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10 Helpful Tips For Homeowners

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At some point as a homeowner, you will have to fix some things that get worn out in your home including your roof. Whether your roof gets damaged from harsh weather conditions, falling branches, or it simply gives in to old age, getting the right roofing contractor to fix whatever problem you have is very important. We dare say, the roof is the most important part of a building for without one your home would be simply uninhabitable, your family, furniture, fittings, pets and appliances will be exposed to the harsh sun and cold wet rains which is why you always need to have a sturdy “roof over your heads”.

People who are also building their dream homes are not left out, you’re going to need an efficient roofing contractor to ensure the job gets done the right way once and for all so that there is no need to call in someone else to fix a sloppy job and incur more costs, and so your roofing system does not get damaged after only a few years. Needless to say, choosing and hiring the right roofing companies especially in Calgary can be time consuming and stressful especially if you do not know exactly what to look out for. There are quite a number of roofing companies in Calgary, Alberta and for a person who is just venturing into choosing the right roofing contractor, it definitely will not be easy sifting through all of the flashy websites, brochures, pitches, and proposals that will get thrown your way.

At Green sky, we know that for every homeowner, their house is their safe haven and should only be entrusted to the very best in the business. In order to help you choose the right roofing contractor, we have put together 10 tips and things you should look out for to help you on your quest of choosing the right roofing company. These tips will also guide your relationship with your contractor you as you work collaboratively on delivering a new and improved roofing system for your home.

Ask a friend or neighbor for referrals

One of the best ways to get a good service in any industry is by getting a referral from your friends, family or neighbors. Chances are they have probably used a reliable roofing company before and will have information on what companies to use or avoid. They would have already done the all the research beforehand and gotten price estimates as well as what the experience of working with a particular roofing company is like. Another great thing about about asking a neighbor or someone close to you to refer you to a roofing service is that you can go over and have a look at the work that was done on their own homes.

After having a look around and listening to first hand testimonials, you can then decide whether or not you want to work with the same company or find a company that offers similar services to the one your friend used. Even if your person has never had a need to work with a roofing contractor, they may know someone else who has in the past and can refer you to them for more information.

Have a look around online

The internet is a very big place and there is literally nothing you can’t find online if you know the right places to look. From kitchen appliances, grocery shopping and novelty items, the Internet is filled with people willing to offer their services to you including
portfolios of their past work and reviews or testimonials from customers they have worked with in the past. You can now get testimonials and reviews from people you do not know or have never met before, and use their experiences to make an informed decision. Most reliable roofing and home renovation companies have their own company websites where you can have a look at the services they offer.

Some companies will even include their price lists and give you a working estimate of how much each service will cost. You can spend a few hours online browsing your options to help narrow it down to about 4 or 5 companies in your area before you start making some cold calls. When you have an idea of what you want, you can contact each company for more information on their services and ask any other questions you may have before choosing the one that sits right with you. A few places you can look for roofing companies online include
doing a keyword search on google, homestars or trust the pro.

Look for manufacturer designation

Manufacturers designation is a badge of trustworthiness and honor that is given to highly reputable and professional roofing companies. These companies need to be factory certified, pass tests and meet certain requirements to prove they are capable of delivering a durable roofing system that is up to par with industry standards before they are bestowed with a manufacturer designation. A company that can boast of having a manufacture designation is one you can trust with the roofing of your home.

Premium warranty lifetime warranty

Many manufactures of shingles offer a premium warranty on their materials for a few years but these days, more of them have begun to offer lifetime warranty on their shingles. These warranties give you the guarantee that the manufacturer will replace the shingles if there are any defects in them within the stipulated time, however these warranties tend to cover only the product and product related defects but not the installation process.

Most of the time the problems with roofs arise from wrong installation because contractors are in a hurry to pay their workers and finish the job. A good roofing company will have a workmanship warranty as well to cover installation costs for several years. Most homeowners tend to think a manufactures warranty covers workmanship so make sure to ask the contractor the exact details of their warranty offer.

Ensure they enforce safety procedures

Before hiring a roofing contractor and entrusting them with the work you want done on your roof, check that they have a track record of enforcing safety procedures on their work sites. The last thing you want is one or more of their workers having a serious accident while they work on the roof of your home. You could be faced with some legal liabilities and have to appear in court or foot the medical bills of the Workman especially if the company does not have insurance and the injured party takes out a lien against your home. It is also important for your safety as well that the roofing company practices their craft with the right safety procedures to prevent any incidents to yourself and your property. Work and operations move faster and more efficiently when safety measures are followed and production output will be greatly increased. Knowing that a company is safety conscious increases customers goodwill and trust in the company as you are more likely to hire a company that is responsible and does what is required of them maintain their certifications as well.

Ask to see some insurance copies

A good contractor will have some insurance against events and incidents (liability insurance) that could go wrong or in the event that someone gets injured on the project,(workers insurance) there will be financial coverage to offset costs to fix damages and pay for hospital bills. Any contractor can say that they have an active insurance coverage when in reality they do not have one or it may have expired. Before hiring a roofing contractor, ask to see copies of their most recent insurance certificates or their insurance policies that verify their insurance status. You can also contact the insurance company to be doubly sure that the certificates are not forged or close to expiration. It is important to verify the authenticity of these documents so that you remain protected in case of any incidents that insurance would usually cover the costs of.

Get multiple quotes

Most roofing companies have a similar price range for their services but some may still cost more than others. To get a quote that fits within your budget and reduce the need for haggling back and forth with different companies, after deciding your budget and what you are willing to spend on your roofing project. Contact several roofing companies and describe what you need to them, arrange a few meetings and even have them over to look at your home so they can draw up proper price estimates for materials and workmanship charges. It would be rather disappointing to have your heart set on working with a particular company and not explore your other options only for you to have your hopes of a functional new roof dashed when you discover they are priced way above your budget. When you have the multiple quotes at hand, you’ll be able to choose a company that is both good at roofing and fits well within the budget you have set for the project.

Try to get a certificate of warranty from the contractor

Ensure that your roofing contractor issues you a certificate of warranty to safeguard against errors and so the quality of work is guaranteed. A contractor that gives you warranty and an assurance that they will be available at any time within the time agreed in the warranty to fix and correct any errors on your roof at no additional cost to you. This increases the trustworthiness of a company and clients will be more willing to work with a contractor that guarantees the they won’t misuse the products and materials as they install them. You can also file a legal complaint if the contractor fails to honor the warranty agreement and get compensated for the losses you have suffered due to improper installations or carelessness on the part of the contractor. Before signing a warranty agreement, it’s important to study the fine print in the contract and go over every detail with your contractor so you know exactly what your warranty covers and there are no misleading or hidden loopholes in the document.

Look for an experienced contractor with good vibes

Although there are a whole bunch of newly established roofing companies who are just as good as older and more experienced ones, they most likely have gained experience working under an older company before branching out to start their own. Working with an experienced company will give you a sense of security because they have been doing it for years so they have a working and reliable system and procedure for doing things. Over the years and multiple roofing jobs they have handled, an experienced company would have learned from its mistakes and adapted newer and quicker ways if building quality roofing systems with the right ventilation and insulation. They would also have a trusted team of reliable subcontractors they work with, so they will work faster and deliver a commendable job. As you meet with different contractors, trust your instincts and lean towards the contractors you feel a good “vibe” with. Most of the time your gut will lead you the right way and you’ll end up choosing, the right roofing contractor.

Do not pay in full when the job is not completed

You may completely trust your contractor and they may have come with the highest recommendations so it can be tempting to pay in full at once to facilitate their work and
get it off your mind. However, it is not advisable to pay your roofing contractor in full when they have not delivered on the job for various reasons. For one, they may become relaxed and work will slow down because they have nothing else to lose by not working hard on the job, after all, they’ve gotten their paycheck. They may end up doing a poor job so they can hurry off to the next project and some contractors will even use your money to get themselves out of a tight financial situation or to offset the costs of other jobs thereby holding up progress on your own project. A reputable and honest contractor who knows you will be happy to pay them at the completion of a project will never rush you and demand for a large deposit upfront. They have a buoyant business account and have a system for paying truck drivers, suppliers and other subcontractors so they do not need to press their clients for the money make payments. Work out an agreement with your roofing contractor on payment schedules and check the minimum requirement for down payments in Calgary to be sure you are not paying more than what you ought to at this
stage. Only complete the payment after you are satisfied with the finished work and after
you are sure all subcontractors have been paid so they do not take out a mechanics lien against your home to get their dues 


Written by Eric Vezina

Eric is an industry expert with formal education in carpentry and history as a general contractor. He knows his stuff and makes sure everyone on the team has the skills and determination to meet his exceptionally strong standards.
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