Better Business Bytes: Hiring a roofer during supply chain disruptions

By Keylen Villagrana
For the times of Cordova

Hiring a reliable roofer can be a difficult task this summer, especially if you hope to get the job done within a desired budget and time frame.

Supply Chain breakdowns cause problems for even the most prepared roofers. Dating from the spring of last year, almost every industry has experienced months-long shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturers and buyers that roofers rely on for their deliveries are all currently behind, so roofing companies are dealing with delays.

The scarcity of those roofing supplies is forcing budgets to stretch. Having costs for building materials got up by almost 20% compared to last year, meaning it is more expensive for roofers to take on and complete jobs. As those costs rise, consumers face higher price tags.

If you’re in the market for some roofing work, that kind of news isn’t exactly welcome. If a roof upgrade is more of a necessity than a wish, you may need to make arrangements with the first available roofing company. The cheapest option can also feel like it’s your only choice.

Rushing to contact a roofer or settling for a company that is most affordable is not the recommended approach for such a big investment. By separating reliable roofers from roofers who may be less than legit, you can save more in the long run and reduce the amount of time spent on that project.

How to find the right roofer:

  • Come up with the right questions. Ask the roofing company how supply chain disruptions, and maybe labor problemsaffect their activities. Find out if the prices offered today could rise in the future as materials become scarce. The same goes for timelines. Is there a chance the job could take longer if the stock runs out? If so, how long are the delays?
  • Know the ins and outs of what needs to be done. Try to stay as informed as possible about what your roofing project entails. Are you expecting repair work or a full replacement? In either case, how does the roofing company plan to complete those tasks? Make sure your expectations are reflected in every contract you sign.
  • Don’t assume that everything is arranged. It is not a guarantee that the company you come into contact with will be responsible for cleaning up their workplace once the job is completed. The same goes for repairing any damage done during the project. Before you plan anything, make sure you know where the roofer is at those points.
  • Confirm everyone’s coverage. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some or all of the costs associated with repairing your roof. So see what steps you need to take if that is the case. It’s not a bad idea to look into your contractor’s insurance policy, too. Their coverage can handle things like workers’ compensation, property damage, and personal liability.
  • Find a roofer that’s right for you. Not every roofer is certified to repair or replace every type of roof. The quality of a company’s work can also vary wildly. Learn about a company’s references and read reviews from past customers to help to inform your decision.

Keylen Villagrana writes for Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific.

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