Avoid Getting Taken Advantage of After the Storm
In the coming days, you are sure to come across unfortunate stories of those in need who were taken advantage of by people who presented themselves as expert contractors. While, our chosen trade is commercial roofing, the following five questions can be applied to any trade or contractor that provides disaster relief services.
1) Are they licensed and insured?
Ensure their credentials are current and in good standing. Get a copy of their Certificate of Insurance. Review the insurance to make sure it provides adequate coverage should a claim arise.
2) What’s their safety record?
The cardinal rule for any seasoned commercial roofing company is “Safety First.” These firms also provide routine OSHA safety training for their crews. It’s also a good idea to check and make sure the contractor’s EMR (Experience Modification Rates) matches any verbal assurance. A solid EMR history under the industry average rating of 1 is a good indication that the contractor prioritizes and creates a safe working environment.
3) Can they provide a true commercial roofing quote?
• No roofing contractor can give you a reliable scope of work without a complete understanding and technical analysis of your building’s roof. Prior to getting any quote, a genuine pro will survey your roof using state of the art tools (i.e., infrared moisture scans). Only then can they provide a roofing system that solves your immediate and long-term needs.
4) Do they communicate often and hold themselves accountable through on-site supervision?
Lack of communication and accountability are the most common complaints contractors receive. A negligent contractor might show up twice. Once, on the first day and then to deliver the bill when the “job’s done.” A reliable contractor will communicate often, be upfront with unforeseen issues, and have solutions at the ready should issues arise. They can do this because their jobsites are overseen by on-site supervisors who ensure the process goes smoothly and to the customer’s benefit.
5) Do they have the resources right now?
• Even if the contractor you’re considering adequately answers the first 4 questions, they still might not be up to the task. The last thing you need is to discover the contractor you hired is ill-equipped to finish your project in a timely manner because they lack having enough materials or labor available.
On any given day, we usually have the luxury of time to investigate and discover whether or not a contractor’s goals and values align with our own. However, in the days after a natural disaster, many building owners and facility managers find themselves forced to make quick and concise decisions. It’s in those times of crisis, where these questions and insights can provide clarity and peace of mind.