By: Doug Partridge: Doug Partridge has worked in the home improvement industry for over thirty years in the areas of project design, estimation, project management, sales and sales management.
Part 2 : Signs of a Bad Roofer : Professionalism
- No personal presentation. Roofing projects can be complicated. Customer questions and concerns should be patiently and fully answered. Dropping an estimate in the mailbox gets the contractor “off-the-hook” for critical details and leaves the customer “in-the-dark”.
- “Get your own permit”. DANGER! If a “contractor” wants the homeowner to pull the permit, he probably is un-licensed, and almost always un-insured. If the homeowner pulls the permit, he is completely responsible for the job; legally, financially and insurance-wise (both liability and workman’s comp.). The contractor then becomes the homeowner’s employee. If the contractor gets hurt, botches the estimate, causes damage, or wastes materials, etc., the responsibility, costs and liability fall totally on the homeowner. This is how people lose their homes!
- No attic inspection. Inspection of the underside of the roof (if possible) is critical for a complete and accurate evaluation and estimate. (The exceptions are cathedral ceilings and similar structures where access is not available). This can prevent un-expected, huge, add-on expenses during the installation. (example: complete plywood re-deck, often building-code required) It can also reveal potentially dangerous health issues such as mold, mildew, and animal infestations (commonly bats, squirrels and birds).
- No proof of licenses, insurances or permit. A professional contractor will carry and provide copies of required licenses and an “Acord” insurance certificate which documents liability and workman’s comp. insurance. This is required before a permit can be granted. A copy of the permit should be available, preferably on-site, before works begins.
- Through-roof fixtures. All through-roof fixtures, such as stack pipes, box vents, skylights, chimneys, etc. should be noted, evaluated and discussed. Some are replaced with new units during installation. Skylights rarely last longer than 20 years and when they leak, can create costly collateral damages (ceilings, cabinets, flooring, etc.). Preventive maintenance is wise.
- Installation duration and schedule. Most residential roofs can be installed in a day or two by a normal-sized crew. Lengthy installs can often lead to many costly problems and often indicate inadequate staffing. Long wait times in scheduling the install can be a sign of low priority. If the contractor low-bid the job, he may put more profitable work in front of yours.
- Debris disposal and permit. Many towns require disposal permits, dumpster permits, or written notice of the licensed waste disposal location. Most roofing shingles are “hazardous waste” and must be disposed of properly.