1. References, References, References! - This is the first and most important thing to check. A good roofing company will be proud to show off their excellent references and customer feedback. Make sure the feedback is independently verified through a trusted site such as checkatrade.com, Which? or local trading standards. A couple of unverified and therefore meaningless reviews on the company website is not good enough. Do your homework!
  2. Expertise - With something as important as the roof of your home you need a specialist roofing company. General builders and handymen need not apply. Try to find a company with specific experience in the type of roof that you need. If you need a new flat roof it is much better to get a team of specialist flat roofers. They will know all about the latest industry technologies and how to install it correctly. General roofers simply can’t and don’t keep up with the times.
  3. Professionalism - Expect and demand high standards in your dealings with roofers just as you would in other areas of life. Good roofing companies will be of smart appearance, punctual, good communicators, quotes will be in writing with the work clearly detailed etc. If a company cannot even present a professional appearance when pitching for work what are the chances of them carrying out the work professionally?
  4. Look for VALUE rather than COST - The best roofers do not compete on price, they set themselves apart on quality and service. Every business has to make money to survive so you have to ask yourself why would a company be cheap. The truth is that poor tradesman are cheap because it is the only way they can attract work. The best trades have a steady stream of work from customer recommendations. So cheap is not the same as good value. Be prepared to pay the sensible market rate for quality work. Get the job done right and you’ll only need to get it done once.
  5. Ensure the work is guaranteed - All good roofing companies will happily guarantee their work. Professionals will be using the latest and best techniques and installing the systems in a ‘by the book’ manner. Guarantees therefore hold no fears. A modern single ply flat roofing system for example should come with a 20 year no quibble warranty.
  6. Insurance - Ask to see current Public Liability Insurance.
  7. Quote or Estimate?: Look for a ‘quote for the required work’ rather than an estimate. Unscrupulous contractors often give estimates which are vague and do not specify exactly what work is covered. This can cause big problems and arguments later over what work should have been carried out for the agree price. Get a written quote which details specifically what work is covered. Assume that if it’s not in the quote then it’s not included and you won’t go wrong.
  8. Agree on how to deal with unforeseen problems before work starts: With the best will in the world unforeseen problems can and will happen. Make sure you have it in writing (in the quote) that any additional remedial work has to be agreed and signed off by you before it is carried out. This ensures that problems can be dealt with maturely and sensibly and you will know what to expect when the final invoice arrives.
  9. Clean up and waste removal - Always ensure that the removal of all waste from site is included in the quote to avoid any nasty surprises. Good roofers and indeed tradesman in general will always work tidy - look for this when checking references and reviews.
  10. Trust your gut! - Once you’ve done your homework and everything checks out go with the roofer you trust and feel comfortable with - you usually won’t go wrong.