Frederick Roof RepairServing Frederick and Montgomery County, MD
GETTING YOUR ROOF REPLACED IS NO JOKE!
When preparing to get your roof replaced, a checklist of good questions to consider while evaluating those providing you with estimates can be most helpful. Generating this list may be difficult so below I have provided you with a list of questions you can use. Roof replacement is no small matter. There are many companies that “front” themselves as roofing companies but the fact is they are owned by businessmen, not roofers. I once told my brother-in-law that I had been a surveyor for a year (he is part owner of Maddox Engineers and Surveyors in Rockville, MD). He tactfully informed me that I had “surveyed” for a year, but that I had never been a surveyor. The point was well taken. Owning a roofing company doesn’t make one a roofer. Spending years in the field is no guarantee either. Just like a surveyor is one who can figure out with a pencil and paper in three dimensional space what most of us could never imagine, a roofer is someone who can install leak free roofs time after time and explain exactly why he did what he did when it comes to all the details. The best roofers out there have gone through a process something like this:
1 They got hired to roof and spent a few years as an employee of a roofing company.
2 They became a subcontractor and spent a number of years at this level. Being a subcontractor takes a person from being paid by the hour to being paid by the job. This motivates either efficiency or sloppiness.
3 This motivated, efficient subcontractor went on to be a Maryland Home Improvement Contractor, but he is not done yet. Not if he is going to be the “best” roofer for your house.
4 This roofer chooses to stay in the field and keep working with his own back ( modified american dream, I like to call it). He personally heads up his own crew only leaving when he goes out to do repairs or an estimate. His crew leader is not someone he “keeps down” but rather is someone who is valued such that he views the companies’ success as his own. Additionally, he is aware that getting too big is exactly that which results in a declining customer service and a declining quality. He will not turn over his company to people who don’t care. Silver and Gold take a back seat to a good name.
5 This roofer makes a personal decision to handle all roof repair calls being generated by other roofing companies’ lack of attention to detail. Whenever possible based on work load, he involves his crew leader and employees in the process of discovering leaks. Keeping people down is the best way to ensure people don’t get good at their job and this he will not do. There are more important things than being successful in business, like being successful as a human being. Fear of an employees’ success which often translates into additional future competition doesn’t motivate him. This is the ultimate training for the roofer. He who spends years studying why water makes its’ way through various roofing systems knows more about roofing than does just about anyone. Because of this “highest level training”, this roofer has the greatest likelihood of successfully providing you with what you need, a leak free roof installed efficiently with the least appearance of his ever having been there.
Below are listed some “Questions to consider” when evaluating your roofing companies’ performance during the estimate. Feel free to copy and paste these questions into a text editor like “Word” so that you can refer to them later.
1 Did the roofer walk on your house to inspect the state of your roof? (applicable 8/12 pitch and under). Ask your roofer for the pitch of your roof.
2 Did the company send a salesman or the owner himself?
3 Will the owner be present during the course of the work to be performed?
4 Did the company offer you a 10 year “labor” warranty vs. a lesser warranty and or an extended warranty offered by the shingle manufacturer?
5 Did the roofer state the work could be done in a reasonable amount of time? If it will take more than one day, what is his plan to make the roof “watertight” overnight?
6 Did the roofer promise and sign to such that he would not leave your job part way through to begin other work?
7 Did the roofer explain each part of the system he planned to install ( what it is for, and why he suggested what he did)?
8 Was the company a roofing company or a general contracting company?
9 Was the roofer able to give you your estimate right away revealing his knowledge of the trade or did he have to leave to “figure it out”? If there was a good reason for having to send you your estimate later, was it a quick turnaround or were you left wondering where your estimate was?
10 Are the estimates really comparing apples to apples or might a more expensive estimate really be offering you more?
11 Does the roofer’s warranty “transfer” if need be to a new owner? any likelihood of moving during the warranty period should make this an attractive feature.
12 Did the roofer make mention of every detail on your roof (skylights, pipes, vents, chimneys, etc.)?
13 Did the roofer offer to remove the #1 weak point (cheap pipe collars) of the modern shingle roofing system at no additional cost, and if not, what does this say about his knowledge base?
14 Did the roofer answer all of your personally generated questions in a satisfactory manner?
15 What value do you place on a roofers’ ability to meet all of the above qualifications?
Always remember: Value is really cost + quality. Those that only consider cost often get the worst available product and or installation being offered. Please contact me, Stefan Mach, at Frederick Roof Repair, (301) 788-3061, to get a thorough assessment of your roofing needs.