How to hire a commercial roofer

Hiring commercial roofers is different than hiring someone to come and fix or install a new roof at your home. For one thing, it is way more expensive and involved because it is the first line of defense the businesses in your building have against Mother Nature. Additionally, instead of vetting a few recommended companies, you have to solicit bids and you may not be the only one in on the decision.

Your best bet may be to hire a consultant from the Roof Consultants Institute to help determine what repairs your building needs. He or she can also ensure the job is done properly. Retaining a consultant can be a valuable investment, especially for large, complicated jobs.

Whether you choose to use a consultant or not, the commercial roofing company you select should be a member in good standing of one of the various professional organizations including either the RCI as mentioned above or the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). This shows that they are dedicated to learning and implementing the best practices.

You can solicit bids using your own informal process or NRCA’s Roofing Contractor Qualification Form1. Either way, you need to be sure they can answer questions in regards to the specifications of the job and they should also be able to address the safety concerns it involves.

This includes a project schedule and Site utilization diagram, detailed manufacturer specifications and testing information, and a severe weather plan. In addition, the bid should include verification of a designated qualified safety representative, compliance with all Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, and hot work precautions.

While it may be tempting to go with the lowest bidder, you should have a clear understanding of the capabilities of each potential contractor, and the contractors must fully understand the parameters of the job. Furthermore, when reviewing bids, be sure the contractors are experienced, licensed and bonded. They should each have a federal tax identification number as well as a permanent address. Be sure to ask how long each has been in business and the years of combined experience the team has.

Always check references, and the Better Business Bureau to ensure all bidders are in good standing. You can ask to see similar completed roofing jobs as well as one that is currently in process. Seeing the crew in action gives you a chance to assess their workmanship, the way they keep a job site, and their attitudes. In addition, you should ask for copies of all insurance certificates, including liability and workers’ compensation and all warranties from both the commercial roofers and the manufacturer, as well.

The job should be done during optimal weather. Therefore, do not expect them to work during hurricane season or when it snows.  In addition, some roofers require a certain temperature for proper installation, so the scheduling must take expected and unexpected weather of the season into account.

Finding the right commercial roofer for your project can be time-consuming. However, it is well worth the effort to avoid faulty installations.

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