Your roof is one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure for your home. It literally protects your home from the elements such as snow, rain, and even intense sunshine. It’s also an integral part of temperature regulation. In the winter a well-insulated roof can prevent heat from escaping—saving you significant money. And in the summer, innovations in roofing material can help to improve air flow or prevent heat from accumulating and creating heat pockets in your home.

Roofs are usually designed to last for extended periods. But even the most durable roof may need repairs from time to time. Whether an intense storm in the Chesapeake Bay region blew a few shingles off your home or you’ve purchased an older home that needs a new roof, there are plenty of reasons to trust your home to a reputable roofing company. However, many homeowners may not know what to look for or expect when contracting a roofing company in Annapolis, MD. Here’s what you need to know before you schedule your next roof project.

Determine the Project Scope First

Maybe you simply need to replace a few shingles. Or, you might want to install speciality roofing materials. Before you start reaching out to contractors, take a moment to decide what your overall roofing goals will be. Not all contractors can support every roofing project. And, knowing what you need or want to achieve with your roof can help guide your search for the right contractor for the job.

This also means you need to understand the type of materials required for your home, the estimated amount of materials needed, how weather may impact your project, and the potential budgetary scope required.

Shop Around and Do Your Research

No matter how confident you are that a specific contractor is the right professional to tackle your roofing needs, it never hurts to shop around. Whether you want to ensure you’re getting the best price for the scope of work required, or you want to get customer feedback to gauge experiences, plan ahead to give yourself time to do the research.

Similarly, even if you’re not a roofing expert, having a general idea of what to expect as you plan for a roofing project will help guide the process and create realistic expectations. This includes everything from completion timelines to cost estimates and even roofing warranties.

While individual experiences will always vary, having a general idea of what to expect can help manage expectations and ensure that you’re entering into a contracting project as an informed consumer.

Get A Detailed Estimate

Your roof is a critical part of your home. Just like you wouldn’t blindly book a vacation without determining the total cost, the same should hold true for the roof over your house. Roofing costs can vary depending on the scope of work required, the materials needed and even the timeline or estimated amount of labor needed to complete the job.

A good way to gauge a trustworthy roofing contractor from less reputable ones is by whether they give you a detailed estimate or a general figure. At JLG Builds, we know that transparency is essential to build trust with the communities we serve. That’s why our estimates are written and document the expected costs for materials, labor and any potential additional costs based on the scope of work.

Understand the Materials

Not all roofing materials are created equally. So, if you’re not a roofing expert, make sure you understand what’s getting put on top of your house before you agree to signing with a contractor. A good roof should last for years without needing repairs — not withstanding extreme weather events or a tree falling onto your home.

So, be sure that your roofer is explaining their selection process and why they’re choosing one material over another. Likewise, make sure that your roofer doesn’t rely on one type of material for all roofing jobs. Depending on the unique needs of your home, as well as the unpredictable nature of weather in the Annapolis region, you might need something other than the “go-to” roof shingle.

Understand the Warranties

There’s more than one type of warranty when it comes to roofs. Specifically, it’s possible to get a warranty for the materials, as well as a warranty for the work being completed. These warranties don’t always overlap in terms of coverage provided. So, it’s important to ask beforehand exactly what a warranty or guarantee will give you if you need to exercise those options.

Roofing material manufacturers will usually provide a warranty for the materials alone. This warranty will usually cover just the materials if it’s proven that there are defects which compromise the longevity of your roof. This does not include installation and will not cover repairs required because the materials were improperly installed—regardless of whether the contractor is licensed and bonded.

A contractor’s warranty (or guarantee) will typically cover the installation process. In other words, if the roofing materials are improperly installed, or premature damage occurs as a result of improper installation that wouldn’t have been caused by severe force majeure (i.e. earthquakes, tornados, or fire), the roofing contractor will repair the damage at no cost to the homeowner. At JLG Builds we stand behind our work which is why we offer guarantees on our roofing projects.

Confirm the Contractor is Licensed and Bonded

Again, don’t just trust your home to anyone. Specifically when you’re contracting service providers to come to your home, never let anyone in who isn’t licensed and bonded. A licensed professional means that they’re confirmed by the state of Maryland to legally provide services to your home.

Meanwhile, being “bonded” means that the service provider carries the necessary amount of insurance to ensure that if they were to cause any damage to a customer’s premises, they are able to cover the cost of repairs. When in doubt, feel free to ask your contractor how much insurance they carry and if necessary, the steps required and associated timeline to file a claim and have the repairs completed.

Contractors Have to Be Good Communicators

For most people, their home is the most important financial asset they have. So, understandably, they don’t want to trust that to just anyone. A good contractor knows this and is able to communicate proactively and transparently. If a contractor takes forever to respond to queries — especially when you’re simply asking for initial information — or routinely dodges specific questions related to certain aspects of a roofing project, don’t work with them.

Mind the Local Regulations and Codes

Every region has specific building codes that must be followed and the Annapolis region is no different. The contractor you use for your roofing project should be well-versed in those codes, and understand the process required to secure any necessary permits before working on your home.

If they attempt to avoid this step, that’s not a contractor that you want to use. Failing to comply with local or state regulations can result in hefty fines and significant project delays.

Check Their Work

Sourcing a contractor can be stressful since you want to ensure that they’re experienced with the project you want to have completed, and have positive references. Thankfully, there are plenty of services these days that can aggregate reviews to give you a better idea of how a contractor treats their clients.

However, don’t be afraid to ask for a portfolio showing examples of work they’ve completed for previous clients. Similarly, look for association references. These are additional details that serve to confirm that a contractor is accredited and trustworthy in their given field.

For example, JLG Builds is listed on Angie’s List and was listed on the “Best of Houzz 2020” service provider list. Similarly, we are a member of the Better Business Bureau, the Homebuilder’s Association of Maryland, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the National Association of Home Builders.

JLG Builds, the Premier Roofing Company in Annapolis, MD

Your roof is a critical component for your home, and as such it deserves to be placed in trusted hands. Whether for small repairs or a complete replacement, you should feel confident that the contractor you select is capable of providing quality service at a fair price and within expected timelines.

JLG Builds is a home contractor that has been providing exceptional service to the Annapolis, MD region for over 30 years. We are one of the most trusted roofing firms in Maryland. If your roof is in need of repair or replacement, or you need a roof for a new build, contact us today for a detailed estimate.