Why You Should Stick to Licensed Roofers
If you intend to hire a roofing contractor, find someone who is licensed. Whether you need a new installation or just a few small repairs, roofing work is generally dangerous. Having an unqualified person perform the job can bring more harm than good; and if he has no license or insurance, you may be held liable in case he gets injured.
In most states, roofers need a license to practice their profession. While the specific procedure for obtaining this is different from location to location, the key requirements are basically the same. There are also areas, such as Austin, Texas and Newark, New Jersey, where roofers are licensed by the city government instead of the state government. Of course, if you’re resident of a place in which roofers are required to have a license, working with an unlicensed one would be illegal. Visit www.contractor-license.org to check if a license is required of roofers in your state.
Before they get a license, roofers must first pass a series of tests and acquire on-the-job experience for a certain period. A licensed roofer is thus someone who has demonstrated expertise in the profession, including construction laws, safety requirements and more, enabling him to provide superior quality workmanship.
In most cases, licensed roofers also need to be bonded and insured before they can offer professional services. If you end up taking a bonded roofer to court and winning your case, you will have no problem getting compensation – the bond provides the funds. On the other hand, an insured roofer will ask his insurer or roofing company for compensation – not you – if he gets injured while performing his job.
The best way to look for a licensed roofer is asking friends and relatives for recommendations. If you get none, go online and read the reviews posted on third-party consumer websites. When considering a certain roofer, ask for references and be sure to call them. If you need some complex work done, ask the roofer about any similar projects they’ve completed and the location.
Finally, if you’re having a new roof installed, bake sure you get a warranty. If small repairs are all you need, still discuss warranty options with the contractor. Most importantly, don’t let any work begin without a written contract that includes all the costs involved, such as labor, materials, cleanup, etc. You don’t want to have to pay a landscaper to put your dirty yard back in order when the roofer wraps up.
Your roof is a very important part of your home, so don’t compromise your choice of a roofer, even for the sake of saving money. You can always save money in many other safer ways.