Finding a roofer is easy. Identifying a quality roofing company is not quite that easy.
Roofing companies come from every corner. You’ll find general contractors with some roofing expertise, handymen willing (but not necessarily qualified) to do the job, and even national firm who’ll ship in or hire temporary workers just to make a quick buck.
Of course, none of these are necessarily the right option. Your path to the best roofing in Southeast and Metro Detroit, MI has to be a little more complex than calling a number found online or responding to an ad in the local paper. It needs to be more strategic.
The Early Bird Catches the Roof
First things first: you have to make sure that you start early. IN fact, this entire article will cover the various aspects in which your search and choice needs to be done based on the right timing. Without that, you lose a valuable criteria to judge quality, end up with lower-quality options, and perhaps not even get your roof prepared in time.
Timing, of course, comes in a number of forms. Each of these sections will weed out another way in which it matters. From the time you realize your roofing need to the estimate and even the job itself, time can be on your side – or against you. Which of it that will be depends entirely on your strategic approach. Let’s dive in.
Early Research Can Help You Weed Out Options
As soon as you discover a need for any roofing, you need to get started. This might be needing routine maintenance, a repair of a current problem, or an entire replacement. In that process, you won’t know exactly what you need yet. You will already know, though, that you need to work with the right partner. In other words, early research is key.
This is the information gathering stage. Simply try to get some names together of companies and professionals that might be able to help you. Rather than thinking too much about each, focus on the speed on assembling your list. If you think too long, you’ll waste valuable time.
Once you have some options, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Look for online reviews and testimonials. Just as importantly, limit your search to roofing experts in your exact area. If you’re looking for a roofer in Southeast MI, which address would you trust more?
15720 Fort Street, Southgate, MI 48195
Or 2940 Main Street Saint Paul, MN
The answer should be obvious. A local choice is always better, as they know both the area and the climate around it.
The earlier you do your initial research, the more time you have for this initial process of weeding out your options. That way, every roofer you actually contact has gone through at least some vetting process, maximizing your chances in finding the best possible alternative.
What Do You Need to Look For At First Contact?
You’ve weeded down your list of contractors enough to find at least some that you want to contact for further discussions. Now, once again, timing is of the essence. You probably don’t have the time to engage in hours of discussions with each potential roofer. Instead, you need to look for a few very specific things that help you determine whether or not a contractor might be worth working with.
- What’s your pricing structure? The more you understand about the way a contractor prices a project, the better. Avoid hourly rate, but try to understand exactly how overall project costs break down.
- When could you start on my project? This helps to give you an idea of the timeline for your project, and how long you might have to wait. It also helps you weed out anyone who’s simply too busy to help you.
- What’s your roofing insurance and license? Most will state that they’re licensed and insured. Dig a little deeper to find the truth. Try to get to the amount of coverage for the insurance to get as specific as possible.
- Who will oversee my roofing project? Don’t trust hired hands if they are not overseen by someone in management that you’ve actually interacted with. Ideally, you’ll know not just the company but the individuals you’re working with at the time of hire.
- When can you check out my roof? Don’t trust anyone who wants to give you an estimate or even start the work without having checked the inside and outside of your roof. Thorough is always better, even if it does take a little bit of extra time.
Each of these items gives you an obvious answer, but also helps you dig below the surface. You’ll probably get all of them answered in 15 minutes or less. And yet, once you know the answers, you’ll have a very good idea of the quality of your roofers. You’ll know their coverage, their style of work, their timing, and even their credibility to some degree, which is crucial to any attempt at the best roofing possible.
Based on these questions, narrow your options to two or three roofers that truly seem trustworthy. Next, it’s time for the estimate. Here, again, you have to keep a few things in mind to maximize your opportunities.
What to Keep in Mind About Your Estimate
Don’t ever start a job or a contract without a written estimate. At the same time, not every estimate is created equal. That’s why this step is another process in the early screening process to help you find a quality roofing partner.
More specifically, you have to keep 5 things in mind about any estimate that you’re requesting. Each of these matters for different but closely related reasons.
1) How Will the Contractor Deliver the Estimate?
This question tends to be overlooked, but is absolutely crucial. Yes, it might be most convenient for your roofer to simply mail you the sheet or drop it off in your mailbox. Ideally, though, that should not be the process. Not even close. Instead, look for contractors who want to deliver the estimate in person.
That matters for a few reasons. First, it proves once more that the roofer is local to Southeast and Metro Detroit, MI. Second, it shows a willingness by the company to meet you on your turf and on a more personal level. Finally, it enables the estimate to be more flexible, showing that the roofer is willing to engage in questions and make adjustments as needed. The easy rule of thumb: the more personal the delivery of the estimate, the better.
2) How Detailed is the Estimate?
Don’t fall for a single line with a project cost. Ideally, your roofing estimate should be broken down in much more detail. That includes cost for labor and materials, and potentially even into the various individual materials needed. Part of the estimate should also include an estimated project duration, which helps you understand labor costs and plan better.
More detail is always better, but that pendulum can swing the other way as well. An estimate so full of jargon and minute details that you cannot actually understand it is a problem. It shows either a roofing company unwilling to approach the level of the audience, or an attempt to personally complicate things to avoid you understanding it or asking questions. If you can understand the document, but it’s still detailed enough to be broken down, you’re in a good spot.
3) Does the Estimate Include Variables Based on Materials?
You might not actually get a single estimate. Typically when it comes to a roof, a number of variables play into the cost equation. Look for a roofer that can provide an estimate either explaining the route they chose, or offering multiple cost and material options that they’re willing to walk you through.
The cost of a new roof differs significantly based on whether you want asphalt or tile shingles. Some of the supporting materials matter as well. Will you just need new flashing, or a comprehensive update around it? Ideally, the estimate breaks down your options or offers the roofer an opportunity to explain more about the route chosen.
4) Can You Find an Estimated Timeline on the Estimate Sheet?
No, at this stage, you won’t know the exact time that your new or repaired roof will be finished. That doesn’t mean you cannot try to come close. Already, your questions at first contact should have included a rough, verbal estimate of the time it takes to get your project done. The estimate sheet is a perfect time to get more specific.
Part of the reason: prices can change depending on the season. Cold Michigan winters will extend any roofing project, making it more expensive in the process. A timeline helps you better understand where you stand, and puts pen to paper on exactly what you can expect should you engage with this company. It also offers a comparison between your various options to make your choice just a little bit easier.
5) Will the Estimate Act as a Binding Contract Moving Forward?
Finally, watch out for companies that present you with an estimate that you only have to sign to get started. Heads-up: That means you’re not looking at an estimate, but an actual contract of work. And that, of course, could introduce all kinds of problems that you need to be on the lookout for. Above all, it binds you to something you might not be ready to commit to yet.
Most estimates do not act as binding contracts. They offer preliminary information that you can use to make your decision. It’s crucial to consider them in this way, and not beyond that. The more a company pushes you to work off the estimate, the further you should run. Most likely, that company is neither ethical not qualified enough (or confident enough in their qualifications) to trust.
The Benefits of Starting Early for the Best Roofing in Southeast, Michigan
How do you find the best possible roofer? By the time they start work, it’s already too late. In fact, this should be the time for you to confirm that you made the right choice, as the time for adjustments has most likely passed already.
That’s why it’s so important to get started as early as possible. From the moment you know you need roofing help, reach out to companies. Get a sense of how they work, and how they would work with you. Then, get estimates to weed out any questionable partners and maximize your chances of working with the right one.
That process takes work and strategy. Fortunately, that’s okay. Yes, you’ll spend significant time in finding the best roofing contractor in Southeast and Metro Detroit MI. That time, though, is well worth it considering just how important the right roof is for your home. Just as importantly, you’ll save it later on in the job when you don’t have to waste it worrying whether you made the right choice.
It all starts and ends with the right partner. At Tittle Brothers Construction, we can be that partner for you. Our extensive experience of fixing and building roofs in the Southeast and Metro Detroit, Michigan area is a perfect fit for your needs in these areas. Most importantly, our personal service helps you find the trust you need to work with us. And of course, we recognize the need to get started early, and answer any queries quickly and thoroughly. You won’t regret hiring us when looking for the best roofing in Southeast and Metro Detroit MI .