Most homeowners eventually need roof repairs or replacements. At first glance, shopping for roofers may seem challenging or even bewildering.
However, it is relatively simple to find the right residential roofers in NJ if you take a careful, step-by-step approach. Identify the services you need, research roofing contractors, invite selected roofers to place bids and make a selection.
Establish Your Roofing Needs
There are more roofers capable of performing simple repairs than there are those capable of doing roof replacements or complex structural repairs. It is important to figure out what kind of roof work you need to be done before you start to compare roofers.
The many different types of residential roofing services include:
- Emergency repairs
- Leak diagnosis and repair
- Removing debris and cleaning roof
- Replacing damaged or missing shingles
- Fixing damaged or missing flashing and caulk
- Repairing or replacing gutters
There are also more complicated roofing projects, like:
- Installing new shingles (re-roofing)
- Solving drainage and other chronic problems
- Repairing deteriorating sub-roofing
- Fixing structural damage
- Complete roof replacements
Identify Local Roofers
Once you know what kind of repair you need, it is time to research area contractors who can do the work. Here are some things to look at when doing your research.
Word-of-mouth advertising is as relevant now as it ever was. When you are looking for a reputable residential roofing contractor, start by asking family, friends and neighbors who they have worked with. If possible, ask them about the qualities they feel are most important in a roofing contractor.
You can also issue a call for referrals by asking the local audience on your social media platform if they have a roofing contractor they would recommend.
Local Presence and Longevity
Many homeowners want to work with residential roofers who’ve made a long-term commitment specifically to northern NJ, including Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties. You need a contractor who will be available for years to come. Should a warranty issue ever arise, the last thing you need is to find that the business has left the area or closed down.
People leave reviews and ratings for residential roofers on various platforms, including Angie’s List, Yelp, Google and HomeAdvisor. Ignore reviews that are highly subjective, overly complimentary or overly critical. Instead, look for reviews that are balanced and objective. Watch for references to faulty work, which is a common cause of future problems.
Contractor websites often include testimonials from satisfied clients. Some contractors also maintain a presence on social media sites, like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, so you can look for testimonials and photos of completed projects there as well. Testimonials will often speak to a roofer’s professionalism, knowledge, timeliness, work quality and overall customer service.
The Better Business Bureau sets standards for the accreditation of roofing contractors. It’s easy to find out which roofers are BBB Accredited, as well as the date they received the accreditation.
Roofers with certifications from major brands have proven their capabilities to the ultimate industry insiders – the manufacturers. For example, GAF only certifies a limited number of roofers as “Master Elite” contractors and CertainTeed certifies select roofers as “Premier Contractors.”
If you look through a table of different brands of asphalt shingles, you’ll see that manufacturer warranties typically range from 25-50 years. Some products even come with lifetime warranties. Manufacturers trust certified contractors to do the work the right way.
Professional Building Product Distributors
The companies that supply contractors with roofing materials are another source of information about those known for performing quality work and paying their bills on time.
Finally, beware of so-called “storm chasers” – these are out-of-town roofers who often descend on an area hit by a bad storm. They may submit lowball bids and do shoddy work before moving on to the next storm-ravaged region.
Select the Right Roofer
After completing your research, you will have identified the roofing contractors worthy of consideration. Complete these final steps in selecting the residential roofer who is right for you.
- Arrange for roof inspections by select contractors
- Compare the different suggestions made by the roof inspectors
- Request detailed bids from residential roofers you are still interested in
- Compare the bids, and decide on one that clearly states prices, quality of roofing materials and time requirements
In many service industries, researchers employ mystery shoppers to compare companies. With a little effort, you can become your own mystery shopper. Once you determine the right specs for your roof repair or replacement, you can ask residential roofers to bid on those specific needs.
Even when the need is fairly simple and straightforward, many homeowners still want to find a local, full-service roofer who can take care of the current basic repair as well as future needs, including potential emergency repairs and full roof replacements.
Homeowners who diligently research and take the right steps in choosing a residential roofing contractor will typically be rewarded with quality work delivered at a fair price.
Contact Us for Further Assistance
Complete Roof Systems (CRS) has been serving residential clients in Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties for over 45 years. CRS is proud of its status as a GAF Master Elite contractor. We handle simple repairs and complex roofing challenges for everything from historic homes to ultra-modern residences.
We welcome the opportunity to earn your business and your trust. Please reach out to us for answers to all of your residential roofing questions, or contact us to arrange for an expert roof inspection and a free estimate.