J and J Roofing, servicing Pasadena as well as Malibu and all of the San Fernando Valley, is known for their premiere work as a roofer. Here, one of the owners, Matt Glass, explains how to find a roofer that you can trust – for cost, quality and service.
This is the second in our series about this important factor of choosing a roofer for your home. Remember you only need a roof every 30 years or so, so you must choose your roofer wisely. At J and J Roofing we have been fixing and replacing roofs for over 20 years.
Choosing a roofer should be done the same as choosing any other sort of contractor, but I have given you a few ideas here and in my last blog. The most important thing I want to emphasize is to do your homework and do not choose a roofer that you are not certain you want to work with.
Getting very definite references about your new roofer is the best way to decide. There are a few other points. Some would say experience. Well, you can ask a roofer how much experience he has but aren’t many ways for you to verify it and I doubt any roofer is going to say “well I just got started.” It is fine if the company has been in business for 20 years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the guy you’re dealing with has been. Maybe he was selling used cars three weeks ago.
However, if you can verify it, or you believe the person, then experience is a big deal in roofing. There are so many products that only experience can give one the broad range of knowledge to properly deal with them. For example, it’s little consolation that your roofer did a “mechanically” excellent job of replacing 10 broken tiles on your roof and solved your leak problem – but the color he chose is totally wrong. Don’t laugh, this scenario happens all the time and while the reasons are myriad, the point is that a roofer with a lot of experience will usually avoid these mistakes for you.
Make sure that you verify his license is in force by going to cslb.gov.ca (the .ca represents California so input whatever your state is), ensure he has no complaints, ensure he has a bond, proper workcomp insurance (for ALL his employees, not just him) and you can also verify whether he has liability insurance, if you care.
Liability insurance is a good idea, although not required by law. Commercial property owners, HOAs and people worth a lot of money with a very valuable property, for instance, should insist upon liability insurance. Note that a contractor with liability insurance will usually cost a little bit more than those who don’t have it, as it is pretty expensive.
Of course, ask your friends, your neighbors, your realtor, doctor and so on if they have recently had a good experience with a roofer What you want to do is, ideally, come across a name that just keeps coming up. If you’re local supplier recommends Joe Blow Roofing, your doctor or pastor does, his references love him and he’s highly rated on line – you have found a roofer who will probably do a good job and has decent prices but above all who you know will at least take responsibility because he’s got a reputation to keep – a very valuable thing.
If you find a roofer that no one seems to know or talk about, and he’s not very busy, these are not good signs. If he’s not busy, it suggests a lot. If no one knows him, he has no rep, he probably has little to lose and when you have a problem with his work, you will likely find the “dreaded” disconnected phone number. It’s just like walking into a new restaurant you’ve never tried, at 6:30pm, and there’s no one there and it smells like bug spray. If it looks bad, and it smells bad, walk away.
Your Goal: In essence, your goal is finding a roofing company with an excellent reputation and he will do anything to protect his good rep. He and his roofers – probably make mistakes. Not many mistakes, but we all do. The question is not whether or not you can find the perfect roofer who never does anything wrong, the question is whether or not you can find a roofer who will ensure it all ends up right, and not make you pay for it when things go wrong.