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How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

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November 29, 2016

How to Choose an Edmonton Roofing Contractor?

1. Why some roofing contractors are so cheap?

When selecting your Edmonton roofing contractor, price should not be the only criteria. Those that work for cheap cannot guarantee qualitative workmanship, customer service and warranty. Customers choose a cheap roofing contractor is more at risk of spending more money fixing their roofs later. There are some reasons why a roofing contractor charges so little: 

  • when new contractors enter the market they are often unaware of the market value or they simply don't know how to charge yet. 
  • some contractors will miscalculate once a while for whatever the reasons. 
  • some contractors need to sign more customers in order to keep themselves busy in the short run.
  • some contractors lack knowledge of how to run a small business. 

Experienced roofing contractors understand how to calculate their costs properly. Let's say all the materials, dumping, labours and indirect costs are $3,500, which means a contractor will reach a break-even point on paper if he charges $3,500 to a customer to do the roof. (His revenue is equal to the total cost of doing the roof.)

In reality, he is losing money, because a roofing job costs more than just the monetary value on paper. All the running around: time and energy can be translated into monetary terms as well. If he charges 10% more or $350 then he might cover the cost of time and energy for this one job. If he charges 25% more or $875 then he can retain some extra money in the business for later. 

In order for any business to survive and even become profitable in the long run, a healthy profit margin needs to be reached and maintained. A conscious roofing contractor understands this principle and will not be cheap. His goal is to keep the business going for many more years to come. Thus, a conscious roofing contractor is more likely to be interested in building a good reputation and maintain a high customer service level. 

2. Business license, insurance, and WCB - Alberta

When choosing an Edmonton roofing contractor, always ask if they have the following things: business license, commercial general liability coverage, and an active WCB account. In Edmonton, it is required by law that a business shall have a license when providing goods or services to customers. Commercial General liability insurance will protect both the consumer and the business from unforeseen events, such as bodily inquiry, property damage, medical payments and financial losses. WCB coverage is No-Fault insurance, i.e. providing protection and compensation for workers and employers regardless of who caused the work injury. 

3. Meet and chat with your roofing contractor

Good roofing contractors will never just drop off a quote and go. They will make efforts in answering all of your questions and address any concerns. The Edmonton homeowners need to understand that a roofing contractor’s first job is to solve your roof problem. 

When chatting with your roofing contractor, ask some challenging questions:

  • A good roofing specialist will know very specific details. For example, ask the roofer the difference between a waterproofing underlayment and regular roofing underlayment? What are they made from? Another example, ask if the current ventilation meets the minimum ventilation requirement as per the Alberta Building Codes, and how to improve the ventilation system.
  • They will take pictures of the problem areas. Ask your roofing contractor to show you the pictures and explain the problems.
  • They will take time to study the shingle warranties and will explain the content of a warranty and its limitations.
  • They can offer you references when being asked. 
  • Ask if all the workers have a Fall Protection card.