Finding a reliable roofing contractor to replace or repair your roof may seem easy, but the process isn’t as straightforward as you might think. First of all, think of the money involved. Here in South Carolina, most homeowners spend between $753 and $1,153 to have their roofs fixed and anywhere from $5,513 to $7,187 to have their roofs replaced. While those figures are lower than the national average, that’s still incentive enough for less-than-scrupulous contractors to take advantage of you.
This is why when the time comes for you to invest your hard-earned money on a roofing project, you need to be 100% sure that the roofer you’re hiring is 100% reliable.
Licensed, Bonded & Insured
You’ve most likely heard roofing contractors say, “We are licensed, bonded and insured for your protection.” But what exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, “licensed, bonded and insured” sums up the three most basic qualifications you should look for in a roofer.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Licensed: Licensing rules and regulations vary according to state, but generally, a roofer must have a license issued by the state in which they want to operate. Having been granted a trade license means that a contractor has passed standardized competency tests, paid the required fees, and given proof of insurance and/or bonding.
- Bonded: A contractor’s bond offers financial protection in the event that the roofer provides incomplete or unsatisfactory roofing work or fails to meet financial obligations related to your project.
- Insured: You want your roofer to have at least these two types of insurance: general liability to protect you from having to pay for injuries and property damage incurred during your project, and workers’ compensation to cover any lost wages or medical expenses incurred by workers who are injured on the job.
You may also contact your state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation or organizations like NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) to verify a particular contractor’s credentials.
Stay tuned for the second part of this blog series to find out what manufacturer warranties and certifications can tell you about a roofer’s credibility.