Finding a contractor: raise the roof and your standards

HOMEOWNERS URGED TO DO THEIR RESEARCH WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING THEIR ASSETS

By Robin Brunet © 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Doug Kerr of Absolute Roof Solutions says building or replacing your roof should be as effective and trouble-free as possible.

Let’s assume you appreciate that a good roof protects your home and belongings, and that to build one properly you need to retain professionals who are working at the top of their game.

The question then becomes, how do you go about choosing a good roofing contractor? Doug Kerr, president and founder of Absolute Roof Solutions, says the first step to take is to determine what you want from the contractor.

He elaborates, “Most people want a roof that won’t leak when you’re away on holiday, and they equally want to find someone trustworthy who will give them honest advice and treat them fairly.”

There are other common concerns, of course. Absolute sales manager Justin Doyle says, “Most homeowners don’t want crews leaving their property in a mess or with damaged landscaping and broken shingles lying around.”

Another crucial element in choosing a contractor is what kind of warranty will be provided and how it will be backed up: after all, it directly reflects on the quality of service the contractor provides (for the record, Absolute Roof’s clients get warranties for up to 50 years in some cases—made possible partly because Absolute roofers are among the rare five per cent of their trade to be certified to the highest level of ShingleMaster training).

But many contractors talk a good talk and will assure prospective clients they are ideal for the job. How can you move past the rhetoric to determine if what they promise holds true?

Doyle replies, “There’s no getting around it : you have to do due diligence by researching the roofing companies and asking them a lot of questions.” To which Kerr adds, “For example, ask them who is going to be inspecting the roof. If the answer is it’ll be inspected by the same guy that is doing the work, that’s not a good idea.

“Also, will the roof be inspected daily throughout the construction process? It should be, because even the best crews can make mistakes. So make sure the company you hire has a great
inspection system in place.” An alternative to this is to pay extra to get an independent certified inspector to check the work—and make his approval a condition of the roofing contract.

Of utmost importance is to determine beforehand if the contracting company has WorkSafeBC coverage. “You don’t want to be left liable for accidents that may occur on your property,” says Kerr. “And if the company is indeed covered, get its WorkSafe number and then call WorkSafe to ensure it’s in good standing.”

At the end of the day, building or replacing your roof should be as effective and trouble-free as possible, and the key to ensuring this is to not be shy. “Go out of your way to vet the prospective contractor,” says Kerr. “If he’s a professional he’ll be able to explain everything and back his words with proper warranties and inspection services — as well as a lengthy resume demonstrating his experience.”

This content was produced by Content Works, Postmedia’s custom content studio.