Steps To Take When Looking To Hire A Great Roofing Contractor In Virginia
When you need a roof replacement, the first thing you should do is find the right roofing contractor to do the job. This may feel like a daunting task, especially if you have little knowledge or prior experience with roofing projects. This guide is a helpful overview of the factors you should take into consideration when looking for roofing companies, and the questions you can ask to help you find a professional roofing contractor for your roofing needs.
The first step you need to take in your search to find a great roofing contractor is to compile a list of the top roofing companies you are considering for the work. There are several strategies you can use to narrow down the long list of roofing contractors that come up when you search “roofers near me” on Google.
Ask friends and family
The first thing you can do is ask your friends, family, neighbors or co-workers if they have had roofing work done recently and if they have any recommendations for good companies. Roof repairs are a fairly common need, and hearing first hand about the experience an acquaintance had with a company can provide clarity and peace of mind.
Read online reviews
After you ask your connections for recommendations, your next step should be to read online reviews of the companies you are considering. Some of the most common include Google Reviews, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Homeadvisor, and Angi. As you look through the reviews, pay attention to trends that you notice throughout the reviews that you read.
Do people rave about the company’s communication? Do they say the crew was always late or didn’t show up? An isolated review won’t always reflect the standard customer experience, but if you notice consistent themes from various customers, whether positive or negative, it is likely that you can expect to have a similar experience.
Talk to them in person
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to 3-5 companies, it’s time to call and schedule estimated appointments with each of them. Pay attention to your experience during the interactions you have on the phone and on their website. If the experience feels friendly and professional, you are more than likely on the right track to finding a professional roofing company.
Be present for the estimate appointment
If at all possible, you should be present for the estimated appointments. This will give you an opportunity to meet the sales representative, ask any questions you have about the company or the roof replacement process. This will give you a feel for how the company interacts with customers, and hopefully provide you with the answers you need to make an informed decision.
Each roofing company is different and may follow different procedures, but in general, you can expect several things to take place during the estimate.
1. The sales representative will measure and inspect your roof
Typically whoever conducts the inspection will climb onto your roof to take measurements and visibly inspect it for damage. However, some roofing companies have started using drones to assist with this task.
2. You will have the opportunity to ask questions
There should be time during the appointment to ask any questions you have about the materials, or the installation process. This is a great time to ask the questions outlined below in the next section.
3. They will provide you with a quote for the work
Some companies provide this information on the spot, while others may send it via email after the appointment is over. Make sure to ask whether this is a final price, or if it is an estimate that is subject to change.
4. They will lay out the process moving forward
When the estimate appointment is over, you should have a clear understanding of what it looks like to take the next steps with the company. That way when you decide, you know exactly what to do.
There are several questions that you should ask each roofing company you are considering. These questions will help you make an informed decision, and give you realistic expectations for your upcoming roofing project.
1. Are they fully licensed and insured?
In Virginia, all businesses involved in construction projects for homeowners that cost more than $1,000 are required to have a state-issued contractor’s licence. Licensed contractors also must have insurance.
If the company doesn’t automatically provide you with proof of their licence and insurance, make sure to ask for copies. This is for the protection of the business, the employees, and most importantly, you as the customer.
2. Do they specialize in commercial or residential roofing services?
While there are many similarities between residential and commercial roof replacements and many roofing contractors do both types of projects some companies specialize in one or the other. You want to be aware of what type of roofing the company specializes in, and what type of experience their crew has, so that you can make an informed decision at the end of the process.
3. Do they subcontract any of the work?
The next question you should ask is whether or not the company hires subcontractors to do any portion of the work. This is a common practice, and it is not a bad thing. However, having the knowledge ahead of time will prepare you for the correct expectations about what will happen – and who will be on site – during your project. Make sure to ask about subcontractor licensing, how communication will work, and any expectations you should have surrounding their involvement.
4. What is the quality of their products?
Just like in every other industry, there are various levels of quality in roofing materials. Ask about the materials and products they use, and if there are different levels of product for you to choose from.
This information will help you assess the various quotes you receive, and weigh the pros and cons of each estimate. You can also research products independently to get a feel for how the quality of each product compares to competitors.
5. What roofing materials and styles do they offer?
There are many roofing materials available, ranging from traditional asphalt shingles, to metal panels, to clay tiles, and everything in between. Some materials have unique installation processes, so if you are interested in a specific roofing material be sure to ask if the contractor or crew has previous experience installing it.
6. Do they offer a material or workmanship warranty?
Another important question to ask is whether or not the quote includes a workmanship or materials warranty. Many roofing material manufacturers offer a warranty on their products, and many roofing contractors offer a warranty period on the installation work. This would give you the added assurance that if anything goes wrong with the roof, the warranty would cover it for a specified period of time.
Be sure to ask about the pricing and availability of these warranties. In some cases they are included free of charge, whereas some companies price them into the quote. Sometimes there are additional warranties available for a small upcharge, so make sure to ask about all of the options available to you.
7. When do they ask for payment?
Make sure you understand what the payment schedule for the project will be. While some companies won’t bill until the project is finished, many roofing companies will charge a 50% down payment before the project begins, and some companies ask for payment in full before they start. Each company has a different policy, so make sure you know exactly what to expect so that you can prepare and budget accordingly.
Once you’ve met with roofing companies and gathered your quotes, it is time to make the final decision so that you can schedule your roofing project. As you’re assessing your options, there are several factors to consider in addition to the total price.
How much will the roof replacement cost?
While price isn’t the only factor you should take into consideration, it will be a large factor in the decision of which company to use. As you compare quotes, be sure to look at what is included in each contract. Don’t forget to include any warranty offers, differences in material quality, and any extra charges or discounts into your decision-making process.
Assess the communication
The communication you experience from the company is the other important factor to take into consideration. You will most probably work with several different employees throughout your experience with the company, but the communication standards will likely be similar.
Consider whether or not the office answered and returned your phone calls and if the sales representative arrived on time to the estimated appointment. Was the company polite, professional and reliable? Did you feel comfortable and at ease during your interactions with the company?
In most cases, the estimate process is a preview of the experience you’ll have during the roof replacement project, so make sure you’re comfortable with the communication and professionalism of the company up front!
Consider the overall value
There are many factors that contribute to the overall value of a roofing company beyond the price. Do your research on materials and compare prices. Read online reviews, and make sure the company you select is reputable. Take into consideration the answers each company gives you to the questions listed above and the experience you had during your estimate appointment as you make your final decision on which company you should trust with your roof.
Hopefully this guide helped you feel prepared to take on the search for a roofing contractor for your Virginia home. If you would like to learn more about each of our branches, or schedule a free estimate with our team, keep reading!
We have 7 established branches conveniently located throughout central Virginia. Each branch is dedicated to providing high-quality, professional roofing services to serve their customers.
Our Charlottesville, VA branch is located in Zion Crossroads, VA and serves the entire Charlottesville area with high-quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services, as well as roof repairs and gutter installation. Branch General Manager Thomas McGowan and his team have served hundreds of happy customers since the branch opened in 2017. Visit our gallery to see examples of their work!
Call the Charlottesville office at (434) 280-7283 or schedule a free estimate online today!
Our Farmville, VA branch is located in Rice, VA and serves the entire Farmville area with high quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services, as well as roof repairs and gutter installation. General Manager Holton Walker and his team have been serving happy customers since the branch opened in 2020. Visit our gallery to see examples of their work!
Call the Farmville office at (434) 231-6706 or schedule a free estimate online today!
Our Harrisonburg, VA branch is conveniently located to serve the entire Harrisonburg area with high quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services. General Manager Ben Phenicie and his team have been serving happy customers since the branch opened in 2021. Visit our gallery to see examples of their work!
Call the Harrisonburg office at (540) 584-4035 or schedule an estimate online today!
Our Lynchburg, VA branch is conveniently located off of Timberlake Road, and serves the entire Lynchburg area with high quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services, as well as roof repairs and gutter installation. General Manager Holton Walker and his team have served thousands of happy customers since the branch opened in 2012. Visit our gallery to see examples of their work, and check out our blog to read about recent projects the Lynchburg branch has completed!
Call the Lynchburg office at (434) 771-1595 or schedule a free estimate online today!
New River Valley, VA
Our New River Valley, VA branch is conveniently located in Christiansburg, VA and serves the Christiansburg, New River Valley and Blacksburg areas with high quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services, as well as roof repair services. General Manager Christian Kiefer and his team have served hundreds of happy customers since the branch opened in 2019. Visit our gallery to see photos of their work!
Call the New River Valley office at (540) 952-2195 or schedule a free estimate online today!
Our Richmond, VA branch is conveniently located in Midlothian, VA and serves the entire greater Richmond area with high quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services, as well as roof repair services. General Manager Thomas Payne and his team have served hundreds of happy customers since the branch opened in 2019. Visit our gallery to see photos of their work, and check out our blog to read about recent projects the Richmond branch has completed.
Call the Richmond office at (804) 802-5557 or schedule a free estimate online today!
Our Roanoke, VA branch is conveniently located in Vinton, VA and serves the entire Roanoke area with high quality shingle, metal, and specialty roof replacement services, as well as roof repair services and gutter installation services. General Manager Christian Kiefer and his team have served thousands of happy customers since the branch opened in 2016. Visit our gallery to see photos of their work, and check out our blog to read about recent projects the Roanoke branch has completed.
Call the Roanoke office at (540) 546-0285 or schedule a free estimate online today!