As a roofer I’ve spoken with thousands of clients over the years about what they need and want when hiring a roofer. From time to time I’ve noticed they seem to have difficulty describing what they want, either because they are concerned they are asking for too much and feel I may take liberties with how much I do or for some other reason but it usually boils down to money.
First and foremost, make sure you’re dealing with a roofer that you trust. If you trust your roofer and he knows what he’s doing then for the most part you should let him determine what needs to happen but you also need to give him some idea of your attitude toward the situation. If we’re talking about roof leaks, you should let him know if these are causing expensive damage, and if you really must have them fixed, guaranteed, or not. That may sound odd but many times I’ve had clients who were somewhat indifferent about the leaks, the damage was already done or the damage that it was causing wasn’t that critical and they were more interested in spending less money than they were in definitely handling the leaks. And I’ve had clients who did not care what it cost, the leaks must be stopped.
As a roofer I need to know this. A good honest roofer is not going to mind trying to save his client money, but if he is saving you money, that usually means he’s probably not doing the job in the most complete way possible. For example I can always guarantee solving leaks if I re-roof the entire area over the leak. But if I’m just putting some mastic or silicone on some cracks here and there or replacing a shingle or two, we can’t make the same guarantee. If repairs could always solve the problem, no one would ever need a new roof.
If you feel being so candid with your roofer will cause him to be overly cautious and overbid the situation, you really should not be. If he is a good roofer, he will simply bid what must be done to absolutely stop the leak. If stopping the leak isn’t “the end of the world” then, let him know that he can take a risk.
Matt Glass is one of the family members who own J and J Roofing in Los Angeles, Ca. J and J offer free estimates for your roofing troubles. (Free estimate does not apply to properties listed or in escrow.) If you are hiring a roofer, give us a call! 877.7MY.ROOF or 323.913.4190