Westchase Roofing Vet a Roofing Company Contractor

How to Vet a Roofing Company

Westchase Roofing Vet a Roofing CompanyWhen faced with a big decision like getting a new roof, many homeowners don’t know where to start. They may ask friends or do a quick search to find a local contractor. While you may find a reputable Tampa roofing company that way, asking the right questions and doing a little background work can help ensure you find the best roofing company for your house.

Ask Potential Roofing Contractors These Questions

Are you licensed?

Not having a license should be a nonstarter. For a contractor to legally work in Florida, they must be licensed. Someone who does not have a license may still be a good contractor—and if so, they should apply for a license.

What kind of insurance do you carry?

Roofing contractors should carry general liability insurance and worker’s comp at a minimum. Some companies may carry additional insurance like business auto insurance for their work trucks, however, the most important for a homeowner is general liability insurance. General liability insurance helps protect your property if something goes wrong.

Who will be working on my home?

When a company comes out to do a quote on your roof, you may assume that the kind face you see will be the person you’ll see on the ladder in a couple of weeks.

Don’t.

Too often, roofing companies subcontract their work. They focus on getting the clients and then outsource the jobs. Protect your home and hire a company that maintains its own crew. Only then can a company truly guarantee its work.

How long will the job take?

Everyone wants to know how long a job will take and it’s a homeowner’s right to a good estimate. A roofing contractor should be able to provide you with an estimate for when they will be starting work, how long they will be working each day, and how many days they believe it will take to complete the job. Hiring a company that works on only one house at a time may ensure that they get the job more quickly and are better able to meet their estimates.

What kind of roofing options do you offer?

Not all roofers carry all roofing options, which can actually be better for homeowners. Roofers who specialize in one or two roofing materials are better able to become experts in the material. They can keep up to date on the latest advances in roofing for their chosen material and understand the nuances of installing it. Before setting up an appointment, check to see if the roofing company installs the type of roof you want.

Do you offer any warranties?

Some roofing materials come with warranties, though those warranties generally don’t cover workmanship. Ask any potential roofing companies what type of warranties they are able to offer you and what exactly the warranties cover.

Watch For These Red Flags

They ask for a deposit.

Often, someone asking for a deposit up front is running a scam. You should not write a check or hand over cash before any work has been completed or you may not see them again.

They come to your home unsolicited.

Very rarely does a reputable roofing company knock on doors to advertise their services. This can be a sign of a storm chaser.

“So and so’s cousin can do it.”

While trying to find a roofer, you may come across a well meaning friend who tells you someone they know can do the job on the cheap for you. While this may work for patching a spot of drywall or doing other handyman tasks, it’s not advisable for roofing.

Roofing a home can be a dangerous endeavor. It is important that anyone that works on your roof knows what they are doing and that they’re appropriately insured. In addition, shoddy workmanship by someone with little or no training can lead to more problems down the line. Water damage, mold growth, and poorly installed shingles can be expensive to repair. Rather than hiring a local handyman for a roofer’s job, stick with the professionals.

Checking Reviews and Testimonials

Seeing what others have said about a company’s work can help you better understand the company. GuildQuality allows home improvement contractors’ clients to share their experiences and rate the company who has remodeled their kitchen, built their new home, or installed their new roof. Check any potential contractors and make sure you like what you see.

At Westchase Roofing, we understand that choosing a contractor can be a difficult decision. We try to make it a little easier by being completely upfront with our potential clients. As a licensed and insured roofing company operating in the Tampa area, we take each and every job we do very seriously. We know we aren’t just working on people’s houses, we’re protecting their homes.

We’re ready for your questions and we’d love to give you a quote on a new asphalt roof.

Westchase Roofing Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Check for These Certifications Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Hiring a contractor isn’t easy. Many people feel a sense of unease when thousands of dollars are on the line. We completely understand. When you’re entrusting your home to the hands of a contractor, you want to be sure you’re making the right decision. Checking for these certifications and memberships before hiring a roofing contractor can help set your mind at ease and assure you that you’ve made the right choice.

Appropriate Licenses

For a roofing contractor to legally work on your home, they must be licensed to work within the state of Florida and in their particular county. Aspiring contractors are tested by the state to receive their license. In addition, contractors can apply to be certified.

To be a state certified contractor, a contractor must provide a copy of their state contractor license, proof of liability insurance, and proof of workers comp insurance coverage.

Westchase Roofing Services is licensed as a certified roofing contractor in the state of Florida and in Hillsborough County. Not only have we passed all requisite tests, we also carry the necessary insurance to protect your home and our crew.

Liability Insurance

Any roofing contractor you hire should have insurance. An uninsured contractor poses a risk to your home.

General liability insurance covers any property damage caused by a contractor or injury to a non-employee. Workers’ compensation covers employee injuries that may occur on a worksite. Together, these two policies help protect a homeowner’s property as well as a contractor’s employees.

Don’t hesitate to ask whether your roofing contractor has liability insurance. A certified contractor will have insurance, however, fly by night operations that tend to pop up after a storm are generally uninsured and unlicensed. Be wary of anyone knocking on your door and telling you that your homeowner’s insurance will cover a new roof. (You can learn more about these scams here.)

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau helps consumers find reputable businesses to work with. The BBB supports businesses by providing them ethical standards they can implement and providing educational resources. For consumers, the BBB is a hub where they can share their experiences with a company and research companies they are considering hiring.

To be a Better Business Bureau accredited, a company must sign up with the organization. It’s a voluntary organization, and membership tends to show a commitment to the values espoused by the BBB.

Westchase Roofing Services is a BBB accredited contractor with an A+ score. We work hard to maintain that top score by continuing to provide excellent service.

National Roofing Contractors Association

The National Roofing Contractors Association is a trade association for roofing professionals. They provide training and resources for contractors and other roofing professionals. The NRCA is a nonprofit organization supported by its members that advocates on behalf of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors, engineers, and more.

Membership in the NRCA illustrates a commitment to improving one’s skills and staying on top of the latest roofing information and technology. Westchase Roofing is a proud NRCA member.

Hiring a contractor can be difficult. Look for these certifications on a potential contractor’s page to make the job easier. In our next post, we’ll be discussing how to vet a contractor. However, if you’re in need of a roofing contractor to replace your roof, don’t wait! Schedule a quote with us today.

We’d love to discuss our certifications and memberships with you and let you know why we’re the best roofing contractor for your roof replacement. Give us a call and learn more about Westchase Roofing.

Westchase Roofing Crew Instead of Subcontractors

The Importance of Having a Crew Instead of Subcontractors

Too often homeowners sign a contract with a roofing company only to learn later that the professionals they spoke with won’t be the actual people installing their roof. Rather, they end up with subcontractors crawling all over their home.  At Westchase Roofing, we value quality labor. That’s why never use subcontractors.

Why We Don’t Use Subcontractors

Our contracts are a promise. When we commit to replacing a client’s roof, we’re also committing to providing the expert knowledge and unparalleled customer service we’re known for. Hiring subcontractors does not always allow for the same level of workmanship or training that having one’s own crew does.

Maintaining our own crews allows us to:

1. Control the quality of the work.

When a company subcontracts work to someone else, they are relying on the expertise of the subcontractors. While there are probably plenty of excellent subcontractors, allowing someone to complete the work you said you would do takes away some of the control. We like to ensure that all of our workmanship is top quality. After all, it’s part of the reason we’re an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. By using our own crews, we can guarantee that our work will meet the highest standards.

2. Invest in our crews.

Maintaining a crew isn’t easy. It’s important to ensure that everyone is trained to our exacting standards and that everyone works well together. In addition, we require all of our crewmembers to model good customer service skills. Our crews represent our company. Rather than expecting subcontractors to do a comparable job, we are constantly investing in our crews so that they are able to best serve our clients.

3. Establish and maintain a relationship with our clients.

Having work done on your home can be stressful. For many people, their home is their refuge. That’s why we want to ensure that all our clients are treated like family. By using our own teams which have been trained in our service expectations, we know that homeowners are treated with the respect and care they deserve.

4. Ensure proper licensing and insurance.

When you vet a contractor, one thing you should always do is check that they are properly licensed and insured to do the work they are promising to do. When a company uses subcontractors, there is no guarantee that they will be licensed and insured. Plus, because your agreement is technically with the contractors and not the subcontractors, any legal issues that arise because of the completed (or uncompleted) work can get murky and confusing. Westchase Roofing is licensed and insured. In addition, because all of the individuals involved in our business are our employees and not subcontractors, they are covered under our liability insurance. There will never be a question of whether the person on your roof is properly trained, licensed, or insured when you hire Westchase Roofing.

Our Commitment to Service

We take our business seriously, from the high-quality products we use to the trained crewmembers who we continue to invest in. Subcontracting work is antithetical to our core business values. Instead, we focus on nurturing our relationships with our staff to create an environment that promotes growth and a good work ethic.

This and everything we do all comes back to our goal to provide our clients with excellent service. Your home is an investment. For many of our clients, it’s their biggest investment. We respect the importance of your home and want to help you keep it protected. That’s why we’ll always treat you like family.

If you want to learn more about our commitment to service and what that means for your roof, schedule a quote today.

Westchase Roofing Metal Roof Costs More Than Asphalt

2x the Cost of Asphalt: Are Metal Roofs Really a Good Value?

There is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing roofing materials. If you’re trying to decide which materials to invest in for your roof, it’s important to consider several factors, including price, lifetime, and aesthetic. To learn more about different shingle types, check out our Ultimate Guide to Roofing Shingles. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the differences between metal roofs and asphalt shingles and why a metal roof costs two times more than an asphalt roof.

Price of a Metal Roof

The cost of roofing materials is a common concern for homeowners seeking a replacement roof. Depending on the material you choose, the price can vary vastly. For a metal roof, costs vary depending on the type of metal used, however, one thing is clear: metal roofing cost at least 2 times as much as asphalt roofing and often more.

Steel roofing tiles range in price from $3.50 a square foot for inexpensive steel to $14.00 a square foot for copper. And that’s just the material cost. Adding labor doubles the cost of many of the tiles. If your roof requires cuts for a sunroof or chimney, dormers, sidewalls, or cut up angles, then it will be more expensive than a plain slope roof as it will require more labor and specialty pieces.

In addition to the materials, a metal roof takes longer to install, increasing the cost of labor.

Asphalt shingles continue to be a popular choice with savvy homeowners because it remains inexpensive and is quickly installed by knowledgeable roofers.

Aesthetic

Inexpensive metal roofs often attempt to mimic the look of stone or clay roofs without the added weight of those materials. More expensive roofs like those made from aluminum or copper clearly display their metal aesthetic with straight smooth lines, reflective surfaces, and distinctive colors. There are plenty of metal styles to choose from as well as paint colors to embellish with. Similarly, asphalt shingles come in a variety of styles and colors to help homeowners express their vision.

Noise

Rain hitting a metal roof has a distinctive sound. If you are sensitive to particular noises or are disturbed by hearing the rain or hail hit your roof, a metal roof may not be the best choice. Insulation may dampen some of the noise, but installation will cost extra and will not guarantee that it will be enough to dampen the noise.

Asphalt shingles installed with Owens Corning Total Roofing System do not suffer from the same noise issue.

Maintenance: Increased Metal Roof Costs

Metal roofs are advertised as lasting up to 50 years, however, some of the components used to fasten or decorate the roof will not last that long. That means there will be a need to hire a professional to replace old fasteners and warped panels. In addition, for painted metal roofs, expect to have the roof repainted and resealed. Because these are not DIY projects due to the size of the roofing panels and the availability of materials, it will be necessary to hire a professional. Depending on how long it takes to repair or replace components, this can add significant cost to the price of the roof.

At Westchase Roofing, we exclusively carry Owens Corning asphalt shingles and are proudly designated an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. We believe that asphalt shingles are a great investment for Tampa homes. Not only are they affordable, but they look great, too. If you’d like to learn more about the Owens Corning total roofing system and how it can protect your home, call today to schedule a quote.

Home Renovations: How-To Sell Your Home In a Jiffy

If you plan on selling your home at any point in the future, you might be thinking of trying to do some renovations to help sell it. There are a lot of renovations you can do, but some will help boost its resale value more than others. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, here are some home renovation projects to prioritize.

home renovation

Kitchen Makeover

If you ask most people who deal with evaluating, selling or renovating homes, most will tell you that the kitchen is the most important room for helping or hurting a home’s value. So for your kitchen renovation project, you can upgrade or clean up the following:

  • Cabinets — new material, layout, extra cabinets for more space, lighting, etc.
  • Appliances — new oven, fridge, microwave, etc
  • Counters — new tops, change the color, quality material, etc
  • Lighting — upgrade the lighting throughout the kitchen so everything is illuminated properly

You don’t have to renovate everything in the kitchen, just whatever parts are old, worn, or out of date for style and functionality.

Separate Apartment or Guest Suite

Another way to greatly increase the value of your home is by building a separate living suite within your residence so it can be rented out. If you go this route, make sure the new suite includes:

  • Kitchen — oven, fridge and cabinets are necessary
  • Bathroom — with toilet, sink and shower
  • Bedroom/living room — make it bachelor apartment style or add a separate bedroom

The most common way is by converting the basement into its own apartment-style suite, but depending on the layout or size of your home you can also convert part of your main or even second floor as well.

Three Piece Bathroom

Whether or not you renovate your home for a separate suite, you can also increase the value of your home by improving the bathrooms. Specifically, by adding another three-piece bathroom that has a toilet, sink, and shower.

If you don’t have the space for a very large bathroom, you can always get creative — use a small stand-up shower and fit your bathroom under your stairs, or convert a closet, or use space from your basement.

Roof Replacement

The biggest increase to the ‘curb value’ of your home is renovating the roof. More specifically, nothing ruins the curb appeal of a home than a shoddy and worn roof with gaps in the tile. If you look to replace your roof, there are different types of materials and styles to consider:

  • Asphalt shingles — the most common type because they are cheap, durable, and when installed properly can look good too
  • Wooden shingles — expensive, not as durable and difficult to install, but eco-friendly and looks great so they can add more value
  • Metal — the most durable and can be cheap, but generally look awful for a home
  • Solar shingles — help generate your own electricity for your home, but very high up-front cost

If you do choose to renovate your roof, it’s worth paying extra for a professional roofer to do the job for you to make sure it’s done right and looks great to get the most boost in value for your home.