Your roof is an essential part of your home. As your first line of defence against the elements, it will protect you, your family, and your belongings from the extremes of South Australia’s climate. When it’s time for a new roof or repairs, you’ll need to select reputable roofing contractors to get the job done right. Each roofing contractor will offer something different, from budget and style preferences to installation quality. This can make choosing the right contractor a daunting task. But don’t worry- we’re here to help!
In this blog post, we’ll outline crucial factors you should consider when choosing a roofing contractor. We’ll discuss what licence a roofing contractor needs to operate legally, what kind of insurance to look for, and why it’s important to communicate your needs and expectations clearly. Finally, we’ll give you some tips on what to expect from a roofing quote, contract, and warranty, so you can be sure that you’re entrusting the right company with your investment.
1. Do your research.
Finding the right roofing contractor starts with you. The most important thing you can do when selecting a roofing contractor is to learn about what is involved in the roofing process. Read up on the different types of materials and learn what to look for in quality workmanship. If you understand the scope of the work and what to expect from your contractor, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed decision.
Some key areas to start with include:
- Different roofing styles and their average lifespan.
- The types of roofing materials available and their benefits and drawbacks.
- The average cost of roof repairs or installations in your area.
- The process of installing or repairing a roof, from start to finish.
This research will give you excellent foundational knowledge when you’re ready to approach contractors for quotes. It will also help you ask the right questions and identify any red flags that indicate a contractor is not the right fit for your project. Remember that when it comes to hiring a contractor, knowledge is power.
2. Check for a licence and insurance.
All roofing contractors in South Australia must have a valid builder’s licence issued by the State Government. A builder’s licence ensures that your contractor has undergone the necessary training, and meets certain quality and safety standards. If a contractor provides you with their building licence, it is always best practice to cross-reference this number with a government database. You can check the SA GOV portal here to make sure that the licence number they have provided is valid.
It’s also essential to ensure that the contractor has building indemnity insurance, as this will protect you from being liable if something goes wrong during the job. For example, at Oz-Roof, we carry 20 million public liability insurance at all times.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of both the licence and insurance. Any reputable contractor will be happy to provide this.
Red flag: If a contractor tries to avoid showing you their licence or proof of insurance, that’s a huge red flag. Do not work with them under any circumstances.
3. Ask about workplace safety certifications.
When you’re ready to have your roof replaced or repaired, you must take the time to find a reputable, experienced contractor with a strong record of workplace safety. An excellent way to check for this is to ensure that the contractor and tradesmen under their employ own a White Card. A White Card is proof that an individual has completed the necessary safety training to work on construction sites in Australia. You can find more information about White Cards on SafeWorkSA.
In addition to having a White Card, it’s also important to make sure that the contractor you’re considering is experienced and knowledgeable in roofing. First, it’s always good to see if the contractor is backed by trusted brands. At Oz-Roof, we are a certified Dulux applicator. This means that we are able to supply a 15 year Dulux warranty on your new roof restoration, guaranteeing you peace of mind.
You can also ask potential contractors about the different types of roofs, materials, and methods they are familiar with. A good contractor will answer your questions confidently and without hesitation.
Tip: Ask about the contractor’s workplace safety and product certifications during your initial consultation. A reputable contractor will be happy to tell you all about their qualifications.
Red flag: If the contractor can’t or won’t provide you with information about their training, that’s a bad sign. Steer clear of them.
4. Look for Recommendations.
One of the best ways to find a good roofing contractor is by asking around for recommendations. Friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours are a great place to start. Chances are, someone you know has had their roof replaced or repaired in the past, and they can recommend a reliable contractor to you.
If you don’t know anyone who has used a roofing contractor recently, you can also look online. There are many websites and forums where people post their experiences with different contractors. Be sure to read as many reviews as possible before making a decision. Don’t just look at good reviews. It’s important to know how contractors handle mistakes and resolve complaints. Good contractors will also have a portfolio of photos or videos of their past projects. Always take the time to browse through them before making a decision.
Tip: Ask your family and friends for recommendations, and check out review websites before you make your final decision.
Red flag: If the contractor doesn’t have photos, references, or testimonials, that’s a huge red flag. Proceed with caution.
5. Investigate completed projects.
Even if you have looked at the contractor’s work online, we still recommend that you take the time to visit some of their completed projects in person, as this will give you a better idea of the quality of their workmanship.
Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for contact information for some of their past clients. This will allow you to get more detailed feedback and understand what you can look forward to when working with them.
Tip: Be sure to ask for photos of past projects, and if possible, take a drive-by to see them in person.
Red flag: If the contractor doesn’t have any pictures of their previous work, or say that they haven’t performed any work locally, that’s a bad sign. Proceed with caution.
6. Set clear expectations from the start.
When you’re ready to have your roof replaced or repaired, it’s important that you sit down with the contractor and discuss your expectations. Be clear about your vision, what you want to achieve with your project, and make sure that the contractor is aware of any deadlines or time constraints. It’s also important to discuss the budget at this stage. Make sure that you are both on the same page regarding price, materials, and labour. This will guarantee that there are fewer misunderstandings and surprises down the road.
Tip: Have a detailed discussion with the contractor about your expectations before starting any work.
Red flag: If the contractor is reluctant to discuss your expectations or seems uninterested in your project, that’s a bad sign. It may be best to move on to someone else.
7. Ask for a written quote.
When it comes to roofing projects, a written quote is a must. The contractor should provide you with a detailed estimate that outlines the cost of materials, labour, and any other associated expenses. Once you have received a quote, make sure to read it over carefully. Don’t be afraid to follow up with any questions. It’s essential that you understand what’s included in the quote. Some contractors will try to add on extra charges once the job has started, so it’s vital to clarify exactly what you’re paying for.
Tip: Always get a written estimate from the contractor before starting any work. This will protect you from any unexpected charges down the road.
Red flag: If the contractor won’t give you a written quote or tries to change the terms of the deal once work has started, that’s a huge red flag, and you should walk away immediately.
8. Make sure you receive a warranty.
Be sure to ask the contractor for a warranty on their work. Most reputable contractors will offer some kind of guarantee on their workmanship. Always remember that a contractor who is confident in their work’s quality will have no problem offering you a warranty.
Tip: Be sure to get a written warranty from the contractor before starting any work. This will protect you if something goes wrong with the roof, even years after its completion.
Red flag: If the contractor doesn’t offer a warranty or try to charge you extra for one, that’s a bad sign, and you should look elsewhere.
9. Organise a contract.
Once you’ve chosen a contractor and approved a quote, be sure to get a contract in writing. This document will outline the specific terms of the job and should include things like the project’s start and end date, the materials that will be used, and the payment schedule.
It’s important to read through the contract carefully before signing it. If there are any items that you don’t understand, ask the contractor to explain them to you.
Tip: It’s always a good idea to have a contract drawn up before work starts on your roof. This will protect both you and the contractor.
Red flag: If the contractor won’t give you a contract or tries to change its terms once work has started, it may be wise to consider some alternatives. You don’t want to deal with someone who isn’t upfront and honest.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a roofing contractor. By taking your time and following our tips, you can be sure that you’ll find the right person for the job.
Always be careful when selecting a roofing company. Make sure to educate yourself, to ask for their building licence, insurance and workplace safety certifications. Don’t be afraid to do some digging, and to ask for referrals from colleagues, friends, and family members. Finally, if you ever have any doubts, just remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
-The Oz-Roof Team