Going through the process of finding a contractor for any project is stressful. Finding the right metal roofing contractor is no exception.
Finding the best pool of qualified and knowledgeable contractors to get bids/quotes from is the first step in the metal roof installation process, which is why it should never be overlooked.
As much as we’d like to tell you that choosing the best pool of metal roofing contractors is seamless and easy, it shouldn’t be an overlooked step of buying and installing a metal roof. But here at Sheffield Metals, we want to help guide you through the journey to choosing the right contractor for you and your individual roofing structure.
In this article, we aren’t going to talk about choosing the best bid/quote (we will be covering this topic in a future article). Instead, we’ll focus on how to find the best pool of contractors to get quotes from and the methods of weeding out the contractors who may be a bad fit for your roofing project.
In this article, expect to learn:
- How to find good metal roofing contractors
- What to expect during contractor consultations
- What questions you should be asking metal roof contractors
- A list of signs that help indicate a metal roof contractor is reliable
How to Find the Best Metal Roofing Contractors
Where to Find Metal Roofing Contractors
So you might be asking yourself: Where do I even start looking for contractors? Many home/building owners just turn to the internet, which is a great place to start. But there are many more options and avenues to check with as well, such as:
Ask for referrals – If you have a friend, family member, or neighbor who recently had a metal roof installed on their home or business building, they are one of the best places to start. Ask them who they hired as their contractor, but also ask who they didn’t hire and why.
Reach out to roofing organizations and associations – Any discipline or line of work has its own organizations and associations dedicated to education, training, advocacy, etc. Contacting one of these organizations that work with metal roofing contractors, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association or a local Home Builders Association, can help you find credible businesses available for hire.
Call an architect or builder – Architects and builders have extensive experience with roofing contractors, as they work with them on a regular basis for their own projects. If you know of any architects or builders present in your area, give them a call and ask about the roofing contractors they use or would recommend.
Ask the manufacturer of the metal roof – One of the best ways to ensure the metal roof you want to purchase gets installed correctly by a good contractor is to contact the metal roof manufacturer. Manufacturers are often well connected in the roofing industry and can point you in the direction of contractors who have recently done good installation work.
Angie's List, HomeAdvisor, and Everybody Needs A Roof are just a few project referral websites that serve as good starting points for finding a good pool of metal roofing contractors to pick from.
Search on the internet – It’s the 21st century and we all know that doing your online research can help you find a good contractor. That being said, doing the right online research is key. Don’t just look at the ratings, but take some time to read the reviews. You would be surprised how many people are in the same boat as you. In addition to just Googling “good metal roofing contractors”, try one of these popular referral sites:
Choose the Contractors to Consult With
Now that you have a pool of metal roof contractors you want to bid on your project, you’ll want to research the business before scheduling a consultation. Luckily, most of this research can be done online by looking on search engines and at the business’s website.
- Step 1: Make sure the business offers metal roof installation and/or what you want to be installed on your roof. For example, there are roofing contractors who only install asphalt shingle roofing or another type of roofing material that isn’t metal.
- Step 2: Either by using a search engine, looking at the business’s website, or finding the business on social media, look to make sure there are positive reviews from past customers. Additionally, you can use the Better Business Bureau’s website to look up the business and see if it receives a good rating.
- Step 3: Go to the contractor’s website, look at their portfolio or gallery of completed projects, and make sure you approve of how their final metal roofing projects look.
- Step 4: Explore any more of the contractor’s resources, such as continued website surfing, social media content, and other available online assets.
What to Expect During a Consultation
Having a consultation with a contractor is your opportunity to measure them up, get to know their business, test their capabilities, ask questions, and decide if they're a viable choice.
Once you’ve done all your research and weeded out the contractors who aren’t a good fit for you, it’s time to schedule the consultation. This can be done by either calling or emailing the contracting company or using the contact form on their website. We recommend having consultations with at least three different metal roofing contractors.
The consultation is your opportunity to measure the contractor up, get to know their business, test their capabilities, ask questions, and decide if you’d be comfortable with hiring them. Here’s what you can expect during a metal roof install consultation (typically lasting one to two hours per contractor, depending on the complexity/size of your roof):
- Field measurement of your roof and provide a take-off.
- Site inspection – Such as looking for penetration points, flashing zones, low spots, differing roof planes, gutter needs, roof access, and surrounding landscape, as well as potential problem areas associated with all of the above items.
- Sitting down with the contractor to give you some ideas to think about and provide options pertaining to:
- Panel type
- Metal material type
- Accessories – Such as underlayment, clamps, fasteners, etc.
- Miscellaneous add-ons – Such as skylights, snow-guards, etc.
- A discussion on how payment is handled, whether it’s through financing, paying in cash or credit, or going through an insurance provider.
- Talking through the questions you have (we will cover what questions you should be asking in the next section).
- Going through the proposal that the contractor has drawn up based on the field measurement, site inspection, and product choices.
- Some contractors offer one quote for the project and some provide “Good, Better, Best” options that give varying quotes based on different quality products used at each level.
Best Questions to Ask Metal Roofing Contractors
During the consultation, you should be asking as many questions as time allows. Contractors work in a service-based business and shouldn’t have a problem answering any questions that you ask. We’ve split up the types of questions into two equally important categories: Questions about reliability/credibility and questions about the project.
Reliability/Credibility Questions to Ask During a Consultation
Contractors should always be able to provide examples and photos of exceptional past work/projects they've completed.
- Are you a licensed roofing contractor?
- How long has your company been in business?
- If it is a “younger” company: Has your company ever operated under a different name?
- Do you have proof of workman’s compensation insurance?
- Do you have proof of liability insurance?
- Is your business local?
- Have you done any local installations that I can go look at?
- How long have you been installing metal roofing?
- Can you show me photos of jobs or projects you’ve completed?
- Do you have any references I can speak with?
- Do you or the manufacturer offer warranties?
- What are they and how do I apply?
- What kind of warranties? (Workmanship, paint, material)
- Are the warranties transferable?
- Do you use manufacturer provided installation details? If not, why?
Project Related Questions to Ask During a Consultation
- How long will my installation take?
- How many people will be working on my roof?
- Who will actually be doing the installation, your workers or sub-contractors?
- How much do I need to pay upfront?
- Why are you recommending this roof system?
- How will it work with my roof characteristics?
- Will you need access to my home throughout the install?
- What are the potential problem areas on my roof?
- How will you address those?
- How will you protect my building, gutters, yard, and other items near the structure from damage?
- How much of an impact with the installation be on my yard, landscape, driveway, and neighborhood?
- Who is my contact during the installation?
- If I have a problem or need troubleshooting, who should I contact?
- What should I expect for site clean-up?
- A different contractor brought up this point and you didn’t, should this be a concern?
- Do you need to pull a permit for my metal roof installation?
- Can you walk me through the bid/quote?
6 Signs that a Metal Roof Contractor is Reliable
#1: If they have positive reviews or customer testimonials
A good indicator that a metal roofing contractor is trustworthy and capable of doing satisfactory work is by the number of good ratings and reviews on both Google and other social media websites.
Be cautious of hiring a metal roofing contractor who has a number of bad reviews from past customers, like those seen here.
Like we mentioned earlier, positive reviews from past customers are the key to knowing if the contracting business is capable and equipped to install metal roofing. Getting reviews, especially good reviews, from satisfied customers isn’t difficult to accomplish, which is why trustworthy contractors should have them. While Google offers reviews when you search for the business, many of the best reviews can be found on Facebook or other social media sites.
#2: If they are a licensed or certified contractor with insurance
Ensuring that the contractor has a license and insurance are arguably two of the most important things to check on before hiring a contractor.
- A local or state-issued license is a requirement for all roofing contractors to obtain before they can perform any installations. If they are unable to provide proof of license, contact your local licensing office to verify.
- It’s vitally important to check for proof of insurance. If the contracting business doesn’t have workman’s compensation insurance or liability insurance, you could end up being liable for any workplace injuries or accidents that happen on your property.
#3: If they can provide project photos, references, and proof of experience
Contractors typically have a sense of pride in the work and projects they complete, meaning they should have photos or even videos showing their completed metal roof installations. If they are unable to give you a link to their project portfolio or show you photos in person, it could mean they are inexperienced or lack confidence in their ability to do good work.
#4: If they answer your questions and walk you through the entire process
A reluctance or inability to answer the questions you have during a consultation is an automatic red flag. Reputable contractors should come prepared to answer both the easy and the more difficult questions, especially because they want to make you feel comfortable and reassured that they are worth hiring to complete the project. In addition to answering your questions, they should provide a thorough explanation of their process before, during, and after the installation.
#5: If they are easy to get ahold of, responsive, and reliable
When you want a contractor to come out to your home or business to give you a quote, they should never be hard to get ahold of. If you find yourself calling or emailing a contractor and receiving little to no response, it might be best to move on to other easier-to-reach contractors. Additionally, if you do get ahold of a contractor and schedule a consultation but they show up late or don’t show up at all, think twice about hiring them.
#6: Most importantly: If you feel comfortable hiring them to work on your roof
The ultimate goal is to hire a contractor who you feel comfortable with and trust to do the best installation of your metal roof. Stay cognizant of your comfort level when talking with the contractor and be realistic about how you would feel if you hired them.
At the same time, a nice contractor doesn’t always mean they’re capable doing good work; however, if they demonstrate knowledge and adhere to everything discussed in this article, they’re very likely to be a good company to hire for your metal roofing project.
Wrapping it All Up
While it's important for a contractor to have relevant experience with metal roofing and the reviews to go along with it, it's also vital to make sure you feel comfortable with them working on your home or business.
Finding the right pool of metal roofing contractors may take a little bit of time, but it’s well worth it when you’re spending your hard-earned money on something as important as a metal roof.
Keep these simple recommendations in mind when finding a good contractor:
- Do your research
- Consult with more than one contractor
- Ask as many questions as possible
- Make sure you understand each contractor’s process
- Don’t be afraid to say no or challenge a contractor if you don’t agree with something
With over 20 years of experience in selling metal roofing products, Sheffield Metals knows the importance of choosing a qualified, knowledgeable, and trustworthy contractor for a metal roof installation. We even offer assistance to home and building owners who are looking for a contractor referral.
If you have any questions or want to speak with one of our metal roofing experts in an area near you, contact us today.