Choosing the cheapest quote can often end up being the most expensive in the end, especially if a cheaper quality shingle is used. Better quality shingles are typically not too much extra in price. Lower grade shingles will curl and breakdown at a much faster rate than high quality ones. So if you are planning on staying a while it’s cheaper to do it once with a high quality product. Pricing a job to meet the minimum requirements for the building code is often not enough to protect the property properly. Again it’s better to use products with a proven track record.
Always make sure the company has both WSIB (workplace safety insurance board) clearance and liability insurance. This ensures that if someone falls or something is damaged you are covered.
Ask to see the documents as some companies do not have them!
Industry certification is a good sign that the company is keeping their installers up to date with the latest techniques and materials.
References from previous jobs are a good way to find out about the contractor, also ask to see examples of jobs done in your area. After completion of your job if you’re satisfied offer to be a reference. It helps others choose a good contractor.
Labour warranties of ten years are typical for the industry but some installers only offer five. If the installer is recognized by the shingle manufacturer and has industry certifications often the standard 5 year material warranty is extended. It’s important to remember that material and workmanship warranties are often for different amounts of time.
Material warranties are often pro-rated by suppliers, this means that a 50 year shingle could have 10 years of complete coverage before being pro-rated. Then the warranty payout amount decreases each year until the 50th year. Other products have non-pro rated warranties and cover you the entire life expectancy of the roof.
Most homes should take a day to strip and shingle. This is important as you don’t really want your house to be left exposed for longer than is necessary. Of course some projects are just too big to do in a day in which case the crew will either leave the existing roof on the sections that can’t be worked on that day or protect the property with tarps.
Property protection is very important, a typical family home has close to 2 tons of old shingles being removed. It’s important to protect windows, doors, driveways etc. Tarps and plywood should be used.
Down payments & final payment. If your roofing project costs in excess of $10,000 then a down payment is not unreasonable due to the high cost of material required for the job. Final payment should be due on completion of the work.