When we bought our house, we knew that it wouldn’t be long before we’d need to talk to a residential roofing contractor. The house was older but in generally good repair. The roof had been on the house for over fifteen years and the edges of the roofing were starting to curl.
We knew that we would need a residential roofing contractor to do the work for us. Neither of us felt capable of tackling such a big job ourselves. We had never hired a residential roofing contractor before, so we started by doing some research online.
All of the online sites told us that we should check references and check with the Better Business Bureau before hiring a residential roofing contractor. They recommended getting referrals from family or friends. We hadn’t been in the area very long and didn’t know anyone very well.
We asked some of the people at the church we had started attending for recommendations and ended up with a few names to call. Before scheduling to meet with the residential roofing contractors, we contacted the Better Business Bureau.
We figured it made sense to eliminate anyone that we wouldn’t consider hiring before going through the process of meeting with them.
Each of the residential roofing contractors had satisfactory records with the Better Business Bureau. At that point, we called each number and asked each residential roofing contractor to come out and provide us with an estimate.
We told each one that we didn’t want anything fancy; we just wanted a good solid roof put back on the house. The first roofing contractor to come out simply provided us with a number right on the spot. He didn’t ask us any questions and he didn’t make any suggestions. It was the fastest meeting that we had and the one that gave us the least amount of information.
The next residential roofing contractor asked questions about how long we plan to own the house. He explained that if we were planning on being in the house a long time, there were cost effective things that we could do to make the roof last longer. He talked about the differences between ten year shingles and twenty year shingles and explained that the cost difference was relatively small. He also talked about the benefits of using an edge metal (also called a drip edge) that would protect the edge of the roof and then wrap over the fascia.
We spent about forty-five minutes with him; at the end of that time he gave us a written estimate and a firm price. The last roofing contractor was the only one that actually went on the roof. He said that he didn’t feel comfortable providing an estimate without inspecting what was already there to ensure that there would be no future surprises.
When he came off the roof, he told us that there were several spots where the roof felt soft. He explained that when the old roofing was removed, we might need to do some repair to the underlying plywood. He also asked us questions about our future plans. When we asked him about ten year roofing he told us that he never puts in less than twenty year roofing.
He explained to us that he felt there was no reason to put on roofing that wasn’t designed to last.
When we asked him about edge metal, he said that he always included that standard with his price. We really liked the philosophy of the last contractor. It seemed that he wanted to provide a quality job and that he wouldn’t do a job if he didn’t feel the end result would be high-quality. We liked that he had taken time to inspect our roof and we knew that he wouldn’t simply shingle over wood that needed to be replaced.
Considering all those factors, we decided to go with the last roofing contractor.