Selecting a Roofing Contractor
According, and in part, to the Central Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association (CFRSA), this is how to go about selecting a roofing contractor:
1. As all roofing contractors doing trade work in Florida must have a valid license issued by the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), make sure your selected contractor has a CGC, RC, and/or CCC license (one is good, two is better).
2. The State of Florida has minimum General Liability insurance requirements for general, residential, and building contractors of $300,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage. However, a better and more responsible contractor will carry at least $1,000,000 in General Liability coverage for Bodily Injury (per occurrence), $1,000,000 in Workers Compensation (each accident) AND $100,000 for property damage. Any contractor without sufficient coverage to handle any limit testing incident(s), may put the homeowner’s insurance at risk of bearing the responsibility for any payment shortages.
3. Your selected contractor must always obtain a permit to re-roof your home. Any roof installation without a permit can bring all sorts of problems including the refusal by your insurance company to pay for storm damage if it discovers that the previous roof was installed without a permit!
4. A truly competent roofing contractor will provide you with a reasonable warranty on their work (stay away from 1-year warranties!), and should have no problem guaranteeing aspects of their work such as six (6) nails to the shingle or using synthetic underlayment on your roof decking versus using organic felt.
5. A transparent contractor should have no problem providing you with a list of client references (addresses, pictures, and even videos in some instances), AND a “Here’s my Team” handout showing a homeowner who is in charge of the company, who the main contact person will be, and who else will be involved in communications both on-site and off-site during the work!
6. Additional items such as being a member of a professional roofing trade association can be requested and verified, but the most important items are proof of social reviews (and they don’t all have to be positive – just evidence of their active activity in the trade); and a positive letter grade at the Better Business Bureau (such as A or A+ and being “Accredited”).
7. DO NOT make your contractor selection decision based on the Estimate amount alone as price is not always the best criteria to base a contractor selection decision on (given all the things that can go wrong with a bad roof installation – or worse, one where materials warranties fail, or cost cutting shortcuts are taken by the contractor at your expense).
Conclusion: Selecting a roofing contractor with these 7 steps in mind provides greater insights into the servicing, licensing, and ACTIVE trade activity of the company.