For someone whose job is to manage a commercial building or property, you’re in charge of taking care of all the maintenance and repairs to keep everything in excellent working order. Though you usually call a handyman or general contractor for minor repairs, there are times when you’re compelled to call in the pros. One of those instances is when the building is up for a major roofing project, be it replacement, installation, or repair.
A roofing project’s success depends on the guys you hire, so you know how important it is to work with a reputable company. The roof is more than just a structure that protects the building and its residents. As a property manager, it’s your job to guarantee the tenant’s comfort and convenience. When the attic or ceiling leaks and rats find their way inside through the roof, you’ve got a serious problem on hand. The last thing you need is a line of residents or tenants complaining about those things.
A handyman or general contractor can fix minor problems, i.e., missing shingle, clogged gutters, and sagging roof deck. But when you’re faced with issues that require a major repair job or replacement, you turn to an experienced and licensed roofing company.
How do you find an experienced local roofing contractor? Your job starts by learning what you should look for in your list of prospects. Finding viable candidates is the easy part – the challenge lies in selecting which among the companies in your list deserves the roofing repair or installation contract.
Property managers like you must factor in these things:
1 – License and Insurance
This is non-negotiable. Never compromise on these two in the hope of saving money by hiring a cheap contractor. A local roofer with no license means it doesn’t have the qualifications to obtain one. There’s no sense in operating as an unlicensed roofer when you realize that everyone else gets theirs to become legitimate contractors.
Letting an unlicensed contractor fix or install a roof on a building or property you manage is like playing with fire. When something goes wrong, you’re only putting yourself in a precarious situation; you’re also placing your job as a property manager at risk.
The absence of liability insurance means the property owner is likely to cover the costs of repair in case of damage to the building. The same applies to hospital expenses due to an injury suffered by a worker. So, license and insurance are not just options, but requisites when selecting a roofing company.
2 – The Contract
Put everything into writing. There’s no such thing as a verbal agreement between a property manager and a contractor hired for a roofing project. Put every detail on ink because it will serve as your protection from possible breach of the contract. Anything that’s written and signed becomes a legal proof against the failure to deliver the necessary services.
While the roofer produces the contract, your job is to scrutinize every provision. Pay particular attention to the start date and the estimated completion date. Be sure to account for all the expenses and materials listed.
Signing the dotted contract puts you and the contractor at a bind; it means you agree and consent to all the details written inside. So, before you sign it, be sure you’ve read it at least a couple of times.
3 – Experience
Not all roofers are created equal. As much as you prefer to hire a company because you played football with the owner in high school, you can’t be subjective or personally attached to this decision. The one thing that counts the most is the experience of the roofing contractor. Many local roofers handle residential roof repair and replacement, but do they have some experience in roofing projects involving buildings and commercial properties? There’s a considerable difference between fixing or replacing a roof on an average house and an apartment or building complex.
Experience matters because it tells you that the roofer is less likely to make costly mistakes along the way. Since they’ve done it before, they know how to be successful at it.
4 – Nature of Service
Roofing contractors differ in the manner of fulfilling a job. Some companies choose to work with subcontractors; others hire day-labour workers, and the well-established ones have enough people in their payroll to get the job done. Some property owners and managers don’t care about how the service is delivered, but you should pay attention to it. The reason is that you’re looking at the long-term effect of a topnotch and reliable service. A roofing company that relies on day-labour and temporary workers isn’t likely to be as dependable.
5 – Future Upkeep
Consider future repair and maintenance needs when you’re about to choose a roofing contractor. As a property manager, your job doesn’t end after the project. Ask your prospects about service guarantee, material or product warranty, and emergency services. Work with a company that offers ongoing support because you’ll need it sooner or later. It’s a lot more convenient to have one roofer handling all your future maintenance and repair needs instead of going over the tedious job of finding another contractor.
A property manager is responsible for the comfort and welfare of the people residing and renting in the apartment complex, building, or commercial space. Part of that responsibility is taking care of the building, including the roof. Hiring a licensed and experienced roofing company assures that you fulfill this duty.