Step One: The Roof Inspection
One of the most overlooked but prudent steps a discerning homeowner can take, even before beginning the search for a proficient roofing contractor, is to engage an independent professional roof inspector. For a minimal expense averaging just $200 nationwide, an independent roof inspector can evaluate the integrity and condition of the roof before and after the installation. You and your roofing contractor will have an unbiased evaluation as to the scope of the job and the quality of the installation.
Today’s roof inspectors rely on high-tech tools such as drones and infrared sensors that detect leakage and damage points in the roof by precise variations in temperature. These advanced techniques can reveal hard-to-detect but common problems such as leakage around the chimney where flashing has separated away from the brick. If this problem is detected early in the roof inspection the flashing repair can be included as part of the overall roofing job and your roofing contractor can adjust his bid accordingly. If it’s missed even the new installation of the best roofing profile won’t correct the chimney leakage problem and conflicts can arise between homeowners and roofing contractors about who exactly is responsible.
In cases of insured storm damage repairs and new construction, many insurance companies and lenders will require a roof inspection anyway. But even when it’s not mandatory, a timely roof inspection can avoid unexpected surprises and conflicts later on and provide peace of mind for everyone involved in the roofing upgrade or repair.
Naturally, as the roofing product manufacturer, it wouldn’t be ethical for DECRA to provide a list of local independent roofing inspectors, to avoid the appearance of undue influence. We can, however, point you to reputable inspectors and certification services that are readily available at the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association. (NRCIA)
What to Look For: Professional Qualities of a Great Roofing Contractor
DECRA roofing systems don’t require any special skills or tools to install apart from those already acquired by an experienced roofing contractor. That said, the key factor here is the type of roofing “experience”. Even the world’s best stone-coated steel roofing products are no guarantee of satisfaction against shoddy workmanship.
Roofing contractors with 99% of their experience coming from asphalt shingle installations alone are not on the same professional level as those with a portfolio of previous DECRA installations in hand. Reputable DECRA roofing contractors will be happy to show off their previous successes and advise you on which DECRA products and roofing installations are best suited for your home or business. They’ll be intimately familiar with your local building codes and capable of advising you on the best choice of DECRA roofing profiles for your roofing project, whether it’s a remodel, upgrade, repair, or new installation.
Repair or Replace Roofing Skillsets
It’s important to choose your roofing contractor based on the type of roofing project you have in mind. Some roofing companies specialize in partial roof repairs and maintenance, while others handle complete installations only. Quite frequently those different skillsets aren’t interchangeable.
Ask about the roofing contractor’s followup and maintenance policy after the installation is complete. Some companies offer repair services only for the installations they’ve done, and some roofing “installer specialists “ don’t handle repairs or maintenance at all. This can be troublesome when, as happened to one DECRA homeowner, careless house painters spilled paint on 36 square feet of an otherwise pristine 1998 DECRA roof and the original installer didn’t provide repair services.
For new construction, the roofing contractor will need experience coordinating the installation timetable with other contractors on the job and establishing with the general contractor exactly who is responsible for overlapping work such as installing the roof deck sheathing or any special energy-efficient underlayments specified by the architect.
References and Reputability
For any major home improvement project, the homeowner is well advised to interview and receive bids from at least three reputable contractors. This is even more crucial for your DECRA roof installation. Get it done right the first time and you’ll enjoy peace of mind for a lifetime, so time vetting roofing contractors is time well spent.
The best DECRA roofing contractors are proud of their previous DECRA project accomplishments and are more than willing to share them with potential roofing customers. These accomplished roofing contractors won’t hesitate to provide at least three references to verify the quality of their previous work with DECRA roofing and they’ll show up for the estimate with a portfolio of previous work under their arm.
Some Due Diligence Tips For Homeowners
Be wary of extremely low bids as well as out-of-sight high bids and be sure to compare quotes from local roofing companies. Additionally, look at websites you trust that post ratings and reviews of contractors. You also can check out a contractor's online reputation by searching for the company's name with words like “scam,” “rip-off,” or “complaint.”
Once you’ve chosen your reputable roofing contractor some basic best business practices apply. A good faith deposit should be sufficient to get work underway. Establish a firm timeline for the job progress and completion with allowances for unavoidable weather delays.
Many roofing contractors are fine with a “pay as you go” payment schedule, especially for large jobs where a complete tear-off of the existing roof or work on the underlying roof deck is required. Many homeowners choose to pay contractors with a credit card to make money easier to recover in a worst-case scenario, but if you’ve done your due diligence in selecting a reputable roofing contractor this scenario should be avoidable.
DECRA Technical Knowledge
DECRA homeowners have different priorities for making DECRA their roofing profile of choice. For some, aesthetic appeal and the ability to replicate nearly any traditional roofing material with the strength of multi-layered steel is the deciding factor.
Others focus on the incredible gains in energy-efficiency that are possible with space-age underlayments, ridge vents, and DECRA batten installations. For many homeowners and businesses, a speedy upgrade or remodel without requiring a complete tear-off of the existing roof is most important. Others require the most durable roofing profiles to meet the rigorous building codes in hurricane zones. The ideal DECRA roofing contractor has the experience and technical know-how to handle all of these variations from the direct-to-deck roof overs to enhanced hurricane-resistant batten system installations.
The best possible DECRA roofing contractor is one who has availed himself of the vast technical support resources we at DECRA provide for our roofing contractors, architects, and construction professionals. They’ll be able to advise you on the best DECRA profiles to meet your roofing goals, provide you with material samples, and use our estimating sheets to calculate fair and accurate bids. DECRA supports roofing contractors with a vast archive of detailed installation guides for each DECRA roofing product and DECRA accessories such as ridge vents and debris guards.
Operational Excellence For Roofing Contractors and Homeowners
DECRA has been providing the first line of defense for sophisticated homes and buildings since 1957. DECRA roofing products are proudly manufactured in the U.S.A at our state-of-the-art facility in Corona, California. As the walk-away champion in every roofing material comparison category DECRA’s product superiority is matched by our operational excellence.
With fully stocked inventories we’re able to ship within just 72 hours after receiving a purchase order which helps to keep your DECRA roofing contractor on time and on budget. When you’re ready to join the ranks of over 1 million DECRA homeowners please don’t hesitate to request a call from a DECRA advisor today.