The biggest obstacle homeowners face when looking to fix or replace their roof is choosing the right person to do the job. Many times when a roof has damage or a leak you need to find a contractor to repair your roof as soon as possible.  Just because you may need a new roof fast it doesn’t mean you should just choose the first contractor that you find. Finding a contractor who is trustworthy, honest, and professional may sound difficult but using these steps and asking Contractors to share these things with you to show you that their company is reputable and can be trusted to protect your home and bank account.

1. Look for manufacturer Certifications Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be factory-certified. GAF strictly enforces their top designation by only allowing 2% of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Master Elite® Contractors. Renaissance Roofing is proudly a Master Elite Contractor.

2. Research Better Business Bureau ratings. Before you make a choice on a contractor, check a contractor’s license, and getting references. The reality of this is that most reputable contractors can pay the Better Business Bureau or whatever trade association (NRCA is one) the five hundred or so dollars it costs per year to be listed with them, and unfortunately any contractor in business for more than five minutes can give you his mother and his brother’s phone number as a reference. It is ALWAYS necessary to check a contractor’s license with your local licensing agency to be sure the license is in force and up-to-date (in Oregon, the licensing agency is the Construction Contractors Board). But after that, there’s an answer that can be consistently more reliable than references and trade associations: Ask around. Ask your co-workers, ask your neighbors, and ask your friends about their experience with various contractors in your local area. Ask what other people have heard about contractors you’re considering. Were they happy? What did they like about their contractor? What didn’t they like? Did the contractor stick to the contracted price, and if not, how much over the contracted price did they go? Why? Examine your estimates and consider how you felt about each contractor’s presentation. Are you comfortable with your contractor? Do you feel as if you could ask your contractor any question or present any concern and be heard? Is your prospective contractor easy to reach when you have questions? Is their estimate clear and specific, and does it seem to compare similarly with the other estimates you’re considering? Roofing is shockingly expensive, and making sure you get the reputable, licensed contractor that best fits your needs can save heartache and many thousands of dollars in improperly-performed installation.

3. Get an extensive warranty. Not all contractors can offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it, your only recourse is to pay for their mistake yourself. A Master Elite® Contractor can offer one of the longest workmanship warranties on the market—the Golden Pledge® Warranty.

4. Handle your own claim. A contractor who says they are “a claim specialist” or can “handle your insurance claim” may be breaking the law. In most states, it is illegal for contractors to act on behalf of the homeowner when negotiating an insurance claim. Any contractor who opens the door to potential legal action is not acting in your best interest.

5. Don’t Sign anything too soon. Watch out for a contractor who pressures you to sign a contract before the insurance company has estimated the damage. Some contractors say they can work with whatever your insurance company settles on, however the homeowner needs to ensure it’s not just any amount, but the right amount. The contractor should thoroughly examine the home and check that their insurance adjuster didn’t miss any damages. If somebody is pressuring a customer to sign immediately, it’s because they don’t want them to get other estimates or talk to anyone. That’s a warning sign.

6. Know your material choices. A contractor who does not offer you different shingle options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles you install can affect the resale value of your home. If the insurance company is paying for a new roof, it may be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more unique style that suits your taste. GAF contractors can offer extensive design and color choices for your home.