Property Management Tips: Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor
As the property manager, what questions should you ask your commercial roofing contractor?
Commercial property management demands a lot of responsibility. From building maintenance to tenant relations, it’s a challenging job that requires strong executive functioning skills. It’s the responsibility of the property manager to address routine maintenance or repairs. It’s a lot of work for one person to gather estimates, interview vendors, and source contractors. Every commercial building will need roof maintenance and/or replacement at some point. To avoid hiring the wrong company, it’s important to ask the right questions. Here are some critical questions to ask before hiring a roofing contractor.
“Do you have a lot of experience with larger, commercial roofing projects?”
Not all roofing companies specialize in large-scale projects. For example, a residential roofing company might offer a bid. It is important to ask how many commercial projects they have completed successfully. Commercial roofing projects need special materials, unique implementation, and strict safety protocols. A simple question goes a long way to screen out less-experienced contractors. This means you can focus on companies with the best commercial roofing experience.
“Are you certified, licensed, and bonded with proper insurance and worker’s comp?”
The answer should be “yes,” but the company must also be able to show proof of these things. A seasoned commercial roofer will have this documentation ready for you upfront. Diligence from the start can help avoid legal issues later—something the property owner will appreciate. Commercial roofing projects are serious; there’s always the potential for personal injury and/or property damage. In the rare event that something terrible happens, the roofing company’s insurance should cover it (which is how it should be).
“What kind of warranties are available for materials and workmanship?”
The roofing project should cover materials and workmanship—even well after the project is complete. These projects are not cheap, and it is important to know if the company will stand by its work.
“Will your employees, or subcontractors, complete the project?”
Subcontractors are not always bad, but many commercial roofing companies have their own in-house, W-2 employees. An in-house team has an advantage because the company controls their employees’ training. You shouldn’t have to worry about roof material handling, safety protocols, and quality control. It’s difficult to monitor the quality of the work and safety on the job site with subcontractors. It is even harder to know if the subcontractors have the proper insurance, workers comp, licenses, and certifications!
“What kind of lead times do you offer for a project of this size right now?”
The best commercial roofing companies are busy and often booked out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into their project queue. Your project might have a deadline, but be patient and schedule the project out. A job done fast isn’t always a job done well. Patience might avoid choosing the wrong company because they say they can get it done faster.
“Do you have any customer references?”
Any great company will be happy to offer some customer references. Social proof is the best indicator of a roofing company’s dedication to customer service and craftsmanship. You should also research the company’s business profiles online. There you can find customer reviews and build an understanding of their work ethic.
“Do you offer roof maintenance contracts?”
Outside of repairs, replacements, and restorations—regular inspections are necessary to avoid costly repairs. Ask the company if they offer yearly inspections and maintenance; some companies offer plans and contracts, while some do not. You can also ask about their emergency repair policy. Some roofing companies do not have the capacity to do repairs on short notice. Other companies might have a dedicated emergency repair team or more flexibility.
There’s no such thing as too many questions to ask before hiring a roofing contractor.
These projects are not cheap, and one should take the information gathering phase very seriously. Any great commercial roofing company should be happy to answer as many questions as you have. Preparing for a project requires a bit of patience and attentiveness, but it can save everyone a lot of frustration later.
Front Range Roofing Systems is an in-house commercial roofing company that handles emergency repairs, commercial roof replacement, restorations, and maintenance. We’ve served Northern Colorado and Wyoming for over 30 years, and we’re happy to answer any of your questions.