5 tips on a successful roofing project from Los Angeles area roofers
In an attempt rid the state of unlicensed contractors, California state officials conducted a major sting operation in 2010, which resulted in the arrests of 161 unlicensed contractors. Avoid hiring an unsavory contractor by knowing what to ask and expect when gathering bids for your next project.
Make sure the contract is clear. Warranties will range from a few years to a lifetime guarantee, depending upon whether it covers the materials or labor. As a minimum, “California requires jobs of over $500 to have a five-year labor guarantee,” says James Robertson, owner of James B. Robertson, Inc. in Northridge, Calif.
Check the contractor’s license. Contact the Contractors State License Board to make sure your contractor’s license is valid. The same $500 rule applies to contractors. If a contractor is performing more than $500 in services, he must be licensed by the state. To receive a license, a contractor must prove that he or she has at least four years of experience or education in their trade. They also must be bonded, fingerprinted and subjected to an FBI background check.
Look for savings. Make sure the contractor is informed about roofing materials that could result in cost savings or energy efficiency. For example, if homeowners install qualified, eco-friendly roofing products – such as those meeting Energy Star requirements – they can receive a tax credit for 10 percent of the cost. Solar panels, which are gaining popularity in California, are another option. Homeowners who install solar energy systems can be credited for 30 percent of the cost.
Prepare for the installation. Take down things hanging on the wall, especially on the top floor. “A lot of vibrations come from the workers and you wouldn’t want something valuable to shake off your wall,” says Chris McFadden of Royal Roofing & Construction Company in Los Angeles. McFadden also suggests spraying down your house once all construction is complete. “When you tear down a roof, all that dust comes down. You’ll want to wash down your house afterward,” he says.
Stick with local contractors. Although a roof is a long-term expense, it will still have to be replaced or repaired. Depending upon a reliable and local business can make the process smoother when you need repairs down the road.