Need a New Roof? How to Choose a "Good" Roofing Contractor

August 25, 2018

The recent hail storms in North Louisiana have many homeowners searching for a “good roofer”.  After 40+ years of construction law experience, we at Hayter | Reynolds have compiled the following checklist for homeowners searching for a reliable roofing company:

Legal Status:

Verify that the roofer is registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State. The entity must be authorized to do business in Louisiana and in good standing. The database will also tell you who owns the business and how long it has been in operation.

Installation:

Verify how the roofing shingles will be attached to the roof and what underlayment will be applied to make sure your roof will remain in place and leak free for the life of the shingles.

Drip Edge:

Verify that your new roof will have a drip edge, now required by building codes.

Pre-payment:

Never pre-pay a contractor for any work. If funds are needed to buy materials, go buy them for the contractor and arrange for delivery to your address only.

Permits:

A building permit is required in Shreveport/Bossier City. Make sure you ask to see it.

Past Work History:

Search the internet for reviews and complaints when deciding between prospective roofing contractors. The Better Business Bureau is also a good reference.

Roof Installer Warranty:

A roofer's warranty is only as good as the company offering it. Keys to consider when considering the value offered by your roofer’s warranty: Does your roofer have an office and physical address? Is your roofer local? Has your roofer been in operation for a significant time period? If not, the warranty might not be worth the paper on which it is printed.

Manufacturer Warranty:

Verify the manufacturer’s warranty on the shingles. Who is the manufacturer, and is its warranty limited by the fine print? How long will the warranty on the materials last? Where does a warranty claim have to be filed and how?

Licensure:

At a minimum, the roofer must have a home improvement license. Verify by using the Louisiana Licensing Board of Contractors' website.

Bonding:

If your roofer claims he/she is bonded, that is more than likely false. Very few residential roof contractors are bondable and have a surety that will issue it bonds. Construction bonding requires that the contractor have significant assets.

Liability Insurance:

The roofer should be able to produce a declarations page of their commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy. Get a copy, and call the agent to verify coverage. A CGL policy will cover damage to your property caused by the roofer. A CGL policy does not cover defective work or materials.

Workers' Compensation Insurance:

Verify the roofer’s workers' compensation insurance like the CGL policy.

Limitation of Liability:

In the state of Louisiana, a homeowner can make a claim against a contractor for defective work for up to five years. Do not let the roofer limit their liability or reduce the time to make a claim by adding limitations into the fine print of the contract.

Hiring the wrong roofing contractor can potentially be a very expensive mistake. The firm of Hayter | Reynolds represents many local roofers and has dealt with the majority of other reputable, local companies. There are currently "storm chaser" roofing companies in the area who will leave once the majority of storm damage has been repaired. Beware to whom you entrust your home.  Hayter | Reynolds is always available to review all contracts to protect our clients and their best interests. An ounce of prevention is a lot less expensive than a pound of cure!

 


Hayter|Reynolds, LLC

Hayter-Reynolds Attorneys-Shreveport

Providing construction advice for over 40 years.

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