While eating lunch in the office kitchen today, Brian and I were watching a local news show. We noticed an interesting commercial for a well known company and its owner claiming to be the #1 roofing, siding and window company in Oklahoma. At first I thought of the famous words from Napoleon Dynamite," as if anyone could know that", it's not like roofing companies are ranked like sports teams. Then I remembered that this is the same person I saw ambushed by a consumer reporter on a local news show just a few years back because this company had several lawsuits for poor craftsmanship. At the time he looked disheveled, used foul language and vowed to leave the state because he was fed up. Fast forward a couple of years and now he is looking professional and claiming to be #1. It made me think about how hard it must be for the consumer to choose a roofing contractor who can be trusted or any kind of contractor for that matter.
There are many great roofing companies located here in the metro area with my company being one of them. But, how do you choose the one that is best for you? The answer is actually very simple, choose Land Enterprises... just kidding! Seriously, the best way to choose a contractor is through a personal referral. There is no higher compliment than when one of our customers refers their family or friend to our services. Knowing someone firsthand who had a great experience is a good first indicator that you too will have a good experience. If you haven't been personally referred to a company or want to double check their reputation, here are some easy ways to check.
*Call the Better Business Bureau (239-6081) or check their website oklahomacity.bbb.org. They can tell you if any complaints have been made against the company, how many and if they were able to be resolved or not.
*Check Angieslist.com or other referral sites. Angieslist.com does require a subscription but offer free trials too. The referrals are from actual customers that Angieslist.com employees have verified as true and accurate. They also provide information about many different professions.
*Type the company's name into a search engine like Google or Yahoo to see what information is provided. You would be amazed at the amount of information that is posted everyday about local businesses.
*Check with your local Chamber of Commerce. They too can give a referral of a trusted company.
*Ask to see their Contractor registration card. If they cannot produce one, don't hire them. It is now a law in Oklahoma that all roofing contractors are to be registered with the Oklahoma Construction and Industries Board. Having the registration card proves that they are in compliance with the law and have worker's compensation insurance and general liability insurance.
One last piece of advice, but a great one, is to NEVER pay for the job before it is completed to your satisfaction. Every story on the local news channel about an unhappy customer and a contractor has the same theme….the customer paid for the job upfront either in full or made a partial payment. What happened next? The crew didn’t return or the job was done poorly. If a company insists on being paid upfront, call someone else. All reputable contractors expect to be paid at the end of a quality job not before.
You can take the stress and worry out of finding a good roofing contractor with a little bit of homework. In the end this is your home and having a properly installed roofing system is vitally important and worth the effort.