Los Angeles roofing experts give homeowner tips

Use Angie's List to find highly rated roofing contractors in your area. (Photo courtesy of Miryam Carbajal)

Use Angie's List to find highly rated roofing contractors in your area. (Photo courtesy of Miryam Carbajal)

Angie’s List members commonly turn to the List to find highly rated roofing contractors and members in the Los Angeles area are no different.

During 2010, the List was searched more than 10,200 times for Los Angeles roofing contractors. After signing in, members have access to thousands of company ratings and member reviews based upon recent services.

Two highly rated roofing contractors on the List – Harold Early, of highly rated Tower Roofing in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Justin Shirley of highly rated Brea Roofing in Brea, Calif. – say being knowledgeable before hiring a roofing contractor is the best way to ensure you’re getting a quality job for the right price.

Early says when looking for a roofing contractor, make sure to get referrals off the List or people in your neighborhood who have had similar work done on their homes.

“Ask around. It’s a good way,” to find a credible roofer, he says. “Don’t just use the shotgun approach.”

Once you find several contractors you’re comfortable with, Early suggests getting estimates from all parties and reading the fine print to accurately decipher what’s included in the estimate and to compare services from the bidding companies.

“This is not like going out and buying a car where you’re comparing prices and all are the same,” Early explains. “All of the companies that you talk to are not the same. It’s very difficult to sift through and compare evenly.”

Early says to determine the services and quantities of materials being used as stated in each estimate to properly compare the bids you receive.

“Read everything and know what’s going to be included. You’re not getting the same estimate for the same stuff,” he says. “It’s very easy because the wording is different on all the proposals.”

Shirley says when you’ve hired a roofing contractor; make sure you are being charged within the legal California guidelines as set by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

“It’s very clear that when you hire a contractor for anything, the max down payment the contractor is allowed to ask for is $1,000 or 10 percent of the contract price, whichever is less,” Shirley says. “That rule is broken all of the time.”

Shirley says to avoid contractors who ask for more of an upfront payment, progress payments or payments for materials halfway through the project, as the CSLB make the rule to prevent homeowners from being taken advantage of during construction projects.

“That’s your leverage – $1,000 down and the rest when they’re done,” Shirley says.

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