Picking the Right
In our decade as Chicago’s top-rated roofing contractor we’ve encountered all kinds of stories about other contractors that work in the City of Chicago. Some of these, as you can imagine, are awful and give our entire industry a bad name and some are simply unexplainable – especially some of the shoddy workmanship we encounter. For prideful professionals, it’s astounding to see some of the so-called work we repair for upset customers and hear the tales they tell of deceit, malfeasance, and outright criminality.
In our efforts to help the good people of Chicago when they need quality roofing we’ve put together this list of the steps you need to take when working with a roofing contractor – from the first call, to the estimate, to the finished product. We want you to be safe and satisfied with the work – even if you don’t call us to handle it. See, we believe strongly that doing the right thing is its own reward, so use this list whenever you interact with a contractor and the process should go much smoother for you.
Our list of steps you should go through when interacting with a contractor is intended for your use with roofing professionals. Yet, with minor modification it will serve you well when working with any service professional. After all, most of these have to do with verifying who a contractor is, what they’ve done, and what you can expect when working with them. Let’s get started:
Step #1: The Search
Okay, so you know you need a roofing contractor to handle a project at your residential, commercial, or industrial property in Chicago, but you’re not sure how to find the right one among all the options out there. Do you go with a franchise or a family-owned business? Should you go with the lowest price or is that dangerous in roofing? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg for uncertain customers – we know as we’ve helped thousands of them over the years. But, there’s a simple path to a great contractor and it starts with your family and friends.
Ask the people in your life about their own experiences. Check search engines for the highest-rated roofing contractors in your area and read their reviews. While some will have stuffed their reviews with fake ones, it’s pretty simple to decipher what’s real and what’s not. Focus your attention on the way people speak about the service and the way they describe the experience – before, during, and after. That’s an excellent way to determine whether or not the roofing contractor is the kind you want to work with.
Pro Tip: Look for roofers who advertise their services on Google, who have a modern website, and who market their business effectively. Those companies can afford to compete for your business which means they’ll have no trouble delivering on their promises.
Step #2: The Meeting
Now that you’ve used your personal contacts and the search engines to research a number of roofing contractors it’s time to make some calls and set some meetings. This is where you can really put your findings to the test. Pay special attention to the things that reviewers mentioned – especially their pain points – and ask questions when you need clarity. It’s your money and time too and you deserve the same level of respect the contractor expects. They’re there to earn your business and that means coming through when you make a request, ask a question, or pose a hypothetical situation.
We always tell customers to look at the estimator’s demeanor. Is he interested? Engaged in the process? Or, does he seem in a hurry or disinterested in your project? Those are sure signs that you’re dealing with an amateur or someone who believes you work is beneath their notice. That’s not the kind of contractor you want to deal with, so be sure they’re communicative, respectful, and forthright about everything you discuss. Any uncertainty or headaches they give you prior to a contract being signed will only be magnified once paperwork is completed.
Lastly, you should ask the roofing contractor for any and all information you need to feel totally comfortable with their process, pricing, and professionalism. While this may vary depending on your particular project, we find these items to be the most helpful to a potential customer:
- Name, Address & Phone: Any business should be able to provide you with this basic information and if they cannot then you may have a problem. Clearly, most roofers don’t see customers at their business location, but they should be able to provide you one when asked. A working phone number is an obvious requirement.
- Roofing Experience: A contractor capable of handling your roofing project should have enough experience with your roofing material to be able to tackle any challenges it presents. That kind of training takes years to complete, so be sure the contractor has been in business for a respectable amount of time.
- Check Documentation: In Illinois, a roofing contractor should have licensing and insurance to perform roofing work. This licensing and insurance should be readily produced by the roofing contractor upon your request. If they balk at this, you should call the next contractor in your list to avoid the potential hazards of working with an unlicensed, uninsured contractor.
- Verify References: All roofing contractors worth their salt in Chicago will be happy to produce references for you to use to verify their claims. These can include vendors and creditors, banking institutions, and former customers. Whether you contact these directly or not, they will give you insights into the contractor’s past and present circumstances.
Step #3: The Selection
So, you’ve taken time to meet with your top roofing contractor candidates and now it’s time to make a choice. Contact the roofing contractor and inform them you’ve chosen their estimate from the pool you collected and would like to discuss the next step in the roofing process. That will lead you directly to a meeting with the roofing contractor to discuss the specific of your project.
Now that you’ve chosen the one you think is right for your project why not take full advantage of their knowledge, experience, and insight to help you get the ideal solution for your roofing issue? They’re the most qualified assistance you can find and they’re already going to be working for you. It only makes sense to get every bit of use out of them that you can. An honest contractor will appreciate this interest and the valuing of their opinion. They’ll be more than willing to provide you with their opinion on any matter you bring to their attention.
If you need a Chicago new roof installation then they can help you choose the right material for your structure. If you need a more complex solution they can walk you through all the options that would work for you. In short, a roofing contractor has the answers you need if you’re only willing to ask the questions in the beginning. Don’t hesitate to get the answers you need to feel good about what you’ll be undertaking. That matters a great deal to the success or failure of any roofing project.
Step #4: The Contract
Once you’ve chosen a roofing contractor and discussed the specifics of your roofing project they’ll present you with a written estimate for service. This is a rough estimation of the labor, material costs, and timelines associated with a project like yours, but it is not meant to be the final legal contract for the work. That document is drawn up after agreement is reached in principle and delivered to you prior to work getting underway.
As we stated, contracts may vary widely from contractor to contractor, but the following items should be present in every circumstance to safeguard you from harm or damages – both legal and otherwise. Take a look:
- Total Project Cost
- Start & End Dates
- List of All Materials
- List of All Products
- Building Permits
- Inspection Reports
- Onsite Procedures
- Warranties & Liens
Step #5: The Inspection
Now that the project is completed, but before the contractor makes their leave, you need to inspect the work. This is a vital step in the process to ensure you understand what was done, how it was done, and what was used to do it. Having the contractor with you assures you of getting answers to your questions without having to battle to reach them. There’s no getting around human nature and it tells us that once something leaves someone’s mind it’s difficult to get it back into focus. This works the same way with contractors who are off from one completed project to the start of another one.
Ask every question you have before the contractor leaves. Pose every hypothetical situation you can think of and get future answers you might need to save you time and money should something happen down the line. They’re there with you and you’ll never get a better opportunity to pick their brain, so don’t hesitate to ask, ask, and ask again!
Chicago’s Trusted Roofing Contractor
The steps we’ve outlined above should help you navigate the roofing process and find the contractor that’s right for your particular project. And, as we said, they may help you in every interaction you have with contractors going forward – no matter what industry they’re in. If you’re still having trouble identifying the right contractor for your roof then call (312) 439-0556 and speak with the no-pressure experts from Roofing by Hernandez.
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Chicago’s Roofing Company
When you need roofing of any kind, or any other roof-related services, call on the good people at Roofing by Hernandez to ensure you get just what your roof needs, nothing more and nothing less. With upfront pricing, complete licensing and insurance, and a lifetime’s experience working in the great city of Chicago, there’s no better solution to your roofing problems than a call to (312) 439-0556.