Make no mistake about it; commercial roofing is a significant investment in your business. The cost and timeframe are two priorities, but never underestimate the value of commercial roofing installation experience. Together these three components are critical in finding a reliable commercial roofing contractor.
The good place to start is the same as with any other type of commercial contracting work. Get referrals from colleagues and others who have commercial buildings similar to yours. Even if they haven’t replaced a commercial roof, most likely they have a commercial roofer they rely on for maintenance and repair.
Check with a professional network such as Certified Contractors Network. Organizations like CCN recommend commercial roofing contractors who have invested in the training and credentials that reflect their experience and professionalism. They are committed to educating commercial roofing consumers to help them make better decisions when it comes to hiring reputable contractors.
Once you have a few commercial roofing contractors in mind, contact them for an estimate. Compare the thoroughness of the estimate and the professionalism of the estimator. They are indicators of what you can expect from the commercial roofing company.
Even if the commercial roofer came from a trusted referral, make sure to verify licenses, insurance (both liability and worker’s comp) to avoid costly liability issues once the commercial roofing work begins. Verify that the roofer is in good standing in your community and with local municipalities and the Better Business Bureau. Ask for additional references and follow up with those past commercial customers.
Choose a roofing company that has extensive commercial roofing installation experience. This may sound obvious, but residential roofing isn’t the same as residential roofing. You want a roofer that has more, if not equal, experience (years of it) in commercial roofing. Consider how long the commercial roofing company has been in business. When the time comes for maintenance or repair, you’ll want to call a roofing company who knows your building. Do they offer emergency service? How about a comprehensive warranty? Are the crews properly trained? Do they subcontract out the work?
When you consider the enormous responsibility a roof—protecting your customers, your employees, your business assets, your equipment—quality commercial roofing materials and workmanship are critical. Yes, cost plays a big role too, but the cheapest estimate often indicates a sub-par roof installed by cheap labor. Hiring a commercial roofer based on the bid alone often results in huge repair expenses down the road, not to the mention any water damaged equipment or liability issues with staff and customers should the roof fail.