Your home is probably your biggest or one of your biggest investments, and your roof is an important aspect of the value of your home. Whether you’re considering a higher-end material such as slate or something more moderately priced, a roof installation is a significant investment costing thousands of dollars. Besides the type of materials the majority of the investment will be the cost of the skilled labor. Therefore, you will want to choose a Charlotte roofing company with lots of experience to ensure quality workmanship. Unfortunately, there are many unqualified roofing contractors who will offer to do the job, so it pays to do your homework.
How to find a first-rate Charlotte roofer
A good place to start is to check with your neighbors, friends or your home builders association. If you can’t get a good recommendation from any of these, then check your yellow pages under “Roofing.” Pick more than one prospective company that has been in business for at least five years; Charlotte area roofers who don’t deliver quality workmanship won’t last long.
Don’t waste your time if a roofing company isn’t available to do the job within your timeframe. Continue your search until you find one that is available and be sure to request references. It’s not a good sign if a potential roofing contractor takes issue with providing the names and contact information for previous clients.
Once you obtain the references, take a drive to inspect the company’s more recent jobs. Look at the spacing between the shingle tabs, called water gaps, and see if they line up straight as they alternate rows. Also check to see if the shingles are neatly trimmed along the valleys where they overlap the flashing. Shingles should also be neatly trimmed so they are aligned with the edge of the roof as jagged lines indicate sloppy work. Also, see if the flashing at eaves and valleys is clean and tar-free.
If everything looks good, contact the company’s references yourself and see how they respond to the following questions:
- Would you use this company again?
- Were there any roof leaks? If so, how did the roofing company respond?
- Was the job completed on budget? If not, by how much was the budget exceeded? Were the extra charges justified?
- Did they cause any damage to the landscaping, and were there problems due to nails left behind?
- Was a designated foreman available to address your concerns during both the tear-off and the installation of the new roof? As the work is sometimes performed by different crews, there should be one point person for questions and concerns about the job.
When a Charlotte roofing company comes by to look over your project and prepares an estimate, make a note of the representative’s appearance. If he doesn’t have a clean appearance you probably don’t want him working in your house. Be sure to discuss all details of the job that are important to you and make sure everything is put in writing.
What to look for in the highest-quality Charlotte roofing company
If you think you’ve found a responsible company, then you next need to confirm that the company carries workers’ compensation coverage and at least $1 million of liability insurance. Request the insurance agent’s name and proof-of-insurance certificates. Also, the company’s estimate should be free. It is common business practice to divide payment for the job into two payments: one-third before the job begins for materials, and then the remaining balance when the project is completed satisfactorily.
A quality Charlotte roofer will offer you a warranty that covers leaks, flashing failure and workmanship defects. Your contract should include the warranty information along with the type of shingles selected. It is preferable to have a two or three year warranty, with a one-year warranty being the minimum. Go with the best-rated, most durable shingles your budget can afford.
Generally, shingle manufacturers will warrant their products for 20 to 30 years. But, some warranties can be voided if the existing shingles are not removed prior to the new installation. Removing the old shingle layer may be required and this will add to the cost. On average, an asphalt roof should last 13 years, so a 20-year warranty would be a good warranty to have. If you have any issues later on you will need to have the proof of purchase paperwork.
Getting a quality roofing job
Here are a few other recommendations to help guarantee a long-lasting roof free from leaks and defects:
- It is easier and less costly to replace eaves and valleys flashing when re-roofing.
- Make sure roof jacks or pipe boots are replaced to keep water away from pipes or gas vents.
- If the chimney flashing needs repair, request that the roofing company brings in a mason to fix it.
- Check to ensure the attic has proper ventilation. Either the company or an HVAC contractor can assess this. Inadequate airflow can cause the sheathing to rot. Vents can be installed to improve air circulation.
- If the plywood is rotted under the shingles, you will want to put a minimum amount of money in the contract for replacing it. Make sure this amount is included in the contract and that you get a cost deduction if the decking doesn’t need replacement.
- Inquire if the company will protect your landscaping (plywood is usually used) and specify responsibility for any damages.
- Find out how trash will be removed and the property cleaned upon job completion so that no nails are left behind to damage tires. Also, it’s important to know that dumpsters or trucks will not be placed where they will damage a new lawn or a sprinkler system and proper protections will be taken. Another solution would be to pay extra and have the old shingles carried to the curb.
Finally, trust your gut sense. If you have an uncomfortable feeling about the company you were considering, don’t sign a contract and continue searching. Remember, your roof should last for decades and be a good investment adding to the value of your home, so take the time to ensure you’re hiring the best.
If you are looking for the best, who looks out for your best interests and always does high quality work, contact Southern Star Roofing today! We are you local roofing company serving Charlotte and the greater Mecklenburg County region!