Some people believe that comparing roofing contractors begins and ends with dollar signs. While money is a very important criterion, it is not the only thing that should be considered. As you compare contractors, there are other details that you have to keep in mind.
Last year, when searching for a roofing contractor, I learned a lot about the process including what to look for as well as which type of people to avoid. My thoughts on the comparison process are detailed below:
1. Price is important. Despite everything I just said, price is still the most important thing to consider. I’m not saying to choose one contractor over another since one is a few dollars cheaper. But if different contractors are thousands or tens of thousand of dollars apart, it will become tough to turn down the cheapest one.
To ensure that I was getting the best deal during my search, I requested quotes from three local contractors. Believe it or not, they were all within $500 of each other. This made the process more difficult, and I was forced to consider some other very important criteria:
2. What are you getting for your money? Soon enough, I realized that not all roofing products are the same. When comparing the quotes that were left with me, I noticed that two included 30 year shingles while the other was for a 15 year product. As you can imagine, I immediately crossed off the contractor that tried sneaking this past me. There is nothing wrong with 15 year shingles, except the fact that they don’t last as long as the 30 year variety. Why would I pay the same for a lesser product?
3. Experience and references. Making a decision between the final two contractors was tough. Both of them were local, so they were even in that regard. To help me make a decision, I requested three references from each as well as more information on their experience.
As expected, both sets of references checked out just fine. Past customers seemed satisfied with the overall level of work as well as the customer service. So once again I was stuck.
4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. This is where I finally found a little bit of space between the two, and was able to make a decision. I asked both contractors if they could move another $500 off their price, in order for them to become more competitive with some of my other quotes. One told me that they could discount another $500. The other was set in stone and did not want to move on the price.
I decided on the contractor that gave the extra $500 off. They were even with the other provider in terms of product, experience, and service, so it made sense to save a few dollars.
Whether you need a brand new roof or are hiring a contractor for some minor repairs, you need to compare several options and quotes. The four points above allowed me to learn more about the roofing industry, while eventually finding and hiring the perfect contractor for the job. I was very pleased with the result.
Do you have any other criteria that should be considered when choosing a roofing contractor?
(photo credit: Collin Key)