Without getting into the topic of why Texas does not require roofing companies to be licensed, leaving business and homeowners unprotected, I would like to share my thoughts about how commercial property owners can protect themselves from unscrupulous roofing companies claiming to be quality commercial contractors.
A great place to start is turning to the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association (NTRCA). They do a great job being a voice for North Texas consumers and roofers. One of the valuable things it provides is a list of questions you should ask when talking to commercial roofing contractors you’re considering. Be sure to review the list to prepare for your discussions or create a Request for Proposal document.
I recently reviewed the NTRCA list and want to add some color commentary around three key questions that you should ask… even if you are familiar with the company. Reputable, honest companies will have no problem responding. Most will appreciate knowing you took the time to do research. Too often, business owners select roofing contractors based on price alone and then suffer the consequences down the road or even during installation. Yes, this happens on the residential side of our business as well, but often, the stakes are far more significant for commercial buildings because the projects are much larger and significantly more complex.
Is the commercial contractor located in North Texas, and how long have they been doing business in this area?
Aside from the feelings of goodwill most of us receive from supporting locally owned businesses, selecting a local commercial roofing contractor has definite benefits. For starters, if you have warranty issues, you want the people involved to be immediately accessible. It’s important to know you can go to the company’s office and sit down with the owner to quickly resolve problems versus waiting for someone to travel from out of town. Or worse, find out they do not have a legitimate office at all!
Are they certified through the roofing materials manufacturer? At what level? And where are they getting their materials? Call the manufacturer to check out your commercial contractor and ensure the manufacturer’s warranty will cover you.
It’s easy for a salesperson to claim they hold a certification, knowing the vast majority of people do not fact-check to verify or ensure the certificate is current. Fortunately, most manufacturers make it easy by listing their certified installers on their websites. Peak Roofing & Construction is certified in Johns Manville, Carlisle, Versico, and Mulehide commercial roofing materials. These certifications reassure customers that the contractor has experience working with the manufacturer’s products, installs them correctly, and has a healthy business history with the manufacturer.
Do they have the same crew install any roof system, or do their crews specialize and work on specific types?
It continues to amaze me that this occurs. Residential roofers with a good reputation doing homes attempt to do commercial properties independently or by hiring a commercial crew. Unless it’s a simple commercial structure using residential materials, it’s a disservice to the business owner and the roofing company. Why? Because commercial roofing structures are complicated. It’s not just the skill of installation; it’s designing the roofing system correctly, ensuring the right products are used, creating a project plan that minimizes business disruption, and ultimately provides a quality overall roofing installation that is certifiable by the manufacturer’s rep (which is ultimately required for receiving the manufacturer’s warranty).
My final tip sounds simple, but unfortunately, it is not. If you choose to get multiple bids, which I recommend, if you do not have previous experience with a company or lack a strong personal recommendation, make sure you compare apples to apples. If a bid is substantially cheaper, they are likely to use more inexpensive materials or use unskilled labor. Ask to see a list of the manufacturer’s products they are committing to install. For example, just saying they are using GAF products isn’t enough. You need to compare which product they are going to install. For example, a 45 mil and 60 mil thick roofing membrane are two very different products.
Lastly, even on the commercial side of our business, we see situations where a business owner thinks they received one product, and what was installed was a cheaper alternative. Recently, on a project near Plano, the previous commercial roofing contractor sold the business 5 inches of R-30 insulation, but they only received 4 inches. Finding a local, honest roofer that will be there for you long after installation should be your number one goal.
About Peak Roofing & Construction
Peak Roofing & Construction is family-owned, with 30-years of experience. Bonded, insured, and accredited, we provide roofing, gutter, fence, window, and exterior facelift services. Guaranteed. Call (972) 335-7325 in Dallas-Fort Worth (residential & commercial), including Richardson, Rowlett, and Rockwall.