Screening A Contractor
Before hiring a contractor, a building owner should ask several questions:
- Can the contractor provide references from satisfied customers?
- What experience does he or she have with similar installations?
- What is their experience with the product being installed?
Many manufacturers have implemented a quality rating system to ensure that the contractors installing their roofing systems are proficient. Duro-Last’s Master and Elite Contractor programs are intended to give building owners/facility managers confidence that the roofing system will be installed to high-quality standards.
“To qualify for these Duro-Last programs, a contractor must have installed our roofing system on a variety of buildings, and achieved consistently high-quality inspection scores over several years,” said Mitch Guettler, Quality Assurance Manager at Duro-Last.
The building owner should also verify that the contractor’s business is financially stable. Before allowing any business to become one of its authorized roofing contractors, some manufacturers obtain a credit report from Dun & Bradstreet (D & B), noted Tom Allen, President of Allen Consulting Group, Inc. When the contractor’s business is so new that there isn’t a D & B report on file, the manufacturer may ask to see his or her banking history. To be sure, each contractor sets different parameters regarding the information he or she is willing to provide to potential business partners.
“Most of the better contractors have appropriate financial statements that they’re willing to make available,” added Allen.
What A Contractor Should Provide:
- Qualified employees.
- Equipment that will enable the completion of the project at hand.
- Vehicles that can haul away refuse at the end of each day.
- Safety equipment such as guard rails and fall protection harnesses for employees to use while completing a roofing installaion.
Another crucial factor to consider when selecting a roofing contractor is their employees’ experience and skills levels.
“What drives installation quality today is the experience of the foreman or job superintendent,” said Allen. “It’s critical that the building owner or facility manager ask the contractor how much experience the employees have installing different types of roofing.”
Additionally, the building owner/facility manager and contractor will also want to go over variables that will help ensure a smooth-running project.
Points of discussion should include:
- The location of a staging area for tools and materials.
- Expected duration of the installation and what (if any) building disruptions can be expected.
- Daily work hours.
- A number to call if problems occur outside of normal business hours.
Finally, the building owner should ask the roofing contractor the following post-installation questions:
- How does the contractor plan to handle post-installation work?
- Will the contractor inspect the roof annually? If so, is there a fee?
The best solution is to have the contractor and building owner establish a yearly maintenance program together to help ensure the performance and longevity of the roofing system.
In our next installment, we will discuss who is responsible for what when it comes to the roofing system warranty.