We could spout off twenty puns about your business overhead, keeping a roof over your head, and so on.
But we’ll cut to the chase.
The bottom line is that your building’s roof is an important investment. Don’t trust it to the first Dallas roofing company you find.
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, the #1 cause of new roof failures is poor workmanship.
For a commercial property, a roof failure can cause issues like:
- Safety risks for employees and customers
- Legal liability
- Inventory damage
- Damage to equipment
- Loss of business for repair time
These are only a few examples.
On to the more important information: how to find a reputable Dallas roofing company.
Tips for Picking the Best Dallas Roofing Company
Finding the best roofer for your commercial property is harder than you might think. Disreputable roofers will do everything in their power to pull the wool over your eyes. Our tips can narrow your search to the most qualified commercial roofing companies.
Tip #1: Get Recommendations From the Right Sources
A referral is the first source many people turn to for important purchases. But you need to make sure your referrals come from people who know what they’re talking about.
If you ask your friends and colleagues, make sure they have first-hand knowledge.
If a colleague says, “I heard The XYZ Dallas Roofing Company is good,” you don’t have the whole story.
Their friend may have recommended XYZ while they were working on the job. But you don’t know what poor workmanship may have appeared later.
Contractors in the construction industry often know the other reputable professionals. Ask a contractor you trust if they have recommendations.
It’s best if the contractor can give you a list of qualified Dallas roofing companies. If they give you one name, they might be getting a kickback from the roofer.
A kickback isn’t illegal. It does make you wonder if the contractor actually believes in the roofer’s work.
If your roof work is an insurance-covered repair, save yourself a headache. Ask your insurance company if there are certain Dallas roofing companies they recommend.
Using a roofer your insurance company is familiar with might ease the process.
As much weight as a trusted referral carries, don’t let it be your only source. Always do your own research on the recommended roofers.
Tip #2: Know What Credentials to Look For
Any reputable roofer will be happy to share their certifications and licensures.
The first step is to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company. Ask for the business tax ID number, address, and phone number to make sure they’re a valid company. This is particularly important for legal reasons in case something goes wrong.
For Dallas roofing companies, look for a Roofing Contractors Association of Texas license. This is one of the most important indications of high standards.
Finally, before hiring a Dallas roofing company, ask for proof of insurance. By law, roofers must have liability insurance.
Worker’s compensation insurance is also important.
Hiring a contractor without it could leave you liable for worker injuries on your job.
Tip #3: Make Sure They have Relevant Experience
A business owner may jump to hire a roofer with 30 years of experience. But if you need commercial roofing and they’ve only roofed single family homes, they might as well be novices.
Find out the scale of jobs that the roofing company has completed. You want to be sure that they can handle your needs.
Besides job size, look for the types of jobs the roofer has completed. An industrial building has a different roof than a retail complex. You don’t want your job to be a learning project.
Make sure the roofing companies you’re considering have experience in your job’s category. When you’re seeking referrals, give preference to recommendations from others in your industry.
Tip #4: Do a Careful Background Check.
Thanks to the internet, you can find out everything you need to know about any Dallas roofing company.
Start by scouring the internet for reviews. This is as simple as a Google search.
Google has their own reviews, but you can check Angie’s List, Facebook, and more.
A word of caution about Yelp — always read “filtered” or “unrecommended” reviews. Companies can pay Yelp to optimize their profiles. This means Yelp has a vested interest in making paying customers look better than others.
In other words, “unrecommended” reviews are no less reliable than the “recommended” reviews.
Read them all.
It’s also important to look for official complaints. The Better Business Bureau tracks formal complaints, as well as the company’s response. All this information is available on their convenient website.
While you’re looking for reviews, do a simple Google search of the company to look for lawsuits. If you find any, make sure you read how they concluded. Plenty of companies have been sued without justification, so don’t rush to judgment.
Besides your online research, you also need to talk to actual customers. Testimonials are helpful, but businesses will only post the flattering ones.
Ask for a list of customers you can contact to get the whole story.
Talk to recent customers as well as customers from several years ago. A roofing job may look great at first but reveal problems in time. Customers who have been enjoying their roof for years can tell you if the work has held up.
If possible, find customers who have needed to use their warranties. Ask how the company responded and whether they fixed the problem to their satisfaction.
Emphasize that everything they say will be confidential, so they can be honest.
Another note: make sure the customers have similar roofing jobs to yours. Find out how the Dallas roofing company you’re considering can handle jobs like yours.
Tip #5: Look for Roofing Manufacturer Certifications
Another sign of quality is a manufacturer certification. Many roofing material manufacturers will award designations to the most qualified contractors.
The manufacturers want qualified professionals to work with their product.
It makes their materials look good when they’re used on successful jobs. They often award distinctions to roofers who meet certain quality standards.
For example, SPS Roofing is proud to be a GAF Certified Maintenance Professional. Along with high-quality materials, GAF has high standards for the contractors they endorse.
To add an extra level of detail, look up the manufacturer’s certification criteria. Some are easier to achieve than others.
Tip #6: Put Their Customer Service to the Test
With your list of Dallas roofing companies narrowed, find out how they’ll treat you during the job.
When you call the roofers on your short list, pay close attention to how they treat you.
Do the representatives sound warm and inviting? Are they organized enough to know what times they have available for a meeting? Do they return your calls?
If you bring up concerns, do they listen and answer them with care?
Roofing can be a long process, and it will need extensive back-and-forth throughout. You need to find out from the get-go whether a roofer will treat you with respect and understanding.
If you want to put a roofer to the test, have a list of difficult questions ready to ask.
This is also a good time to find out how available the company is for future communication.
Ask if they have an email address that they check on a regular basis. Find out what hours they’re available. Make sure you have a way to reach them in the case of an emergency.
Tip #7: Get at least three proposals.
After you’ve narrowed down your list to a final few, you should request a formal proposal.
Proposals should include more than the price. They also need to detail the recommended materials and how long they expect the project to take.
If you’re replacing an existing roof, find out if the price includes the old roof’s removal.
With your proposals in hand, compare all the information. Find out if they all recommend a similar approach to the job. If not, find out why.
If you have 4 proposals and 3 companies agree with each other, the fourth may be less knowledgeable.
It may be the opposite, though, so do some research before writing off the outlier.
In this case, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to the outlying roofer about what they recommended. Ask why they didn’t choose the approach that the others did.
You probably want to choose the proposal with the lowest price or shortest timeline. If all the proposals are within 20% of each other, this may be okay.
If you have one proposal that is dramatically lower than the others, though, it could be a red flag.
They may be low-balling the offer to get hired, then plan to “find complications” that raise the price later. Or, they may be a low-quality company can only get hired by offering the lowest prices.
If it isn’t included in the proposal, ask for payment terms as well. Never agree to pay the full amount (or a large percentage of it) upfront.
Tip #8: Be Wary of Roofers Who are “Claim Specialists”
If your roofing job is a repair your insurance company is paying for, it adds a whole new layer of complication.
Some Dallas roofing companies will offer to coordinate with the insurance company directly. This might sound like a company being generous, but it’s a red flag. In fact, it violates insurance law for contractors in Texas.
A roofer could pocket more money than the job requires. Or, they may bill your insurance company for more work than they’ve given you.
If a Dallas roofing company offers to handle your insurance, at best they’re uneducated about the law. At worst, they’re trying to run a scam.
Tip #9: If There is Pressure to Commit, Run the Other Way
It might not be the best relationship advice. But when it comes to choosing qualified roofers, embrace your fear of commitment.
If you’re negotiating with a Dallas roofing company and they press you for a fast commitment, walk away. This includes the classic “I can only offer this discount today” pitch.
If a company wants to hook you before you have time to research them, there’s a reason.
Tip #10: Find Out about Warranties and Pricing Details
There are two types of warranties you should receive with your new roof.
A manufacturer’s warranty guarantees the integrity of the shingles or other roofing materials. If a problem arises during the warranty due to a defective product, the manufacturer will fix it.
The second type of roof warranty is a contractor’s warranty. This warranty covers problems that may arise from poor workmanship.
When you’re shopping for a Dallas roofing company, compare warranties between roofers.
A typical manufacturer’s warranty is around 30 years, but it can vary from 10 years to 50 years. A contractor’s warranty is much shorter. It tends to range between one year and five years.
A ten-year contractor’s warranty is not unheard-of, but it is rare.
A manufacturer should off the same warranty for any contractor. But if different roofers are using different manufacturers, this can affect your decision.
On top of the length, pay attention to the fine print in both warranties. Educate yourself about what each warranty covers and compare them between contractors.
A Ray of Hope
If reading all this makes you paranoid about hiring a bad roofer, we can’t blame you. Scammers try to take advantage of customer’s lack of knowledge in specialized fields.
But don’t panic. There ARE honest, experienced, and legally upstanding Dallas roofing companies.
To take the first step in your commercial roofing job, schedule a meeting with SPS Roofing today. Or check out our blog for more tips on how to find honest roofers.