Homeowners naturally may feel some apprehension when hiring businesses and contractors to make repairs and renovations to their houses. After all, homes are more than just homes—they are people’s castles, the places in which owners have invested money and time and sweat, and the places where families reside and feel safe. Homeowners want the job to be done right, but the prospect of finding the right contractor can be daunting, particularly if they have dealt with bad experiences (or have been outright ripped off) before.
The stakes are higher when a roof must be repaired or replaced. The cost involved is not insignificant, and if the job isn’t done right, the consequences can turn serious. In 2015, the Better Business Bureau reported 8,190 complaints about roofing contractors nationwide, ranking the roofing industry 15th among all industries and first for any home repair sector.
So how do homeowners in Maryland and D.C. find roofing contractors they can trust? The quest isn’t as stressful as some people allow it be. Here are some strategies to finding a roofer that will suit your needs:
Word of Mouth
Recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors are a reliable source to learn more about roofing contractors. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising—if someone is pleased with the work a contractor has performed, they won’t think twice about telling others about their satisfaction. Besides detailing (hopefully) positive traits of the roofer, personal recommendations offer the opportunity for you to actually see the work that was completed on a friend or neighbor’s house.
Online Review Sites
Typing “roofing contractors” into a search engine will provide a slew of results, and you will get many contractor websites, which can of course be informative and should definitely be factored into your efforts to select a trustworthy contractor. However, these sites accentuate only the positives of a business. Online review sites, such as Yelp, Google, GuildQuality (which is focused exclusively on home contractors), and Angie’s List, offer a wide range of opinions on the contractor you are considering. Good reviews and bad reviews are equally important, and these sites can identify the strengths and weaknesses of roofers before you make a single inquiry.
Professional roofing associations, both national (such as the NRCA) and regional (such as the Maryland Roofing Association), often give visitors the option to find a contractor in a specific area. This is a good resource to find roofers that are local to you—if you live in D.C. and need your roof repaired, you don’t want a Baltimore contractor coming up on your search results ahead of closer businesses. Moreover, if you want to avoid doing too much homework while searching for a roofer, a professional association can recommend some of its members to you.
Roofing Materials Companies
Many roofing manufacturing companies certify installers of their materials and will list these contractors on their websites. For example, GAF, the largest manufacturer of roofing materials in the United States, features 12 Web pages of contractors in the DMV alone certified to install their high-quality products. This option is great if you know what brand of materials you plan to install; furthermore, this adds another level of confidence to the roofer you choose—no company will certify and promote a contractor that could potentially besmirch its good reputation.
With so many roofing contractors in Maryland and D.C., selecting the one that’s right for you might seem a bit overwhelming. Don’t let it be. Use (or even combine) the aforementioned avenues to find a contractor that you can be confident will get the job done right. A plethora of resources are available in 2016—use them, ask plenty of questions to any roofer you do contact, and leave reviews for a job well done.
Do you struggle with finding quality home improvement contractors in the DMV?