Whether you're a homeowner selecting a residential re-roofing contractor or a general contractor looking for a commercial roofing contractor, RCAT can provide valuable information that can improve the quality of your final project.
Download RCAT's Tip Sheet for finding a reputable roofing contractor.
Download RCAT's Tip Sheet for dealing with roofing damage and insurance claims.
Why a Professional Contractor?
A professional is recognized as a person who has a specialized body of knowledge and has received intensive training in a particular field. Another common way of determining that people are professionals is by contrasting them with amateurs, and that's exactly what we'd like to talk to you about.
The roofing technology has changed markedly in the last 10 years. New roof coverings, insulation materials and innovative application techniques demand the education and expertise of a professional.
Roofing is a relatively "easy-entry" business. Frankly, not all roofing contractors are professionals, and too many home and building owners have paid dearly for using amateurs. You don't have to do more than glance at the Yellow Pages to see that there are hundreds of people calling themselves roofing contractors. A year-to-year comparison of the Yellow Pages will show you that many contractors do not stay in business for very long.
Roofing is a complicated and demanding trade. A professional roofing contractor must have knowledge of materials and building technology, and a trained and skilled work force to give the best possible service to his/her customers.
Because an informed customer is a good customer, find out as much as you can about the contractor you are considering. To get the job done right the first time, and to avoid costly repairs later, insist on a professional.
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas has also developed the Licensed Roofing Contractor Program to increase consumer protection and secure the public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor's knowledge, skills, and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation. Be sure to select the "Licensed Contractor" box when searching our site for member roofing contractors.
What Can a Professional Roofing Contractor Offer Me?
A professional roofing contractor may have a large or small business. They may have been in business 50 years or just a few years. But all have some traits in common. Professional roofing contractors are:
- Well Established. A professional roofing contractor will have a permanent place of business, a telephone number, a tax identification number and where appropriate, certification or a business license.
- Experienced and Knowledgeable. The contractor should be an experienced problem-solver, with a thorough understanding of his/her industry. Roofing skills cannot be learned overnight. There are accepted methods for installing flashing around pipes, vents and chimneys. Often, roofing materials are incompatible and can cause problems if applied by an amateur.
- Insured and Committed to Safety. Roofing is a dangerous business. A sloppy operation can endanger workers and bystanders, and cause property damage. Don't be shy about asking the contractor for proof of the insurance he carries. Beware the low bidder who's cheap because he doesn't have complete insurance, including workers' compensation coverage. Too many unsuspecting home and building owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured contractors.
- Committed to Education. The roofing industry offers a variety of educational programs that a professional roofing contractor will have attended. More important, the best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who actually install your roof. Insist on having trained, experienced roofing mechanics, instead of laborers employed for one or two interim jobs.
- Using Quality Materials. In today's market, you can buy dozens of different types of roofs. A professional roofing contractor is interested in more than simply getting the job done and moving on; he/she will offer service after the sale and application. Ask for a fair guarantee, written in language you can understand.
A guarantee is only as good as the company giving it. What good is a guarantee when the roofing company that did your roof is out of business? A professional roofing contractor with a proven track record will still be in business should a problem arise.
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas is not in a position to make recommendations as to its members' skills, experience and capabilities. Home and building owners should base their decisions on the qualities they deem most important in a roofing contractor.