Although the roof of your home is an extremely important part of keeping you safe, dry, and comfortable, it’s also an element few people think about until they notice a problem. Usually, that problem entails water dripping into your home when the rainy season begins. Alternatively, you may notice visually that your roof tiles are starting to show wear, start to warp, or lift. If it’s your turn to deal with a roof replacement, you’re probably thinking about finding the best roofing contractor in Los Angeles or your area.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable roofing contractors, we get inquiries every day about finding the best roofing company in the area– here are some key points you need to know.
How Do I Find the Best Roofing Contractor Near Me?
Your roof is an important part of your house and a large investment, so you want to make sure you find the right roofing company to replace it. A poorly done re-roofing job could just lead to further leaks the next time it rains. It’s always a good idea to start by finding a few reputable roofing companies in Los Angeles to come to look at the project and give you an estimate.
Asking friends, neighbors, or trustworthy colleagues for recommended roofing contractors is a good place to start. If you ask for suggestions on social media, you should only believe comments from ‘real-life’ friends. People you don’t know are usually biased (for example, they’ll propose their brother’s roofing company).
If you don’t get enough good referrals from friends and family, think about dealing with a company that undertakes comprehensive roofing contractor screening and gives individualized introductions to top-tier roofing contractors – like GreatBuildz. Choosing a contractor at random from junk mail or a national contractor directory site is not suggested.
Choosing a Good Roofing Contractor in Los Angeles
After meeting and interviewing several roofing contractors, how do you know which one is right for you? Unfortunately, most homeowners base their decision on only two criteria: the contractor who provides the lowest roofing price AND their ‘gut feeling’ about the roofer (ie. did they like the person). These are good starting points, but they are insufficient to identify who is the best fit for your needs.
Remember that when you meet with a roofing contractor, they are trying to pitch you on their services. Furthermore, while their price estimate is important, it says very little about their quality and honesty. As a result, these two factors are insufficient for determining which roofing contractors are the best fit for you. You should ideally do more to vet your prospective roofing contractors.
GreatBuildz has developed a 10-point screening procedure for Los Angeles roofing contractors. I advise every homeowner to implement as many of these procedures as possible, but at the very least the five stated below:
- Examine their online reviews. Examine any negative reviews and determine how horrible their behavior appears to you… and do not be afraid to confront the contractor about their unfavorable review.
- Look up a contractor’s license on the internet. In California, you should visit the CSLB License Database. Confirm that the roofing contractor’s C-39 license is up to date and that no complaints exist on the license.
- Obtain a copy of their insurance certificate to confirm they have both General Liability and Workers’ Compensation insurance. Ask that you be added as an “additional insured” by their insurance broker. Pro-Tip: Never work with a roofing company that doesn’t have Workers Comp insurance. Roofing is one of the most dangerous trades because of the risk of injury from falls. If the roofing contractor doesn’t have Workers Comp insurance to protect their crew from such injuries, it could create a terrible liability for the homeowner.
- Ask for references for previous roof replacement projects that were completed in your area. You can even call these clients to ensure they were happy with the contractor’s work and haven’t had issues with their new roof.
- Interview the owner of the company (or at least the Project Manager who will be your day-to-day contact during the project). Inquire about anything that matters to you.
Hiring a Top Roofing Contractor
Before hiring a roofing company, get a copy of their proposal and contract in writing. Make sure it has appropriate details about insurance, liability, and any other safety procedures that concern you. A written contract should also include the total cost to replace your roof, the entire scope of the job, the timing schedule and the payment schedule. You shouldn’t have to make a deposit of more than $1000 before the job begins.
Although a roofing estimate will include most of the job involved (labor, materials, trash disposal, etc), there may be a TBD line item for any rotted plywood or other material that needs replacement but will only be visible once the old roof is torn off.
Finally, don’t forget to make sure that your written contract with your roofing contractor includes language about the extent of your warranty. The roofing material will certainly come with a warranty, and the roofing contractor should also guarantee their installation and workmanship for a reasonable number of years.
Before you consider hiring a roofing company, make sure to carefully review all your bids to make sure they are “apples to apples” and the scope is the same on every one of them.
If one roofing contractor proposes to tear off the old and replace the roof, while another plans to install a new roof on top of the old shingles, their prices will clearly not be the same. Also, make sure they are proposing a roofing material that is the same quality. Different quality roof shingles have ratings that indicate how long they expect to last, and that can vary considerably.
Finally, make sure the roofing contractor you’re hiring in Los Angeles has expertise in both your area and your specific roofing material. Most roofing companies can install asphalt shingles or tile/concrete tile roofs. But if you’re using a different material or have a flat roof, make sure the roofing contractor you’re hiring has this experience. You don’t want someone that is working with this material for the very first time.
What Should I Ask a Los Angeles Roofing Contractor?
- Do you provide a free inspection and estimate?
- Do you have a valid C-39 license to perform roof replacement jobs in my area?
- What kinds of insurance do you have, and what does it cover?
- Can you work with my homeowner’s insurance if I need to make a claim?
- Can you provide me with a written estimate & proposal following an inspection?
- What kind of payments do you take? Credit Card?
- What is your payment schedule?
- What kinds of roofing material do you have experience with?
- Will you be removing my old roofing material?
- In the case of a tile roof, what happens if you break some of my existing tiles?
- Can you give me two or three client references to call?
- Is your material covered under the manufacturer’s warranty and for how long?
- How long will it take to re-roof my home?
- When can you start my project?
Working with a Roofing Company in Los Angeles
Once you’ve hired an LA roofing company, there are a few things left to ensure that everything goes smoothly with your re-roof project. Los Angeles and most other area cities require a roofing permit before you start your job.
You’ll want to confirm that your roofing contractor will take care of pulling this permit with the city before starting. (Hopefully, they have accounted for this cost in your total price). You can ask to see a copy of the permit…or search for it inline if your city’s building department has an online portal.
Once the roof replacement project is complete, you’ll want to take a quick look around your property to make sure everything looks nice and clean, all the old debris has been removed and there are no nails laying around.
Finally, in order to “final” the permit with the city, your roofing contractor will need to have a city inspector “sign off” on the quality of the roof. You should get a copy of this final inspection either from your contractor or online.
When it comes to finding the best roofing contractor for your project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides project support from start to finish.
Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your roofing replacement project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com