How to Choose a Milwaukee Roofing Company
Milwaukee Area Roofing Company
It might seem obvious, but if you’re in the Milwaukee area and looking for a roofing company, the first way to narrow your search is to look for a roofing company that’s located in the Milwaukee area. Hiring a southeastern Wisconsin roofing contractor helps your neighbors and actually builds your local economy.
Only hire a roofing company that’s licensed by the state of Wisconsin. All legitimate roofers will be licensed and certified by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Ask for the contractor’s Wisconsin license number. If they can’t give it to you, look for another roofer. Take the extra step of looking up the license number(s) on the Wisconsin.gov website to make sure they are still in good standing with the state.
Only hire a roofing contractor that’s properly insured. They need General Liability insurance and Workers Compensation insurance. What if they aren’t properly insured and one of their employees falls off of your roof and is permanently injured? What’s to stop them from suing the property owner? Are you prepared for that legal nightmare? Just as you should with the Wisconsin license, actually check on their insurance. And don’t just let them show you a piece of paper that has a nice insurance company logo printed on it; contact the insurance company and confirm that the roofing company is insured.
Which brings up a related subject:
If you’ve had a recent hail storm, or tornado, etc., in your area, don’t be surprised to find “storm chaser” roofing companies canvassing the neighborhood claiming that they can get everybody a new roof for free. Beware of companies that claim they will get you a new roof at no cost to you because your homeowner’s insurance will pay for it. The roofing company can’t speak for your insurance company. If your insurance company decides your claim isn’t valid, guess who pays for your roof? That’s right, you! Any legitimate roofing company will be happy to work with your insurance company, but no legitimate roofing company will guarantee that your homeowner’s insurance will pay for it all.
Real Business Address
Be careful that you don’t hire a roofing company that is just operated out of the back of somebody’s van. Then, where would you find them if you had a problem down the road? Down the road?
Yes, it’s possible to be in the roofing business only a short time and be quite good at nailing in shingles. But, running a business is a lot more complicated than that. Experience is the only way to learn how to deal with the unexpected and handle little issues before they become big problems. Plus, the fact is, most businesses fail in the first five years. Choosing a roofing company that’s been around a while is the best way to ensure that they’ll be around in the future if you have problems. No, you don’t need a company that’s been in business 50 years. The founder of that 50 year old company, who really built it and knew what he was doing, doesn’t work there anymore anyway. A 10 to 30 year old company, where the founders are still working every day, is a good choice.
Ask to talk with a few of the roofing company’s past customers. If they can’t put you in touch with people that they’ve done a good job for, then they probably haven’t done a good job for anybody. Also, be willing to be a good reference for your roofing company if they do a good job for you.
The roofer you choose should be one who stands behind their work. Be careful that you don’t get fooled by somebody who tells you that the shingles are guaranteed. Anybody can go to one of the building supply stores and buy shingles; shingles that are guaranteed by the manufacturer. Of course the shingles are guaranteed by the shingle manufacturer! But, that manufacturer’s warranty will be void if the shingles aren’t properly installed. You need a roofer that will install the roofing materials to the exacting standards that will keep the warranty intact.
Which is why you want:
A Roofing Company That is Certified by the Product Manufacturers
Manufacturers of roofing products, like shingles, have training and certification programs for roofers that install their products. The installers have to prove themselves before the manufacturers will give their stamp of approval. Choosing a certified roofing company will ensure that your roofing materials are actually covered by the manufacturers’ warranties. It also means you’ve chosen a roofer who’s put in the time and effort to be properly educated in the field.
BBB Accredited and A+ Rated
There are so many roofing contractors to choose from in the Milwaukee area. Why in the world would you choose one who isn’t accredited and A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin? The BBB holds their accredited members to high standards. The A+ rating is the highest they give.
Just Say No To High Pressure Sales
The best way to deal with high pressure roofing salespeople is to not deal with them at all. Don’t be bullied or pressured into signing a contract before you’re comfortable. Watch out for the roofer who insists that you sign right now, before getting other estimates, in order to get a “discount.” What are they afraid of?
Money Up Front
The Better Business Bureau suggests that a down payment of one third of the total cost is standard for home contractors. Beware of anybody asking for more than one third down. In fact, why pay a down payment at all to a contractor? We recommend that you hire a roofing company that doesn’t take any money up front at all. Why should you have to pay anything before the job is done?