Close up image of roof with round shingles

One of the biggest challenges homeowners face when looking to fix or replace their roof is choosing the right roofing contractor to do the job. Never choose the first contractor you come in contact with. Always do your research and find a contractor who is trustworthy, reliable, and professional. Keep these 10 tips in mind when choosing the right roofing contractor.

1. Local Referrals

Researching your local roofing companies and their referrals will help you avoid scams and not-so-good roofing contractors. These contractors should come recommended, be familiar with local rules and code regulations, and have lasting relationships with area suppliers.

2. Elite Manufacturers

Elite Manufacturers are considered top honor manufacturers because they must pass certain requirements to be factory-certified. GAF strictly enforces its top designation by only allowing 3% of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Master Elite® Contractors. Graves Bros. Home Improvement is one of those roofing contractors.

3. Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ratings

It's crucial to look up every roofing contractor on the BBB website and make sure they have a great score. Rule of thumb, avoid contractors who don't exist on GAF Master Elite® Contractors are required to maintain satisfactory ratings with the BBB in order to retain their certification.

4. Check the Warranties

Not all contractors offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage for contractor's mistakes. This means, if a roofing contractor installs your roof incorrectly, you're most likely liable for those damages that occur due to the bad roofing job. Both Master Elite® Contractor and CertainTeed offer one of the longest workmanship warranties on the market. They protect the roofing material against defects in manufacturing.
Ask for a copy of the manufacturer's warranty pertaining to the specific shingle products you're considering before hiring a roofing contractor.​

5. Safety Comes First

Make sure the roofing contractor has gone through a training or safety program and can prove it. GAF sponsors a national training organization called the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (CARE), which has trained more than 200,000 professionals. GAF is the only roofing manufacturer with a dedicated team of trainers in the industry.

6. License and Insurance

All roofing contractors should have insurance for their employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate for validation. Not having adequate insurance could potentially lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the home. Most states require licensing for contractors, but that does not stop unlicensed contractors from attempting to do the roofing work.​​

Make sure your roofing contractor provides you with a copy of their license and confirms their status online. GAF Master Elite® Contractors must hold appropriate levels of Workers Compensation, at least $1 million worth of General Liability coverage, and have the proper state licensing where they are performing the work.

7. Homeowners Need to Pay the Deductible

Any contractor who claims they can handle the repair without having the homeowner pay their insurance deductible is committing insurance fraud and endangering you as the homeowner. The insurance deductible is the responsibility of the insured, and the contractor should reflect that in the quote.

8. Negotiating a Claim

A roofing contractor who says they can "handle your insurance claim" doesn't have your best interest in mind. It's illegal in most states for roofing contractors to act on your behalf, as the homeowner when negotiating an insurance claim. However, Graves Bros. can help you file your insurance claim and can walk you through what needs to be done to simplify the process.

9. Don't Be Pressured

Don't let the roofing contractor pressure you into signing a contract before the insurance company has estimated the damage to your roof. Some contractors say they can work with whatever your insurance company settles upon, however, the homeowner needs to ensure it's the correct amount. Always double-check that the insurance adjuster didn't miss any damages.

10. Know Your Material Choices

If the roofing contractor doesn't offer you shingle options, take that as a red flag. This is where doing your research comes into play. The style and color of the shingles they install can affect many things, including the resale value of your home. Both GAF and CertainTeed contractors offer extensive design and color choices for your home.

GAF Master Elite contractors make up only 3% of the total roofers nationwide. A Master Elite contractor is the only type of roofer that can provide the golden pledge warranty, the most powerful and substantial warranty in the entire roofing industry. A golden pledge warranty is the only warranty that requires the entire roof system to be from GAF, a single manufacturer.

Graves Bros. is both a GAF Master Elite and CertainTeed Roofing Contractor. We provide experienced staff to handle and coordinate almost any roofing project. Every job is inspected to meet the highest standards in the industry.