A new roof is a major investment for your home, and one of the largest renovation projects you’re likely to undertake as a homeowner. Whether you are using more typical roofing materials like wood or asphalt shingles, or a premium material like metal, the choice of who you contract for the job is important. Especially if you have already gone with a maker of commercial steel buildings to make your home, you want the roof to match and blend with the work already done. With metal roofing, your choice of contractor is especially important because the application of metal roofing is a specialty that requires the proper skill and tools to do the job well. Finding the best metal roofing company near you will require a thorough search and vetting process before you make your decision. In this article, we’ll try to help you through that process to make the best choice possible.
Starting Your Search
Get personal referrals and reviews
Do you have any friends, neighbors, or family who have recently had a metal roof installed? If so, they can be a great resource to start your search. Ask them about their experience from searching to selecting to installing. What worked for them and what do they wish they had known before they started the process? They may also be able to give you a strong positive or negative review of the company they worked with, and help you narrow down your search in the area. When it comes to choosing a roofing contractor you’ll need all the help you can get!
Use online references
Today, most businesses have some sort of advertising presence on the internet. Many will have extensive websites with customer testimonials, examples of projects that they have completed in the past, and lists of their credentials. While not every roofer may have a slick website to display this information, there are still several places that can point you in the right direction:
- Angie’s List: Sign-up for free and you can search for contractors and businesses for any home project. The site also offers reviews, ratings, and price quotes from previous customers.
- Thumbtack: Answer a few questions and you can be in touch with qualified businesses right away
- Houzz: Read reviews, and browse photos from past projects that your contractor has completed. Houzz is a great place to get home inspiration and project ideas before you commit to material or layout.
When you go to these sites, don’t simply judge a business based on its rating. It’s a good idea to take the time to read the feedback from customers. What did they do well? Were there any consistent complaints about the work they did?
Talk to industry professionals
Not only should you get customer reviews, but it’s a good idea to speak to professionals in the building industry. A good place to start is to reach out to trade organizations that would support a metal roofing business. Consider contacting the National Roofing Contractors Association, or a local Home Builders Association. These organizations can help you determine if the business you are working with is recognized, credible, and sufficiently skilled.
If you know any architects or builders in the area, it can be a good idea to give them a call as well. Home building professionals tend to have a good sense of which businesses do a good job, and which ones may employ questionable business practices. They can also give you tips on what to consider when evaluating a metal roof contractor in your area. Lastly, one of the best ways to ensure that your metal roof gets installed correctly, is to contact the manufacturer for a recommendation. Metal roof manufacturers are often well connected to the roofing industry, and may know who has done good work in the past installing their roofing.
Picking the Right Roofer for You
Now that you’ve done your research, you probably have a handful of metal roofing contractors that look like they could do the job for you. You’ll need to take a few extra steps before you’re ready to choose one to go with.
Set-up multiple consultations
It’s a good idea to have no less than 3 contractors that you want to meet with. For each one, you should set-up an on-site consultation. This is your opportunity to get to know their business, ask questions, test their knowledge, and decide if you would be comfortable working with them.
Expect to do the following during an on-site consultation:
- A field measurement of your roof
- A site inspection to look at various factors that could affect the install, such as low spots, gutters, landscape, roof access, and differing roof planes
- Review of options and ideas for addressing your roof including panel type, metal material type, color, and accessories
- Discussion of payment or financing options – whether you have the money saved up, or you will need some sort of credit, or perhaps it’s part of an insurance claim, you will have to discuss what options are available between you and the contractor
- Initial assessment and proposal – based on the site assessment, and your preferences, the contractor should have a rough estimate on how much the job will cost. It may take them some time to get an “Exact Price Quote” or “Written Estimate,” but you should request that you get something in writing along with expected variability in the costs or a “Low, Medium, High” Estimate.
- Q&A – This is not your last time to ask questions, but having someone face-to-face is the best time to ask all the questions you need to feel comfortable with the contractor. Have they said anything that seems incorrect or that you don’t understand? Ask for clarification. How long will the project take? How many people will be working? Why are they making the recommendations that they made? What are the trouble spots?
Continue to do your homework
In addition to this on-site consultation, you should continue to vet the contractor on your own. There are some important signs that the roofer you are researching is good to work with. Start by getting references and checking their customer testimonials. Any good roofer should be able to point you to customers who have been very satisfied with their work. Online references are good to double check from multiple sources to see if they say consistently good things, or address any concerns you had during the consultation. Make sure that they are licensed or certified, and have proof of insurance. If they are unable to provide proof of licensure and insurance then it’s a red flag for the business. Lack of insurance could be especially costly if someone gets injured while working on your property.
Lastly, make sure that they are open, transparent, and responsive. It’s sign of a well-run business when they can walk you through the whole process, answer whatever questions you need to feel comfortable, and are respectful enough of your time and the money you are looking to spend by being responsive to your needs. If you feel like you won’t be taken care of by a contractor, then don’t work with them.
Contact Northface Construction for a consultation today!
Much of this advice can be applicable for any contractor that you hire to roof your house. However, metal roofing is an especially costly and intensive process, and before making that investment, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence. If you’re looking to get started with your own metal roofing installation process, Northface Construction can help. We’re a local Twin Cities business that can provide you the quality, service, and value you’re looking for in a metal roof installer. Contact us today to get a free estimate and consultation!