Furey Roofing Company - Warwick RI
If you're in the market for a new roof, keep a healthy skepticism about low bids. Too many homeowners tend to fixate on the lowest price and not the more important issues related to installing a roof and the roofer doing the installation.
Professionalism and quality workmanship should also weigh heavily on the decision with the ultimate goal being a quality roof at a fair price. The recollection of quality remains long after the price is forgotten.
Check for a permanent place of business and telephone number. Check to see if the contractor is a member of any regional or national industry association, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association (www.nrca.net) or the North East Roofing Contractors Association (www.nerca.org) and call your local Better Business Bureau or Department of Business Regulation to check for possible complaints filed against the contractor. Choose a company committed to the safety and education of its workers. The best roofing contractor is only as good as the workers who actually install the roof.
Rhode Island also has a contractor's registration statute that requires all home improvement contractors to register with the state and maintain a minimum of $500,000.00 in liability insurance along with workers' compensation insurance, if they have employees. Each contractor is required to provide his registration number on all letterhead, advertisement, etc. This can be helpful to the homeowner should a dispute arise during or after the installation and the homeowner must seek legal remedies. Generally, a complaint must be filed with the Contractors Registration Board within one year of the completion of the work. For a list of registered roofing contractors and other information related to the board, link onto www.crb.state.ri.us.
Insist on a written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.
Rhode Island law states that contracts exceeding $1000.00 must be in writing and that the homeowner may rescind the contract within two working days of signing it without penalty.
Although most state building codes allow up to two layers of asphalt shingles, stripping the roof to the wood deck is almost always the best approach.
This allows the contractor to inspect and repair deteriorated decking and structural members, if necessary. It also provides for the proper installation of ice shield membrane at critical areas as dictated by building code and gives the new roof a smoother surface without the old shingles "telegraphing" thru, especially if they were warped or damaged.
Also required by local building code, there are various products on the market. Primarily installed as a secondary barrier should the new shingles blow off during heavy winds, it should not be damaged, sliced, or exposed to the elements for a long period of time before the shingles are installed.
Proper storage on the job site is also critical for long-term service.
Always insist on a minimum 25-year shingle. The cost difference is minimal and is especially important in a climate with the potential for severe weather conditions such as New England.
Although the quality of shingles is determined by a number of other factors more important than the stated life of the product, a shingle's posted life potential can be indicative of it's weight or thickness and sometimes it's quality.
Architectural grade shingles have become more popular recently because they can add value to a home due to their curb appeal.
Always ask for references of previous jobs performed by the contractor that are similar to yours. A professional roofer will have a proven track record and readily offer references and a list of completed projects.
Was the job completed promptly and professionally? Did they clean the area on a daily basis? Were they any extra charges above and beyond the contract amount that seemed unreasonable? Did they respond in a timely manner to any issues that may have arisen during or after the job?
The Rhode Island Contractors Registration Board also maintains a record of complaints, if any, brought against a contractor and how it was resolved which is available to the public.
All companies in Rhode Island with more than one employee are required to maintain workers' compensation insurance in addition to liability insurance. Insist on a copy of the roofing company's insurance certificates to be sent directly to you from their insurance carrier/agent with your name and address on it listing you as a certificate holder.
This will increase the chances of being notified should the contractor allow his insurance coverage to lapse. Also, check the certificates to verify that the contractor has liability, workers compensation, and vehicle insurance; otherwise a homeowner may be liable for damages that occur on the property.
A self-adhering asphalt based product available in three-foot wide rolls, this material provides a secondary layer of defense should ice dams form at critical points on the roof and prevent water from flowing freely.
Required by local building code, it has become unheard of for professional roofing contractors not to provide this product as part of the contract. The only exception may be the installation of a shingle roof over an existing one, which was addressed in the previous section.
Frequently overlooked, but just as important as the replacement of the roof shingles themselves. Metal step and base flashings at sidewalls, chimneys, skylights, etc. have been there as long as the old roof has, so why should they not be replaced also?
Generally speaking, this is the most common cost saving measure a roofing contractor may employ to submit a low price and get the job. Unfortunately, it is also the most likely area of roof leaks once the job has been paid for and the contractor is gone.
Although there are exceptions when the flashings may not have to be replaced or alternative methods that may have to be used if it is too costly, always question this aspect of the job thoroughly as to what is included and not included as part of the contract.
Required by local building code. Each full individual shingle should have a minimum of six nails, and staples are no longer accepted.
Shingle manufacturers also have strict requirements about the placement of the nails for maximum wind uplift resistance.
Probably the most misunderstood, yet important, item in steep-slope roof installation. Today's emphasis on energy-tight homes has an important side effect: less air movement traps heat and humidity.
Simply put, an air space must be provided along the underside of the deck in an insulated building for the flow of air to remove the heat and trapped moisture that may develop.
Lack of proper ventilation can result in deteriorated substructure, insect infestation, premature aging of the roof shingles, and even possibly mold issues. Improper or non-existent ventilation can also lead to any warranties by the shingle manufacturer becoming void.
Although there are various methods of ventilation, the generally accepted method for maximum performance is the equal combination of soffit and ridge vents.
Be aware of pitfalls that have been experienced by other homeowners which are preventable. Although some contractors will ask for a deposit before starting the job, this is generally not a good idea.
Materials should be delivered at a minimum before the first payment is made with a definite date set for work to commence. Be aware that any expenses incurred by the roofing contractor for materials, dumpsters, subcontractors, etc. may become the responsibility of the homeowner if the contractor doesn't pay them.
Always ask for a lien release from each individual party to the job before making payment in full or even substantial payment.
Typically misunderstood by most homeowners, shingle roof warranties from manufacturers are confusing and, in general, not of much value.
Exclusions typically include labor, removal and disposal, and any other costs or accessories necessary. In addition, warranties are generally pro-rated and the homeowner may assume the cost of removing the shingles and sending them for testing.
Although some manufacturers provide more extensive coverage warranties, most contractors do not offer them.
Educational programs are usually required by the manufacturer in order for a contractor to be authorized in order to offer upgraded warranties and few contractors take advantage of this option.
Always ask for a copy of the warranty being offered as part of the contract beforehand. Be aware of the exclusions and limitations in the warranty. Don't rely on a warranty to provide you with a quality installation and don't assume that the contractor will stand behind anything other than the manufacturer's warranty.
Ask about the contractor's workmanship warranty, assuming they offer one, and review a copy for length of warranty and exclusions.
In conclusion, homeowners should shop for a new roof just like they would for a new car or any other major purchase. The more educated you become; the more likely you will be to get your money's worth. Not all roofs or roofing contractors are the same.
By researching the various products and asking the right questions, a homeowner can avoid costly mistakes being made that may affect their new roof and home in the future. Price is important but it's not the only way or the best way to judge the quality of the job.
Furey Roofing & Construction Company, Inc.
85 Cypress Street • Warwick, RI 02888
(p) 401-461-2100 (f) 401-785-8379
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