it. Good contractors don’t need to use high pressure sales techniques.
BE LEARY OF OFFERS THAT ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. You may save some money now, but it could end up costing you big money later when you need follow-up service and the contractor is out of town or out of business. We highly recommend comparing bids.
USE LOCAL CONTRACTORS.
Out of town and out of state contractors will not likely be able to provide the service you expect, and may need later. The aftermath of a storm usually results in at least 200 out of town roofers trying to sell you a roof that they will never help you maintain.
USE EXPERIENCED CONTRACTORS.
Years of experience can help assure you that the contractor knows what he/she is doing, and will be around later if further service is needed.
MAKE SURE THE CONTRACTOR YOU SELECT USES QUALITY MATERIALS.
Sometimes cheap bids are cheap because the materials to be used are low quality. Cheap materials won’t stand up to the extreme temperature variations, wind, etc. so common in Oklahoma. Things to watch out for are the type of shingles, fasteners, felt (tar paper), decking, and metal specified on the estimate/contract. The shingles should be a high quality Elk Prestique, Timberline, Certainteed, or something equivalent. The fasteners specified should be rough surface nails like hot dipt and screw shank. Heavy 30# felt should also be included, instead of light weight 15# felt. The specified decking should be ½ inch plywood rather than some thinner grade or particle board. Finally, the metal used for valleys and edging should be pre-painted which looks better and lasts longer.
MAKE SURE THE CONTRACTOR YOU SELECT NAILS BY HAND.
Many contractors today use nail and staple guns. Staples should never be used to install a roof. They back out after a year or two, as do smooth shank roofing nails. Nail guns are not desirable several reasons. One reason is that rough surfaced nails cannot be used in nail guns. Another reason for avoiding guns is because a roofer can’t tell when the nails shot from a gun miss the 1 x 4 decking underneath. When nailed by hand, they can feel when a nail misses the 1 x 4 decking and install another nail.
BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT ACCEPTING THE CHEAPEST BID.
Cheap bids normally translate into cheaper materials and short cuts used during installation. Problem areas may not be addressed properly due to the time and expense involved. Besides, if your insurance is involved your only cost will normally be the amount of your deductible, so it doesn’t make sense to settle for something cheap.
ASK FOR REFERENCES.
Good contractors have nothing to hide and will be glad to supply you with references. A phone call to one or two references can reveal a lot about the type of work and service a contractor provides (or fails to provide). If the contractor hesitates or refuses to provide references when requested to do so, use another contractor.
Check out Rod Powers Roofing & Construction, Inc.'s Customer Testimonial page for honest reactions to our work.