A roof is just a roof, right? Unfortunately, that’s a common misconception when it comes to comparing commercial roofing with residential roofing. There is, in fact, a difference in the way commercial and residential roofs are designed. Commercial roofs are typically flat or only slightly sloped, while residential roofs vary greatly in style and usually feature steep slopes. In addition, different materials are used for commercial roofs and residential roofs. When you’re looking for a roofing company to take on a job on your home, you’ll want to find one that’s experienced in residential roofing.
There are over 10 billion results if you do an online search for ‘residential roofing companies in Western Washington,’ which can make the search seem like a daunting task. With so many companies around, how do find a residential roofing company that’s both qualified and reliable? We’ll take you through the steps to take and red flags to look out for when researching and deciding which residential roofing company to hire.
Review their website and social media pages
First things first. Review the company’s website. There, you can read about the company’s history, their values, and see a portfolio of their past work. You can also research what type of roofing services and materials they offer to make sure they’re aligned with your needs.
If you’re satisfied with what you see on their website, the next step is to review their social media pages. Social media makes it difficult for companies to hide behind their faults or failures due to the public and real-time nature of these pages. Past customers or people who have interacted with the company will go to social media pages such as Yelp or Facebook to leave reviews of their experience working with the company—both the good and the bad. Reading through the reviews will help you gain insights into how the company interacts with customers and their quality of work.
Confirm they are licensed and insured
If you don’t see any red flags from their website and social media pages, then it’s time to contact the company. However, don’t jump into inquiring about rates just yet. Instead, confirm that they have these three credentials and always ask for proof of these credentials.
Any roofing contractor in Washington must be registered with the Department of Labor and Industries. You can easily verify whether a roofing company has an up-to-date license by using the Department of Labor and Industry’s online verify tool.
Why is a license important? Roofing companies spend a lot of
money to maintain their license, and if the company receives a complaint from a
customer, they can risk getting their license revoked. When a roofing company
is licensed, they are serious about their business and will want to protect
2. General liability insurance
Roofing contractors in Washington State are also required to hold general liability insurance of at least $50,000. General liability insurance covers damages that your property may incur during the job. Keep in mind that anything can happen during a roofing job, even from the best roofing contractors.
Before taking the contractor’s word for it, ask for a copy of
their insurance so you can verify the exact amount and what kind of damages
they’re covered for.
3. Workers’ comp coverage
The last credential to verify is workers’ comp coverage, which is also mandatory in Washington State. Workers’ comp covers the company’s employees if, by chance, they get injured on the job. Hypothetically, if a company doesn’t have workers’ comp coverage and their employee gets injured on the job, then you may be liable for covering the employee’s medical costs.
You’re hiring a company for a job, so like any other job, you want to interview potential candidates in order to find one that will serve as the right fit for your needs. You’ll want to ask them questions regarding property and weather protection to make sure they have the necessary procedures in place.
1. Property protection
You’ll want to ask pointed questions so the roofing company you’re interviewing can provide specific and detailed answers. Here are some examples:
- Will you use ladder stabilizers or something similar to protect my gutters from damage?
- Where will you store heavy equipment such as ladders?
- How will you provide a container to dispose of the old shingles and refuse?
- What will you do if an employee causes property damage while on the job?
2. Weather protection
It can rain at any time of the year here in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s difficult to avoid bad weather. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure the roofing company has specific procedures in place in the case of bad weather. Try asking these questions:
- What will you use to cover the roof if there’s rain?
- Will the company send someone by every few days to make sure the covering is still protecting the home?
- Will someone come by to further secure the covering if a windstorm is approaching?
- Do you have a 24-hour emergency line in case the covering becomes loose?
Review their communication style
How long does it take for the roofing company to respond to your call or email? Did they send you the requested material in a timely manner? Or did they send it at all?
You want to work with a roofing company that’s responsive, not one that will leave you waiting for days to hear back from. If a company is unresponsive or delayed with their responses, it could be a reflection of how they approach jobs onsite.
Ask for a detailed estimate
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices for residential roofing companies, you’ll want to get a detailed estimate for the job. This is to ensure that you won’t be surprised with any extra fees or charges once the job is completed. When requesting a detailed write-up, make sure it includes:
- All the activities that will be performed
- The cost of removing the old roof
- The cost of installing the new roof
- The cost of the new roofing material
- Any other details such as which materials need to be replaced
Finding the right residential roofing company takes time and dedication to researching. The first stop is to review their website and social media pages to learn more about their background and past work. The next step is to confirm that they have the credentials required for Washington State contractors: license, general liability insurance, workers’ comp coverage. Once you have those confirmed, then you can start the interview process through very specific questions on how they’ll protect your property during the job. If no red flags come up, review their communication style and get a detailed estimate of the job. Having this process in place will help you find a residential roofing company that will suit your needs.
If you’re looking for a residential roofing company, give us a call at (360) 794-7164 or fill out our contact form for a free estimate in Seattle, Olympia, Bellevue, Snohomish, or the surrounding areas.