You should definitely look at some other houses on your street, neighborhood, or friends in the area and if you like they way it looks, ask them about their experience with the roofing contractor that installed it. Follow up on their recommendations. If no friends have recommendations for roofers, or if, for instance, you cannot find a roofer who specializes in flat roofs, you can take your roofing contractor search to the internet. If you find your roofing contractor online be sure to ask for references and discuss possible prices.
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Talk to the roofing or siding contractors who interest you on the phone to get a feel for their methods of replacement or any questions or concerns you may have before even asking them to come out to give you and estimate. This way you are not wasting your time or theirs.
A good feel is to see how high pressure their selling strategy is. If they are high pressure that is a good indication they will be at your house talking for a good hour or more trying to get you to sign right then and there and that their price will be even higher than the norm. Trust yourself with the choice your going to make and be confident that you have made the right decision.
Is it worth writing a lengthy business plan for your roofing startup? Business plan preparation can be time consuming and many entrepreneurs are tempted to go ahead without one unless they really need it to prove the viability of ideas to partners or investors.Your roofing business won't be a huge, complicated business for a few years anyway so why bother? Well, while I would not suggest that you spend months writing a 100 page report, it could be useful for you to have a 10 to 20 page document on your PC that can be your company blueprint for success. You can make changes to it as you slowly learn more about the business.It will be the key document that sets out exactly how your business is run. If done properly you should basically be able to hand this document over to somebody when they buy your business and they can take over with very little of your time needed to explain things to them.Here is a brief business roofing business plan template to give you some ideas on how to put your own together.Contents Page and Executive SummaryThis should be a summary of your entire roofing business plan. If you will be presenting the plan to interested parties then let them know the contents. Include a basic summary of your plans to start a roofing business. Outline the opportunities that you see in the market and what you plan to do in order to capture a piece of the pie for yourself.Background in the Roofing BusinessProve to yourself or others why you are cut out to go into this business. List details on your education and any relevant experience that you have had in the roofing industry or in business in general. Outline your reasons for wanting to start a roofing business. Mission StatementSet out your company mission or philosophy in a few words or a short phrase. Try to think about what you want to achieve with your business apart from profits. You should be driven by a desire to deliver a quality service to people in way that satisfies them and provides great value for them while still allowing you to meet your goals. What kind of products and services do you want to deliver? How will you be different from all the other roofing companies?Business GoalsSet out the goals that you have for your business in its first few years. Set realistic targets that you know are attainable so that you won't be discouraged if you don't meet them. Success can be measured by a number of metrics such as the total number of roofing jobs completed per month, the percentage of leads that become new customers or the productivity of your employees for example.Startup RequirementsList down all of the products and services that your company will offer and then set out a list of equipment and inventory that you will need to get started. If you need to buy a truck then you will be looking at minimum startup costs of around $20,000.Startup requirements will also include compliance costs. Depending on what state you are operating out of you may need a contractors license, insurance, bonding or to comply with a number of other relevant regulations.Don't forget that as well as purchasing all of the necessary roofing equipment you will also have to purchase materials for your first job. Clients will typically pay a large chunk of your total invoice upon completion of the job so you will have to foot the bill until you get reimbursed when they pay their invoice in full.Structure, Ownership and ManagementThere are four basic options to consider for your business structure and they include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC).Outline how your business will be owned and make a note of the various parties that may have an ownership stake.Set out a management structure so that there is no confusion among those involved with the business as to who is responsible for managing each part of the business.Marketing PlanIdentify your target market both by location as well as other demographic factors and describe the kind of people or properties that make up your target market. Include the results of any market research that you do or local industry statistics that you are able to gather.Set out a detailed plan for your roofing business marketing. This should include how you plan on getting enquiries, converting them into new accounts and maintaining them over the long term. It should also include brand development, pricing, advertising, a sales approach and other marketing methods.Competitive Analysis Write up profiles of your main local competitors and try to understand how they run their businesses. Borrow and adapt characteristics of their business that work and look for weaknesses in their business models that you may be able to capitalize on. Figure out how you will differentiate your brand from theirs in a way that allows you to stand out in the market.OperationsInclude details of the day to day operations of the proposed roofing business. Make a note of your office location, business administration and record keeping systems, plans to hire employees and procedures regarding roofing installations or repairs.Financial AnalysisOutline some of the methods that you could use to obtain financing for your new venture.Create a spreadsheet that shows anticipated cash flow forecasts over the first few years of business for a variety of scenarios. You can then determine how profitable you think the business will be in a number of different economic climates.You will be able to find many free business plan examples online but it can be harder to find a specific sample of a roofing business plan. There are some business planning software programs that you can buy but they are usually just generic business plans that have been adapted anyway.Unless you can persuade other roofing business owners to share their plan with you then you really have to look at templates from other industries and model your roofing business plan on them.
Roofing Contractor Reviews - The 10 Commandments of Hiring a Roofing Company
The shingles in your roof need replacing and you are minded to find a roofing contractor to replace the them. Perhaps you have already called a few and are evaluating which contractor to use for your upcoming roof repair. How do you select the best contractor for working on your roof? Here are several things you should consider when looking for a legitimate roofing contractor. Where is the roofing contractor located? It is important to hire a roofing contractor that is local. Chances are you will receive a higher level of service if the roofing company is located near your home or has an office near your residence. References. To determine the reliability of the contractor, references should be provided of their past clients who are willing to vouch that excellent service was received. This should not be the only factor in deciding upon your future roofing contractor as some may claim they value the privacy of their clients and do not wish to bother them. If this is the case, ask for business related references. The places that provide the contractor with supplies can reveal the quantity of materials and regularity of supplying the contractor to help determine their stability. How does the roofing contractor company handle complaints? There are a multitude of issues that can arise during the progress of a roofing replacement. Ask what their process is for handling complaints if they arise. It is also an excellent idea to receive a past client reference who had a complaint that was resolved to the satisfaction of the client. Terms of payment. What are the terms of payment for the job? What is the down payment and amount due upon completion? While it is certainly reasonable that a substantial payment be made before a contractor begins work on a project, it is highly recommended that full payment is not made until after the entire job is completed. Written contract. All terms of the roofing replacement should be put in a written contract. No part of the contracting job should rely on verbal assurances. Bonding. There are things that can go wrong with roofing installations that end up costing quite a bit of money to fix. If this happens on your roofing replacement, you will feel a whole lot better knowing that your roofing contractor is bonded. This will provide the funds to fix whatever mistakes were made. Find a roofing contractor that is bonded. Manufacturer Warranty. Quality materials for roofing typically come with a warranty. It is important to verify that there is actually a warranty on the materials being installed. Request a copy of the warranty. Length of Time in Business How long has the company you are interviewing been in business? A short amount of time in business may reflect instability. If the contractor has been in business less than three years, verify how long they have actually been in the industry. A new contractor may have many years experience working on roofs before they form their own business. Seek a business that has been around for three or more years, or where the contractor has had many more years performing roofing replacements. This again should not be the only factor, everyone has to start sometime. Balance this with referrals and the other points raised in this article. Appropriate Permits. A roofing contractor should know what permits are required for repairing your roof. They should be aware of how to obtain these permits on your behalf. Ask the contractor whether they will obtain the permits necessary to repair the roof. Liability. If a worker becomes injured, who is responsible for the worker's compensation? If the contractor's equipment damages your home, who is liable for the repairs? A good contractor will provide certificates of insurance for liability and worker's compensation before they begin repairing your roof. Subcontractors. Verify whether the contractor will be using subcontractors. If so, it is highly recommended that everything contained within this article for verifying whether the contractor is credible should also be applied to subcontractors. You should receive the names and license numbers of all subcontractors. You should verify whether each subcontractor is also insured so you are not held liable for their accidents. Pending Legal Actions. It is important to verify whether there are any legal actions against the contractor. This is not only necessary for verifying whether the roofing company is legitimate (credible roofing companies should not need to defend themselves in court), it is also important because a lost lawsuit could cause the contractor to go bankrupt. If you have made a substantial down payment for services immediately before the company goes bankrupt, you could lose many thousands of dollars and never have your roofing completed. Material Disposal. Who is responsible for disposing of the waste generated from the roof being replaced? Will your contractor handle all aspects of this? Is there an additional cost for disposing of this waste? NRCA Membership. Membership in local or national roofing associations, such as the NRCA, shows commitment to staying up to date with the very best methods for roof replacement and maintenance. Find a roofing contractor with a high standard of education regarding their trade. Replacing your roof is a significant investment. It makes good sense to ask serious questions before working with a roofing contractor. Here are a few more tips that you should consider when selecting the best roofing contractor for your upcoming roofing replacement. Payment. Do not make a full payment for services unless all work is finished. Inspection. Do not make a full payment without doing a final inspection of all services rendered. Workers liens. Do not fully pay for the roofing replacement job until worker's lien releases have been obtained. Oral Agreements. No agreement should be made verbally without backing it up in writing. All points that are important to you should be made in writing.