We all know experience, reviews, certifications, etc. are important. But let’s dive a little deeper. Experience means they most likely can install the commercial roofing system correctly. But experience also means the company is healthy enough to stick around for the length of the warranty.
You wouldn’t sign up for a 15-year warranty with a company that’s only been around for 5 years…would you?
In this article, we’ll go through 9 other factors you should consider before signing that contract for a commercial roofing project:
- Do they have good communication speed?
- Do they have a full-time, internal service department?
- Do they outsource work?
- What kind of Google Reviews do they have? [Are some ratings too good to be true?]
- Do they have a “precise” reference list?
- What kind of warranties do they offer?
- Where are they located? [why being closer isn’t always best]
- What certifications do they have?
- What kind of insurance, licensing, bonding, and contracts do they have? [Is a handshake a good enough contract 😊]
Do they have good communication speed?
When you filled out the form on the website for a quote, how fast did they get back to you? When you left a voicemail, did they return the call timely?
Companies with poor communication speed are a red flag.
You might have a question about repair or service after the job is complete. Maybe there’s a small leak? If a company takes a week to get back to you while your roof has been leaking, unnecessary damage might occur.
Do they have a full-time internal service department?
When the install is complete and it’s time for maintenance, who exactly is coming? Is the contractor pulling someone off the production crew to handle it? Or does the company have a full-time internal service department?
The good thing about having a full-time service team is:
- More than likely, the same roofers will come to your place every Spring or Fall, which helps the team become familiar with your roof
- They will document every drain that’s cleaned, area that’s repaired, and areas of high risk to look for in the next visit
- They are always available. When a team is dedicated to service, there’s no opportunity to miss/delay an appointment because a new job needs to be started
Do they outsource work?
Is the company you reached out to going to do the work? Some companies outsource their labor. You might not know the credentials of the people that are actually working on your roof.
This puts the most important part of a commercial roofing project in jeopardy….the quality of work.
What kind of Google Reviews do they have?
Unless a roofing contractor is into something shady, not too many will have a perfect 5-star rating on Google.
Somewhere between a 4.0 and a 4.8 rating, I would be confident that the reviews are genuine…and they are at least a decent company.
Anyone with under a 4.0 rating is skeptical.
Read what the reviews say. Do they say, “Did spotty work, took the check, and never came back?” “Roof leaked 2 months after the install, and now no one answers the phone.”
I would put some stock (not all) into a company’s Google Review profile.
Precise Reference List?
Everyone has great case studies. And everyone has those few jobs where everything worked perfectly and the photos look amazing.
But what about a more precise reference list? What do I mean?
Say you install roof coating systems, for example. You may have a bunch of good photos of coating over metal roofs, but what about SBUR, TPO, EPDM, or any other coatable roofing system?
If you have a TPO roof and you’re looking at a coating system, how come this contractor has zero example projects of a roof like mine?
When you pick out your next contractor, make sure they have example projects very similar to what will be going on with your roof.
What kind of warranties do they offer?
Some contractors will provide material-only warranties. Some can offer manufacturer warranties. And some can provide labor and material warranties.
Make sure you choose a contractor that can provide the warranty you’re comfortable with. And one that can explain the warranty to you in simple terms.
Ask them about common scenarios of warranty claims. For example: If the drain is clogged and damage occurs, are the labor and materials covered?
Keep in mind the duration of the warranty as well. Some companies offer 5-year warranties, and some can offer much longer ones.
Where are they located? [Is closer always good?]
It would be perfect if you had a great roofing contractor next door to your company. Gas, vehicle wear and tear, hotel stays, and labor hours getting to the job would all be minimized or eliminated.
It’s important to consider these costs, but it’s also important to consider the trust in the roofing contractor to perform the job correctly.
If you trust company #1 more than company #2, yet company #1 is 100 miles away, so be it. I’d rather pay the extra cost for the job to be done right.
What certifications do they have?
Does the contractor have OSHA-trained personnel on staff? Or any type of safety personnel?
Are they certified contractors for the brand name of the products they are about to install?
The more certifications, the more likely the contractor knows what they are doing…and is likely to install a good product.
What kind of insurance, licensing, bonding, and contracts do they have?
What happens if an accident happens during your commercial roofing project? Maybe a roofer drops a hammer and it injures one of your workers. Does the roofing contractor have the necessary insurance to handle accidents like that?
What about the actual scope of work and contract? Is it written on notebook paper? Agreed upon with a handshake?
Commercial roofing projects are big investments; you want everything handled professionally and legally.
The most important thing in choosing a commercial roofing contractor is trust that the job will get done right.
Hopefully, these 9 tips teach you at least one thing you didn’t consider before.