Finding the right roofing contractor can be a little bit hit and miss, especially if you’ve never used one before. Many home owners will have never had use for a roofing contractor before and will have no idea how to find the right one.
There are several places to start your search.
The Yellow Pages will show you dozens of roofing contractors that are advertising for your business. Many of the advertisements may be similar which won’t really help you narrow it down. An internet search will bring up dozens more roofing contractors. These may be a little more useful as there is unlimited room on a website for a company to explain how they do business and what types of services they offer.
Another great way to find a reliable Gold Coast contractor is to put the word out to your friends. If any of them have had roof repairs or quotations from a contractor they will probably be more than happy to let you know the experience they had (in fact, if it was a bad experience, you probably know about it already!)
So once you have your list of possible roofing contractors, what should you look for to help you make your final choice? Here are 10 tips to help you make the right choice:
- Make sure the business you are considering is a licensed contractor. Contractors in Australia should always be licensed – this ensures quality work and that any work is completed to strict Australian Standards. Master Builders and BSA License numbers are what you are seeking. Ask to see copies of the licenses if you are unsure.
- Ensure the business is covered by Workers Compensation and public liability insurance. Accidents happen and you don’t want to be left financially responsible should a worker injure themselves while working on your property. Again, ask to see copies to confirm cover.
- What type of safety procedures does the company follow? Falls from rooftops can be fatal so it pays to ensure the contractor you will use follows sensible Occupational Health & Safety guidelines. This might seem like a small detail that you are not really responsible for but it also ensures the safety of your own family if you are living in the home while the repairs take place.
- Consider whether your roofing contractor needs to be licensed for asbestos removal. Many Gold Coast properties still contain asbestos and this needs to be removed in a responsible way to avoid any possible health consequences, both for workers and for your family. Many roofing contractors will employ the services of a licensed asbestos removal company should they suspect asbestos in your roof.
- Check the guarantee that is offered for roof repairs. If you are having a new roof installed there will be a very long warranty as a new roof can last a lifetime. You should receive this warranty in writing.
- Find out if your contractor has a good relationship with local insurers. If they do, that’s a great sign that their work is of good quality and that they follow up when there are any problems.
- Check how the roofing contractor you are considering handles wet-weather delays. The Gold Coast isn’t always sunny, no matter what those tourist advertisements say! Will the contractor just wait for a clear day (that could be a long wait) or do they have procedures in place to complete the work even during inclement weather? If they have to stop work due to bad weather how do they protect your home while your roof is being worked on?
- How experienced is your potential roofing contractor? Replacing a complete roof is a lot different to completing roofing repairs. Ask for references and testimonials so you can check the type of job that has been completed. If the contractor was referred by your friend, visit their home to check on the type of work that was completed. If a roofing contractor can boast many years in business, then they are far more likely to offer quality workmanship.
- Don’t automatically accept the lowest quote. This is important. Make sure the quotes you receive are comparing the same work and the same quality of materials. If you are unsure, always seek clarification. Don’t think for a second that shoddy workmanship doesn’t exist. It does and it’s your job to weed out the not-so-honest operators before you engage them for your repairs. If you receive a very cheap quote ask all the questions you need so you can discover why it is so low. Be especially wary of door knockers in the aftermath of a storm – cheap quotes from these guys can indicate you won’t be getting what you paid for!
- Make sure the contractor responds promptly to your requests. If it takes days for a phone call to be returned when you request a quote, maybe this is not the company that you want to deal with. The one exception to this is when there has been a huge storm and everyone is clamoring for attention. You could probably understand in that instance that the response time might be a little longer than normal.
There are quite a few horror stories out there about fly-by-night contractors who promise the world but don’t quite deliver. This is especially true in the aftermath of a serious storm when homeowners can be desperate to have their repairs done quickly. If you follow the above steps and carefully check license and insurance information, you have the best chance of having a quality roof repair done by a professional Gold Coast roofing contractor.
All of this may seem like a lot of effort just to engage a Gold Coast roofing contractor. But as we’ve previously mentioned, roof repairs are not always a small job. And they are one home repair that you probably want to have completed just once without the need for repeated return visits!