SELECTING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR
WHAT EVERY ARCHITECT, CONSULTANT, SUPERINTENDENT, AND CONSUMER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIRING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR
Whether you are drawing plans for new roofs, fixing an old roof, maintaining the roof of a commercial facility, or responsible for construction of all the new buildings for the local school district, you want a roofing contractor who will do the job right the first time.
You will want to require that a contractor has the experience and knowledge to provide only quality workmanship. You want your contractor to be responsible and reliable - someone who will still be around after the job is done. You also want a contractor who has complete knowledge of all related safety and regulatory laws.
You need to specify that you want a RCAT LICENSED ROOFING CONTRACTOR and/or a HARCA vetted member for the job.
WHY A PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR?
A professional is recognized as a person who has a specialized body of knowledge and has received intensive training in a particular field. Another common way of determining that people are professionals is by contrasting them with amateurs, and that's exactly what we'd like to talk to you about.
The roofing technology has changed markedly in the last 10 years. New roof coverings, insulation materials and innovative application techniques demand the education and expertise of a professional.
Roofing is a relatively "easy-entry" business. Frankly, not all roofing contractors are professionals, and too many home and building owners have paid dearly for using amateurs. You don't have to do more than a quick Google search to see that there are hundreds of people calling themselves roofing contractors. Unfortunately many contractors do not stay in business for very long.
Roofing is a complicated and demanding trade. A professional roofing contractor must have knowledge of materials and building technology, and a trained and skilled work force to give the best possible service to his/her customers.
Because an informed customer is a good customer, find out as much as you can about the contractor you are considering. To get the job done right the first time, and to avoid costly repairs later, insist on a professional.
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas developed the Licensed Roofing Contractor Program to increase consumer protection and secure the public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor's knowledge, skills, and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation.
WHAT CAN A PROFESSIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTOR OFFER ME?
A professional roofing contractor may have a large or small business. They may have been in business 50 years or just a few years. But all have some traits in common. Professional roofing contractors are:
Well Established. A professional roofing contractor will have a permanent place of business, a telephone number, a tax identification number and where appropriate, certification or a business license.
Experienced and Knowledgeable. The contractor should be an experienced problem-solver, with a thorough understanding of his/her industry. Roofing skills cannot be learned overnight. There are accepted methods for installing flashing around pipes, vents and chimneys. Often, roofing materials are incompatible and can cause problems if applied by an amateur.
Insured and Committed to Safety. Roofing is a dangerous business. A sloppy operation can endanger workers and bystanders, and cause property damage. Don't be shy about asking the contractor for proof of the insurance he carries. Beware the low bidder who's cheap because he doesn't have complete insurance, including workers' compensation coverage. Too many unsuspecting home and building owners have been dragged into litigation involving uninsured contractors.
Committed to Education. The roofing industry offers a variety of educational programs that a professional roofing contractor will have attended. More important, the best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who actually install your roof. Insist on having trained, experienced roofing mechanics, instead of laborers employed for one or two interim jobs.
Using Quality Materials. In today's market, you can buy dozens of different types of roofs. A professional roofing contractor is interested in more than simply getting the job done and moving on; he/she will offer service after the sale and application. Ask for a fair guarantee, written in language you can understand.
A guarantee is only as good as the company giving it. What good is a guarantee when the roofing company that did your roof is out of business? A professional roofing contractor with a proven track record will still be in business should a problem arise.
ASK FOR A RCAT LICENSED ROOFING CONTRACTOR
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas requires that roofing contractors go through a rigorous screening process before they can become licensed. RCAT takes the pressure off of you and takes on the responsibility of declaring that a contractor has met the standards of a true professional roofing contractor. Both commercial and residential roofing contractors, those with large or small businesses, can become licensed. Their company managers and estimators can also become licensed. The principal goal of this voluntary licensing process is to increase professionalism and consumer confidence in the roofing industry, as well as to assure owners, architects, consultants, developers and general contractors that a RCAT Licensed Roofing Contractor is experienced, reliable and knowledgeable.
IT'S THE SMART, PROFESSIONAL WAY TO GO!
The RCAT Licensed Roofing Contractor program was developed to increase consumer protection and secure public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor's knowledge, skills and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation.
To become a Licensed Roofing Contractor in Texas, the applicant must:
Be a principal in a roofing company that has been domiciled in the state of Texas for at least three continuous years.
Submit credit references.
Submit business references.
Submit proof of financial responsibility, including insurance or bonding, workers compensation and a completed applicant statement.
After a thorough background check, the individual must pass a basic business and safety knowledge exam plus a residential and/or commercial roofing exam.
The license is valid for one year and is renewable at that time by showing proof of having earned continuing education credits and by showing evidence of consistent adherence to the original guidelines required for licensing.
Licensing is available for both residential and commercial roofing contractors and is open to all roofing contractors in Texas who meet the qualifications. Company managers employed by those licensed contractors can also become licensed, with similar requirements.