Choosing a commercial roofing contractor in Florida can be a tough task that quickly becomes overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to navigate the process or even know where to begin. You also want to make sure you make the right choice, as the wrong one could cost you and your business a lot of money and headaches in the future. At Westfall Roofing, we want to set you up for success by sharing these simple steps for choosing the best commercial roofing contractor.
Step 1: Choose a commercial contractor instead of a residential one
When you begin your search for a roofer, ensure you’re looking for commercial contractors only — not residential ones. There are several differences between commercial and residential roofers, including the types of materials used, installation, maintenance, cost, and design. Commercial roofing contractors will have the appropriate materials and experience to build, replace, or repair a long-lasting, durable roof.
Step 2: Do background research
First and foremost, make sure you do ample background research to confirm a commercial contractor’s credibility. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to ensure they’re accredited and read any negative reviews (if there are any). You can also confirm whether they’re a part of any roofing associations — locally, regionally, or nationally. And, as you would with any other company or business, read reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, or any social media profiles the contractor may have to get a better idea about their quality of work and customer service.
Step 3: Ensure they’re properly licensed
One of the most important aspects of choosing a commercial roofing contractor in Florida is making sure they have proper licensing. This not only helps confirm their credibility and experience, but it also protects you should anything happen while the contractor is performing their job. Be sure to ask for copies or proof of the following documentation and double-check that it’s up-to-date:
- Proper licensing and bonding
- Liability and worker’s compensation
Handy tip: For higher-quality roofing work, choose an in-state or local contractor. Out-of-state contractors may not have experience working in Florida’s climate or know best practices for building commercial roofs to withstand humidity and scorching temperatures. Also, be wary of contractors who flock to Florida in the aftermath of a disaster, like a hurricane, as there’s a higher chance they’re unlicensed and looking for a quick payday.
Step 4: Get local referrals and references
If you’re familiar with or close to other businesses nearby, simply go to them for word-of-mouth recommendations! Gathering first-hand accounts from those who have worked with local commercial roofing contractors is one of the best ways to find a trustworthy contractor or, more importantly, avoid a poor experience. You should also ask the contractor for a list of past clients in the area who can verify their work. That way, you can go to those businesses and see the work for yourself. If they’re hesitant to hand over a list of references, though, it’s probably a red flag.
Step 5: Get everything in writing
Businesses deal with contracts every day, and securing a commercial roofing contractor should be no different. By getting everything in writing, both you and the contractor will be held accountable to the terms of the agreement. Here’s a quick list of the details you should secure on paper:
- Pricing estimate or proposal
- Warranty information
- Project timelines
- Payment information
- Procedures and plans should something happen — like a delay in the project, increased costs, or grounds for termination
Step 6: Ask lots of questions
Even if you don’t know the ins and outs of commercial roofing, it’s still important to ask as many questions as you want to get a better sense of how a contractor does business. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- How long have they been in business?
- What’s their experience in handling different types of roofs (especially older ones)?
- What are their safety standards and procedures?
- What’s the best way to communicate with them?
- How many workers do they have to carry out the job?
- Do they foresee needing to contract with anyone else?
Step 7: Trust your gut
At the end of the day, trusting your gut is just as important as all the other elements of finding a commercial roofing contractor in Florida. If you’ve done your due diligence and feel good about who you’re working with, it’s likely going to be a great fit. But if at any point along the way you feel hesitant or spot any red flags, trust your instinct.