Finding a Roofing Contractor
It’s time. You’ve put it off as long as possible. You have to find a roofing contractor for your cedar shake roof. On a lark, you searched “Cedar Shake Roofing Contractors Near Me” and came up with 4 billion plus results. How do you know which results are legitimate and which are fly-by-night organizations that will take your money and leave town? Let’s see if we can make this a little more manageable.
Where to start
There are lots of places to look for a roofing contractor. Finding the right contractor becomes a little more difficult if you have a cedar shake roof (versus the ever present, asphalt shingle roof). With some of the following sources, you could end up with 15 to 20 contractor contacts. You really only need 3 to 5 contractors to start this process.
Start with people you know
You know people at work, in your neighborhood, from your kid’s school or sports team. Ask around. People won’t know you are looking for a roofer until you say something.
Neighbors and Friends
Your best source is someone you know and trust. Ask. Pay attention to what is going on in your neighborhood. If you see a neighbor getting their roof replaced or having work done on their roof, ask their opinion. Ask people on Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor or Twitter.
This is especially true if you live in a community that requires cedar or synthetic cedar shakes or shingles. Your HOA may have recommendations.
Other types of contractors
If you have a long-term relationship with a plumber, electrician or general handy person ask them if they have a roofing contractor they trust.
Extend your reach a little further
You most likely listen to the radio, visit the local hardware store or read the newspaper.
Local Home Improvement store
Go into your local home improvement store and ask the owner or manager of a contractor in the area who they would recommend. See if they have a referral list.
You may listen to the radio station on your way to work. More likely than not the same roofing company has been advertising on the radio for years. For example, in Colorado, we have two radio personalities that host referral lists that require applications, interviews and background checks prior to advertising on the radio. You may have something similar to this in your area. If a roofing company is doing radio advertising in your area, they are most likely trusted and reliable.
A quick online search will identify state and regional roofing associations and membership organizations. Many have eligibility requirements and have professional codes of conduct they pledge to adhere to. They can also refer you to a list of their most trusted local contractors based on the community you live in.
Roofing Material Manufacturers
If you know the product you would like to put on your roof, the manufacturer can put you in touch with companies in your local area that are certified in the installation of their product.
Utilize the internet
It is important to remember much of the internet is pay to play. By that, I mean companies can increase their position on search results by buying ads based on certain words you use to search. A company’s ranking in Google does not necessarily reflect the quality of its work or its longevity as a company. Changing a web address and buying ads is relatively easy to do and not terribly expensive.
Home Advisor, Angie’s List, Porch, Thumbtack and Houzz have national reach with the ability to put you in touch quickly with local contractors. However, check each site to see if they verify for licensing, criminal history and business verification. Many sites allow contractors to buy their way up in the rankings and may not reflect their quality. Also be aware, by giving a site your information you may end up on email lists that fill inundate your inbox with unwanted content.inb th
Your regional Better Business Bureau also has search functionality. It includes information about the company ownership, contact information as well as reviews.
A word about online reviews. Online reviews are a great way to get a general feel for a contractor. Most online marketplaces offer reviews. Reviews, good or bad, are not always legitimate. Online reviews should be one more piece of a puzzle you use to find the right roofing partner.
From the above sources you should be able to find 5 to 7 cedar shake roofing contractors to begin the process of identifying the right company for your roofing needs.