Subcontractors cause concern for top rated roofers

Subcontractors cause concern for top rated roofers

For homeowners looking to replace their roofs, a roofer’s use of subcontractors should be cause for concern say two highly rated service professionals.

“It’s very important to have employees of the company doing the work instead of using subcontractors to put your roof on,” says Robert Green, owner of Robert L Green Inc Roofing & Contracting in Billerica, Mass. “I want someone employed by that company rather than someone completely independent of that company.”

James Robertson of James B Robertson Inc, in Northridge, Calif., says homeowners should ask if all employees are on a company’s payroll and under insurance coverage. Robertson says roofing contractor’s should be able to present homeowners with proof of both.

Green says he would also check the company’s references and see previous roofing work.

When getting estimates, Robertson says it’s best to be thorough so a homeowner is confident in the price before the project starts. The number of estimates needed should fluctuate.

“It all depends on the project,” he says. “A lot of people get six estimates before a project. I think three (estimates) is sufficient though. I don’t think you would need more.”

Green says a good roofer should measure the roof, walk around the house, give a detailed proposal and present a step-by-step plan for how they are going to handle the job.

As far as timing, spring presents the best opportunity for a Boston area homeowner.

“Spring is when you should be thinking about putting on a new roof,” Green says. “If you wait until after the fall, you’re going to be in a hurry, you’re not going to find someone good because they are going to be too busy.”

Robertson says his Los Angeles area company does work all year long. However, the highly rated roofer says summers have been slower for his business in recent years while winter has been more popular.

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