When you’re in need of commercial roof services, do you feel confident hiring a contractor? Many commercial building owners don’t, so if you feel at a loss when it comes time to engage a roofing professional, just know you’re not alone.
Who you hire is extremely important—we can’t stress that enough. Hiring a roofing contractor isn’t as simple as paying someone to mow your lawn or cut your hair (i.e. “If they mess up, it will grow back”). A roof is a huge investment and a long-lasting fixture on your commercial building; if the job isn’t done right, you will be paying the price for years to come.
There are many things to be considered before signing on the dotted line for commercial roof services.
Things to Consider Before Saying, ‘You’re Hired’
Hiring the wrong contractor can mean much more than shoddy workmanship—it can mean legal battles, the need to bring in other contractors, and ongoing roof repair expenses in the coming years to address the problems resulting from the initial poor workmanship.
Before you forge an agreement with any roofing contractor, you need to qualify the work of your candidates. For instance, it is important to pre-qualify their safety programs.
What kind of training does your contractor have, and what kind of safety protocols are in place? A lack of either can have devastating results for you as a building owner. For instance, if a poorly trained contractor sustains a severe injury on the job, damages your building or causes a catastrophe like a fire, you could end up on the losing end of litigations and liability claims.
To protect yourself and your business, perform your due diligence and find out the following facts about your prospective contractor’s past performance:
- Experience Modification Rate: One way to determine a safe contractor is through their experience modification rate, or EMR. This is what insurance company’s use to rate a contractor’s prior claim experience. An EMR below 1.0 indicates a contractor with good performance, while 1.0 is average and greater than 1.0 shows poor performance.
- Accident history: OSHA requires companies to track their accidents, so do some research there and make sure a prospective contractor falls below the national average within the roofing industry. Bear in mind, companies self-report to OSHA and some are not honest, so compare a contractor’s EMR with their OSHA low incidence rate to get a more accurate picture.
- Citations: OSHA also keeps a database of citations that have been issued to a contractor, which can be accessed at www.osha.gov. Keep in mind, smaller contractors may not have any activity on the OSHA site, but that doesn’t mean they’re a safe contractor.
- Quality Insurance: Reputable insurance companies will not typically take on a contractor with a poor performance record, so find out whether a contractor is insured by an A+ rated company. It is also important to check the exclusions on a contractor’s insurance policy and make sure you would not be left without coverage should you need to file a claim.
- Financial Track Record: Take a look at a contractor’s financial statements going back at least three years if possible. A good contractor doesn’t lose money, so healthy financial statements are a good indicator that a contractor is doing solid work, working safely and satisfying customers—addressing their concerns and attending to them rather than filing for bankruptcy and leaving them to deal with the issues on their own.
- Training and Equipment: A good contractor can easily produce documentation showing that his technicians are properly trained and certified and that his company has safety programs in place. A reputable contractor will also have the proper safety equipment to protect his workers as well as you and your employees.
- Final Meeting: Before a contractor begins work on your roof, have a meeting during which the contractor presents his safety plan. If the contractor is unable or unwilling to give you a written safety plan, that is something to be concerned about since it indicates he does not intend to use proper safety procedures. Once you have a safety plan in hand, make it clear that your company will be checking on the contractor and his crew to make sure the safety plan is being followed.
The ‘Who’s Who’ of Roofing Contractors
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Choice Roof Contractor Group is a nationwide association of endorsed roofing contractors located throughout the United States.
When you shop among Choice Roof Contractor Group’s endorsed members, finding the right contractor becomes an incredibly simple process. Our members must meet certain requirements to belong to the group. From among our trusted members, you can find a contractor in your area that will perform great work and adhere to best safety practices, and their work can be further backed by an industry-leading guarantee and manufacturer-backed warranties.
To schedule a free estimate, a roof inspection or for more information, contact one of our knowledgeable members today at (800) 670-5583.