Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your life. Maintaining your Portland area home, and maximizing the return on your investment, isn’t always easy. We’ve written before about why working on your own roof isn’t the best choice for most homeowners.
So if you’re not going to be inspecting, maintaining, and repairing your own roof, who can you turn to? You need a roofer you can trust. But how can you tell a trustworthy roofer from one who’s less scrupulous? What questions should you ask and what answers should you look for? How can you be sure you’re making the right choice?
We’ll answer these questions and many more in today’s post about how you to choose a reputable roofer in the Portland area.
When it comes to selecting a roofer, there are a few general tips that can help get you started.
A roofer that knows your area well is likely to do a better job than one from a national chain. Why? Because local roofers will be more aware of the roofing issues caused by your area’s climate, wildlife, and commonly used building materials, among other factors.
Look for Experience
An experienced roofer is a must. Simply put, the more experience a roofer has, the better. At Fivecoat Roofing, we’ve been working on Portland area roofs for over 40 years. No matter what’s going on with your roof, we’ve seen (and worked on) hundreds (or more!) of similar roofs.
Review the Reviews & References
Any reputable roofer will be able to provide you with reviews and references. If you’re in the early stages of investigating possible roofers for your home, look at sites like Yelp and Angie’s List to get an idea of what people are saying. For example, you can find Fivecoat on Angie’s List or you can ask us for more personal references you can contact directly.
Ask Your Friends, Family & Neighbors
Online reviews are great, but asking your friends, family, and neighbors is a great way to find a local Portland roofer you can trust. Find out who they used and what their experience was like. It’s a great first step to take when you’re looking for a new roofer.
Start Looking Now
Don’t wait until shingles start peeling off or there’s a leak to start looking for a roofer. The more desperate you are for a quick fix, the more likely you’ll be to settle for a roofer you’re not happy with. Instead, start looking for a roofer you can trust today. That way when you do have an emergency or even just need a bit of seasonal maintenance, you’ll know who to call.
Watch Out for “Stormchasers”
Here in the Portland area, wind, hail, snow, and ice can definitely cause damage to your roof. But there are roofers (and other contractors) who use these weather events as an opportunity to provide services homeowners don’t really need. If someone contacts you or knocks on your door saying your roof was damaged in a storm, don’t make a decision right away. Get a second opinion– like a free estimate from Fivecoat and don’t be in a rush to sign a contract.
Don’t Sign Anything You Don’t Understand
Before any work is done on your roof, you’ll need to sign a contract. Don’t sign anything you don’t fully understand. If you don’t understand something, ask for it to be explained in clear language. Your homeowners insurance agent is a good resource who can help you understand what you’re signing.
5 Questions You MUST Ask Any Prospective Roofer
“Are you insured and licensed?”
Any roofer you contact should be able to provide you with proof of their:
- Business license
- Roofing credentials
- Worker’s compensation and general liability insurance
“Do you offer a warranty?”
At Fivecoat Roofing, we’re proud of our warranty. We offer a 10-year warranty on all of our workmanship and our GAF shingles include a limited lifetime warranty. We’re happy to provide more details– just ask!
Ask about the manufacturer’s warranty on any materials your roofer uses and get them in writing. You’ll save yourself a headache down the road if anything goes wrong! For example, we’re certified with CertainTeed and GAF. This gives all of our customers a lifetime warranty on all of their products.
“Can I get a written estimate?”
There’s nothing worse than getting a big, unexpected surprise bill at the end of a roofing project. At Fivecoat, our roofing experts offer free written estimates for all of our work. If during the job something unexpected comes up, we’ll talk to you about your options and help you make the best decision for both your roof and your budget.
If a roofer won’t offer an estimate, look for another roofer!
“What sort of maintenance do you recommend?”
A great roofer will have a maintenance plan in mind for your roof. Our team generally recommends regular inspections to determine if and when repairs or a full-on roof replacement is needed. Remember that roofers aren’t just for emergencies, they should be an integral part of maintaining your home.
“What’s your safety record like and how do you keep your workers safe?”
Reputable roofers love to talk about safety! If a roofer avoids answering questions like this, it might be because they’re cutting corners and putting their workers in danger. Don’t trust any roofer who doesn’t respect their workers by taking their safety for granted. At Fivecoat Roofing we take every precaution to make sure our workers are safe– including proper safety gear.
“What payment options do you offer?”
Some roof repairs can be expensive and it’s good to have options. At Fivecoat we work with local trusted lenders to provide great financing options. But you’re welcome to secure your own financing through your bank or credit union. Don’t ever work with a roofer who pressures you to use their financing services. Your roofer’s job is to work on your roof not sell you on a loan.
Contact Fivecoat Roofing
If you’re a homeowner in the Portland area and think your roof might need a little TLC, contact us. We’ll be happy to come out, take a look, answer your questions, and offer you a free written estimate. We’d love to hear from you!
Photo Credits: Kate Brady