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Negotiating with Roofing Contractors

Your house is only as good as the roof over it. And your roof is only as good as your roofing contractor's skill and expertise. When choosing a roofing material for your home, consider all options you can afford for durability, flame resistance, and style. When hiring a roofing contractor, as when interviewing any home contractor, know your expectations and require that he or she meet all of them. Here's how to negotiate:


  1. Ask for proof that a contractor is licensed in your state. Also, ask to see bonding and Worker's Compensation documents.
  2. Call your Registrar of Contractors and Better Business Bureau and inquire about complaints or lawsuits.
  3. Contact at least two previous customers of the roofing contractor, ideally those who used the contractor's services four of five years ago. They must not relatives or friends of the contractor. Ask how the work has held up.
  4. The contractor should tell you the pros, cons, and relative costs of current roofing materials you're considering. Ask about manufacturer's warranties.
  5. If you are going from a lighter-weight material, such as asphalt shingles, to a heavier one, such as tile, ask if your walls and rafters can bear the added weight. Two-by-four-inch walls may not be able to handle the load.
  6. Ask how big a crew is needed, and how long each crew member has worked for the contractor. It's best if the job boss has worked for the company for several years.
  7. Tell each roofing contractor that, during the project, you expect phone calls to be returned by the same evening or early the next morning at the latest. If phone calls aren't prompt during the bid process, it won't improve during the project. Communication is crucial.
  8. Ask for starting and finishing dates for the job, in writing, in the contract. Specify dollar penalties for failure to meet those dates, unless weather or personal emergencies are a factor. In such circumstances, communications must be prompt, and revised dates should be initialed on the contract.
  9. Ask what sort of workmanship guarantee the contractor is willing to give. Your new roof should last 25 or 30 years, or more. Bargain for free correction of defects for a year after completion.

You hold the purse strings, so you are in the driver's seat. Choose a communicative, business-like roofing contractor and you can reap the rewards of a smooth, efficient project and a new, long-lasting roof.

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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.

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