Roofing Contractors: What You Need To Know

fireman roofing contractorIf you’re like I am, the thought of inviting a stranger over to your home for a free estimate is overwhelming.

There are horror stories we all see on social media about fly-by-night roofers and rip-off artists taking advantage of people.

My name is Alex Lopez. As a firefighter and paramedic, we learn to read people quickly and make snap decisions that can mean the difference between life and death. I want to share a few things you should consider before you hire somebody to work around your family and your home.
Photo of a nice home after getting a new roof.

Tips for Hiring a Good Roofer

While there are several good roofing companies in North Texas, there’s a few things you can look for that will help you hire a professional:

  • Raving reviews from past clients
  • A solid BBB reputation
  • Established local advertising
  • Financially responsible and insured
  • History of strong customer service
  • They do what they say they’ll do

3 Levels of Roofing Contractors

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll divide home roofing contractors into (3) three different levels. Level 1 will be our ground floor, the bottom skill level. Level 2 is better and Level 3 is where our best, highest rated roofing contractors are found.
level one

Level 1: The Bottom

At the ground floor, you’ll discover a large pool of day laborers, apprentice roofers and rookie roofing companies. They work cheap and usually give you the lowest roofing bid.
It’s an honest living, but a hard life because the work isn’t always steady enough to pay the bills. They float in and out of business while struggling to cover their material bill, keep up with paying their liability insurance or covering their monthly truck payment.

Cheap Roofers Are Everywhere

Level 1 roofers are easy to find. There’s several on Craigslist right now eager to do a little roofing. You could also go to your local home improvement store and wait in the parking lot. Look for any old truck with a red handkerchief tied around the back of a long ladder sticking out the back.

Finally, you could hire a crew of day laborers for yourself. I won’t tell you where to find them because I’m not sure it’s exactly legal, and you probably already know where they hang out, but go to any hot spot early in the morning so you get the guys with the most experience (before the other contractors hire them first).

A Level 1 roofer should be able to tear off and replace a simple 3-tab shingle or a more difficult Timberline roof on a single story home or duplex. They may or may not have experience with installation specifications for more expensive designer shingles. With proper supervision, they should be able to replace basic pipe flashing and keep the skylight, chimney, and valley from leaking water into your home.

level two

Level 2: The Middle

Here in the middle is where you’ll find a relatively small collection of solid roofing contractors.

They’ve paid their dues at the bottom and have risen through the ranks to build a reputable small business. They may still be doing the roofing work themselves or have a small crew of steady laborers working for them.

A Level 2 roofing contractor has a growing list of satisfied customers. You’ll find them accredited and in good standing with the BBB. They’re financially responsible. Their material bills get paid on time. They carry large liability insurance policies. If you can hire a Level 2 roofer based on a strong referral from a friend or family member, you’ll normally get a good job at an affordable price.

Good Roofers In Your Old Phone Book

See us in the Verizon Yellow Pages and on SuperPages.comIf you still have an old phone book, open it up, and you’ll find a few good, local roofers.

That doesn’t mean everybody in the phone book was great…or even good enough. You can also go online to YellowPages.com, Google, Yahoo! or Bing to find out more about the roofing company you want to hire.

A good roofing contractor has been in business long enough to get repeat business from their old customers. Many of them are second and third generation roofers. They are on the preferred status contractor’s list for local insurance agents and major insurance companies. They have a good name in the roofing industry.

At this level, the roofing contractor should be able to easily handle any 3-tab and Timberline architectural shingle roofs on lowe and steep-slope homes. The roofing crew will have years of experience working on 2nd story, 3rd story and even higher homes. They are experienced with difficult flashing situations including dead valleys, low-slope skylights and leak detection.

More Choices, More Experience

Level 2 roofing contractors have experience with re-decks, wood shakes & shingles, and many designer roofing shingles.

Obviously, Level 2 home roofing estimates will be higher than the cheap bids you’ll get from Level 1 roofers. You should expect to pay around the standard roofing rates as established by the industry standard Xactimate pricing software used by good, local roofers.

Level 3: The Best

As with most things in life, the margin of difference between Level 2 and Level 3 is razor thin.

Your additional investment in hiring the best roofing contractor may only be marginal, but the benefits of working with the best are overwhelming.

They have many years of experience working from an insurance adjuster’s scope of work. The best roofers know how to help you get your home back into top shape after a major hail storm. If you’re just wanting your roof and gutters replaced, most Level 2 roofers can do the job, but if you need more extensive work, you’ll want to work with a Level 3 roofing contractor.
Working with the best contractors has its advantages.

Professional Roofing Estimates

Any average roofer can throw out a quick estimate for you to consider.

The best roofing contractors have invested in professional training and have logged many years of experience out in the field. They are able to put together a professional roofing estimate that clearly reflects the scope of work to be performed. They are fully capable of answering the tough questions about your roofing job.

The Fireman Roofing Company may not act as, or hold ourselves out to be, a public insurance adjuster in Texas.

Designer Roofing Shingles

While a brand new Timberline roof looks absolutely amazing, you may also want to consider premium designer shingles, stone coated steel, aluminum, concrete tiles, or real and simulated slate shingles from specialty shingle manufacturers including Decra Steel, Classic Aluminum, Mueller Steel, Monier, DaVinci, EcoStar and many others.

Exclusive Preferred Status

Priority customer service includes day or night appointment scheduling, free written estimates and inspections, and in-home demonstrations on all product choices.

Our goal at Fireman Roofing is to provide you with a hassle-free, concierge-level service with guaranteed results — you don’t owe us a dime for our free inspection service or professional estimate.

You may also request service by leaving a short message by phone. Leave your contact information and a brief description of your request when you call now…

Fort Worth: (817) 213-6332
Dallas: (214) 306-9604
Toll-Free Texas: (800) 417-7487

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