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Hiring a Licensed Contractor

One of the best ways to select a roofing contractor is to ask friends or relatives for recommendations. You can also contact the BBB, the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas or go to the GAF web site and look up Master Elite Contractors, which only 3 out of 100 roofers qualify, to make sure they are members in good standing

Contact your state's License Board.  Most states offer an online license check area to verify the contractor is licensed and to check the status of the license. You can also verify the contractor’s bond information, workers’ compensation insurance policy information, and if there have been any legal actions filed against the contractor.

Follow These Tips When Hiring a Roofing Contractor

    Only hire local contractors – if they are not local where will they be when you need them?
    Get three references and review past work.
    Get a written contract, don’t sign anything until you understand the terms.
    Pay nothing down,If the roofer can’t afford the materials for the job they can’t afford repairs.
    Don’t let payments get ahead of the work.
    Only make the final payment when you’re satisfied with the job.
    Don’t rush into repairs or be pressured into making an immediate decision.

Tips For Hiring A Roofing Contractor

Replacing Your Roof

The age of your roof is usually the major fact or in determining when to replace it. Most roofs last many years if properly installed and often can be repaired rather than replaced. The average life expectancy of a typical residential roof is 15 to 20 years.

Water damage to a home’s interior or overhangs is commonly caused by leaks from a single weathered portion of the roof, or from poorly installed flashing around chimneys and skylights. Also, seasonal changes in the weather are usually the most destructive forces. These problems do not necessarily mean you need a new roof.

Preserving Your Roof
Whatever the roofing material—composition shingle, wood shake, tile or metal—the best way to preserve your roof is to stay off of it.

Maintaining Your Roof
Homeowner maintenance includes cleaning the leaves and debris from the roof’s valleys and gutters. Debris in the roof valleys can cause water to wick under the shingles and cause damage to the interior of the roof.

Gutters: Clogged rain gutters can cause water to flow back under the shingles on the eaves and deteriorate materials.

Managing Problems  
If problems arise during or after construction, talk to your contractor. Usually he or she will make corrections willingly. If your contractor refuses to make corrections, you may want to file a complaint with your local licensing board.  

First: 
 
    Gather all papers including contracts, change orders & cancelled checks.
    Take photographs of the problems.
    Notify the contractor in writing of your dissatisfaction.

Contact your local or state Contractors State License Board to get information on filing a complaint.

The Board will investigate and mediate your complaint if it falls within the Board’s jurisdiction.  

The Contractors State License Board generally offers free publications to review before you get started on your roofing project:
 

    What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor  
    Terms of Agreement, A Consumer Guide to Home Improvement Contracts   

 
Other Resources  
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) maintains a Web site at www.bbb.org, which provides information, tips, and how to contact the BBB near you.  

You’ve Chosen the Contractor . . .
What About the Contract?

Make sure everything is in writing. The contract is one of the best ways to prevent problems before you begin. The contract protects you and the contractor by including everything you have both agreed upon. Get all promises in writing and spell out exactly what the contractor will and will not do.


Permits

Your contract should call for all work to be performed in accordance with all applicable building codes. The building codes set minimum safety standards for construction. Generally, a building permit is required whenever structural work is involved. The contractor should obtain all necessary building permits. If this is not specified in the contract, you may be held legally responsible for failure to obtain the required permit. The building department will inspect your roof when the project has reached a certain stage and again when the roof is completed.


Insurance

Make sure the contractor carries workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance in case of accidents on the job. Ask to have copies of these policies for your job file.


Mechanic’s Liens
You should protect yourself from mechanic’s liens against your home in the event the contractor does not pay subcontractors or material suppliers. You may be able to protect yourself by having a “release of lien” clause in your contract. A release of lien clause requires the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers to furnish a Certificate of Waiver of Lien. If you are financing your project, the bank or lending institution may require that the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers verify that they have been paid, before releasing funds for subsequent phases of the project.