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When you enlist the services of a professional to work on your house, you have to make sure that you will be getting quality work. This is especially true when it comes to the roof of your home. The roof protects the entire house and everything you have in it. It also protects the dwellers from the elements. Quality should be your number one concern when hiring someone to work on this all-important part of your home.

To ensure that your prospective roofing contractor has a good track record, here are a few things you should explore before signing a contract:

Contractor’s physical address — There are many contractors out there that are either frauds or aren’t professionals that are licensed to do roofing work. One way you can figure out if they are legitimate is to ask for the company’s full name and their physical address. A respected roofer will have an office to headquarter their operations. If they don’t, look for a contractor elsewhere.

Contract and payment — Be wary of contractors who ask for a lot of money upfront. Most contractors will only require 10 percent of the payment upfront, so if your contractor asks for half or all of the money right away, there may be something weird afoot. Additionally, many contractors will only ask for a down payment once they have materials on site to do the job. If your roofing contractor is deviating from the norm, it may be better to find someone else.

Additionally, when entering into a contract with your roofer, be sure to specify the kind of work to be done, the length of time it will take to complete, a list of all material and labor costs and the brands of material to be used in the project. Having this information in the language of the contract protects both parties, but mainly you if the contractor decides to make any exceptions or changes.

Warranty — The warranty for materials will come from the manufacturer. However, you’ll also want a warranty for the contractor’s workmanship. Make sure you read the warranty thoroughly so you know the terms, including how long it lasts. You should also have a copy of the warranty for your records.

License and insurance — Most cities and states require anyone who works in any form of contracting or building to have a license. If they aren’t licensed, that’s a problem. If they do have a license, you can check to see if there are any violations related to that license. If there are, you should consider going with someone else. Additionally, you should make sure that the company has insurance for its workers. You don’t want to pay the extra costs in the event that an accident happens on the job.

Membership in the Better Business Bureau — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a great place to find out about your potential contractor. Not only can you check ratings and read reviews, but you can also see any issues that people have had with the contractor. If the contractor isn’t part of the BBB, reach out to someone who is.

For such an important job as repairing your roof, it’s essential that you have someone who’s qualified to do the job. If you are unsatisfied with any of the contractor’s responses to your inquiries, trust your gut and find a professional who you are sure will do a good job.