The answer may not be as hard as you think. Here are a few possibilities to consider:
- Check the telephone directory’s yellow pages. Browse the “roofing” section for the names of local people you can call for an estimate. Sometimes the ads will have specific information about the person, such as location, hours of operation, whether they accept credit card payments, and whether they provide free estimates. Call two or three contractors, so you can have a better chance to hire the right contractor for the job.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau. While this organization will not provide a list of names for you to call, it can give you an indication of someone’s response to complaints so that you get an idea of his or her character and reputation.
- Contact local roofer-related organizations. There may be roofer or construction groups in your area that can tell you what to look for in a roofing contractor, and perhaps recommend a few names.
- Ask building supply stores. Often they keep a list of roofers they recommend to pass along to people who are looking for consulting or hands-on help with building projects.
- Building companies and roofing contractors increasingly have a web presence. A good contractor web site will have photos of projects they’ve done as well as testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Ask for referrals. Wherever you get the name of a possible roofer for your project, follow up by contacting his references. You may even want to take a glance at the contractor’s workmanship on previous projects, if the building owner will allow access to the roof.
- Pay in portions. Never pay in full for a roofing job before completion of the project. You can pay a portion if you really want to, but agree to this with the contractor up front.
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association most rooftop problems are caused by installation workmanship, not material failure. Your roofing system is certainly the most critical part of your building when it comes to watertight protection, and you should make sure to hire a contractor who can be trusted to install the system correctly and stand behind their work.