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How To Choose An Atlanta Roofing Contractor

May 16, 2008
It can be alarming to learn the requirements to be a roofer in Georgia. Georgia currently does not have any state standards for roofing professionals. This means the burden to qualify the reputation and competency is left to the homeowner. Taking some additional time to verify the background of your roofing contractor is recommended before you enter into an agreement to replace your roof.

Georgia laws and regulations do not require roofing companies to have professional credentials, certificates or licenses. In addition, there are no codes or requirements essentially as a homeowner you are on your own.

Question: If a contractor has a business license doesn't that count as a certificate?

Answer: No. A business license means the business is recognized as a legitimate entity that can be taxed. While it is important to work with a contractor that has a business license, remember: that license only confirms the business is reporting taxable income.

It is important to conduct a thorough interview of all Atlanta roofing contractors you are considering. Review their proposals. This is a big decision-your roof is designed to last a long time. As a best practice, you should expect to receive a free estimate from the rep. Here are some things to look for and consider when interviewing a potential roofing contractor.

1. Being on Time:

The person conducting the roof estimate should be on time for your appointment. This is a reflection of the ethics and timeliness you can expect when the work is performed. The roofing representative should be capable of explaining the details of your individual installation and should be able to answer your question about your new roof or replacement roof.

2. Perform a Background Check:

This is where some detective work can go a long way. You want to learn about the roofer's history. Start by confirming the address of the roofer's business. A red flag would be if the address is only a P.O. box number. Next, ask for customer references (ideally in your area) and follow up with these past customers. For a more detailed background check, you may want to consider contacting the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any registered complaints.

3. Go up on your Roof for an Evaluation:

To receive an accurate Atlanta roof estimate, it means the estimator must examine your roof. The estimator should physically go up on your roof and inspect its current condition. This includes taking measurements and inspecting the exterior of the home for potential issues associated with the roof. In addition, your estimator should go into the attic and perform an evaluation of the roof from the inside and confirm if contents need to be removed or protected.

4. Consider Roofing Materials:

The rep should show you various samples of roofing materials. The materials you choose can greatly impact the cost of your roof. Compare the properties of the various roofing materials and learn about the warranties offered.

5. Comprehensive Liability Insurance:

Remember there are no professional roofing regulations in Georgia. Part of your research should include the roofer providing written proof that he carries comprehensive liability insurance. In addition, ask for documentation of workers' comprehensive insurance. Review the documentation, and don't settle for verbal assurances or handshakes. This helps protect you and your property.

6. Alternative Credentials:

Another creative check you can perform is asking your rep to see alternative credentials. Examples of alternative credentials include credentials issued by manufacturers of roofing materials. These credentials are certificates that can be awarded for contractors who have completed training to install the manufacturer's roofing products. Receiving these certificates is an example of the roofer's commitment to professionalism. For an extra check, look to see if your potential contractor has a certificate from the manufacturer of the roofing material you are considering!

7. Red Flag - Requests for Deposit or Advanced Payment:

Be suspicious of the roofer if you receive a request for a deposit, or any request for advanced payment of roofing materials. As a best practice, payment should be due via an invoice upon the completion of the roof installation.

Remember, a little investigative work prior to contracting with a roofer can save a lot of time, money and headaches. If you remember these best practices you'll be better prepared to evaluate an Atlanta roof replacement company the next time you get an estimate.
About the Author
Tim McLoughlin is the President of KTM Roofing, a company whose Atlanta roofing contractors specializes in Atlanta roof replacement and can offer an Atlanta roof estimate.
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