We often hear from friends, family and colleagues about the importance of working only with licensed contractors. While they’re right to underscore the importance of licenses, insurance and bonds—non-negotiable requirements discussed in Part One—there’s more to your contractor credibility checklist than these three things. Next up to bat: warranties and certifications.
Because their reputation is at stake, a good roofer will only provide topnotch workmanship and use high-quality materials from trusted roofing manufacturers. That’s what warranties can tell you about a roofing contractor: that they are unwilling to gamble their good name on anything less than the best.
Warranties from industry-leading brands like GAF, Carlisle SynTec, Hydro-Stop, Duro-Last and Firestone speak volumes about a roofer. It shows that that the roofer has made a conscious decision to use materials that perform well, last for a long time and give you your money’s worth.
But product warranties aren’t the only type of warranty to keep an eye out for. There are different types of warranties offering different levels of protection. Sometimes their coverage will overlap, but at the very least you’ll want to have:
a) protection against defects in the roofing materials and
b) protection against defects in labor or workmanship.
You’ll have a choice from among three basic types of roof warranties: materials only, prorated materials and labor and NDL (No Dollar Limit).
Studies by GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, show that more than two-thirds of new roof problems result from poor design and/or installation rather than from issues with materials, so materials-only warranties don’t offer sufficient protection. If that’s all your candidate roofer is able to offer, walk away.
Manufacturers have certification programs designed to promote the proper use and installation of their products. A factory-certified contractor has the manufacturer’s own vote of confidence. And that vote carries a lot of weight.
When you work with a factory-certified roofer, you can expect quality installations, durable roofing products, eligibility for special warranties, and the satisfaction of knowing that you’re really getting the most out of your investment.
Stick around for the third and final part of this blog series to learn just how important it is to check a company’s local reputation before hiring.