We’ve written about this topic before but it’s still one of the most frequently asked questions that we hear, “I’ve received competitive quotes but how do I choose the best roofing contractor to work on my house?”
Here are some pointers and some commonly misunderstood facts:
Roofing contractors in New Jersey do not require a license
There is no such thing as a licensed roofing contractor in New Jersey and in fact to set yourself up as a roofer requires no formal training at all! Roofing contractors are grouped together with other Home Improvement Contractors and are required to register with the State. While other states require specific levels of training and background checks that is not the case in New Jersey. It’s still a good idea to check that your roofing contractor is registered with the state – many “here today, gone tomorrow” contractors don’t even bother with this step. You can check registrations here: https://newjersey.mylicense.com/verification/
The best way to start looking for a roofing contractor is to seek recommendations or referrals from friends, family, colleagues or even social media contacts.
Getting a recommendation from someone you trust is often a good starting place because if they’ve had a good experience you’re likely to get one too. Once you’ve received a couple of recommendations then check them out online – type their name into Google and see what comes up, paying particular interest to the number and ratings of any Google reviews. Check the reviews and if they are complete reviews with a written summary then they are probably genuine and can be trusted. Beware of multiple 5 star reviews without any written summaries and beware of reviews that appear to be all posted on a single date.
If you’re not sure about a particular roofing contractor Google them but add the word “complaints” after their name and see if anything comes up. If this search doesn’t reveal anything then they are probably a good bet.
Getting a written proposal for your roofing project is a must.
By law in New Jersey all home improvement jobs over $500 require a written proposal. Most roof replacement projects are in the $10,000+ range so a written proposal complete with the full name & address of the contractor, a detailed description of the work and total price is an absolute requirement. Don’t work off of a proposal written onto a scrap of paper and don’t accept a project price based on a handshake. As part of the proposal make sure that you also receive the contractors registration number and the contractors insurance/liability certificate. Don’t be scared to ask for details of similar projects done locally – a good roofing contractor will be able to supply these on demand.
Use a checklist for all your potential roofing contractors and compare each one to the same benchmarks.
Here’s the checklist that we recommend to our clients: https://gjkeller.com/selecting-a-contractor/
If you have any questions about roofing in general or just need some help in navigating the process please don’t hesitate to reach out to the roofing experts at George J Keller & Sons – call us today at 973-927-0963!