When a roof needs repairing, homeowners can quickly go into emergency mode and try to find the first or cheapest option.
It may be hard to keep calm when water drips onto your head, but jumping to a snap decision can lead to two of the most expensive mistakes a consumer can make: choosing the wrong contractor and choosing the wrong roofing materials.
Finding the right person for the job
Your home is your biggest personal investment and repair projects can cost thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, many so-called contractors take advantage of people needing quick fixes to their roofs after severe weather. The Better Business Bureau of Denver and Boulder reports hundreds of fraud claims each year from consumers about roofing companies.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a roofing contractor:
· “Too many people make a judgment based solely on price,” says Mark McMillan, sales manager for Horn Brothers Roofing, a Colorado company in the business for more than 25 years. “They need to consider the product being used and who is installing it.” McMillan warns if the price quoted is too good to be true, then it probably is.
· If a roofing company or contractor asks for a large down payment or for full payment up-front, be suspicious, the BBB warns. All too often, a homeowner hands over a big check and never sees the contractor again.
· When the contractor offers no written contract including the company’s information, insurance, scope of work, dates of service and cost, send him on his way. Refusal to provide a written contract is against the law. Also remember: state law allows customers to cancel a contract within three business days (including Saturdays).
· A roofing company should never deal with your insurance company. Only the customer should be in direct contact with the insurance agent. Roofers who say they can file a claim or pay your deductible are guilty of insurance fraud, which you can be associated with, as well.
· Lack of documentation means trouble. Many out of town contractors may not have knowledge of local permit procedures or lack the appropriate warranties or guarantees. If something goes wrong with the roof after the workers finish the project, the homeowner will likely have to pay for any fines or additional repairs.
· A reputable company can inform customers who works on their projects — whether they are direct employees or subcontractors. Make sure to ask who will be working on your home and who is responsible for the job.
Not all labor and products are equal
To the untrained eye, all roofs may seem alike. However, industry professionals such as Horn Brothers Roofing understand each building’s unique needs in not only style and appearance, but also what materials stand up to local weather and other conditions.
What many people don’t realize about high quality roofing is the delicate balance between product quality and installation skill.
“Roofing is 20 percent product and 80 percent installation,” McMillan explains, “We’ve had installers who have been with us for nearly 25 years.”
Horn Brothers Roofing highly recommends Gerard stone coated steel roofing for its combined durability and beautiful appearance.
“These roofing systems look just like traditional slate, shake and tile roofs, but stand up to 120 mph winds and withstand 2.5-inch hail stones,” McMillan said. “It also has a class A fire rating, which is important because 90 percent of fires start from embers blown from roof to roof. This roof will not catch fire.”
Gerard metal roofing systems come with a lifetime (50-year), non-prorated materials warranty and are not prorated after 10 years, like other products. First in the industry Gerard stone coated roofs come with a 20 year, non-prorated labor warranty, which the company added as of Jan. 1, 2016. This, according to McMillan puts Gerard above all other roofing products.
Different products for different needs
Horn Brothers Roofing employees also understand the differences between what a home roof may need compared to a community building, such as a church.
“We just finished replacing a roof in town that had many different needs than a traditional roof,” McMillan said. “The church wanted to keep its rustic look, so we knew we needed to go with something different. We opted for Davinci products — a synthetic shake material — to maintain that look. Often, churches want to maintain the look designed by the original architect. We were able to keep the historical value while providing the best product.”
For more information on roof products or to get a free estimate, visit the official Horn Brothers Roofing website.