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.
For many people, a home is one of the biggest investments of a lifetime, so keeping all parts, including the roof, in good condition is extremely important. In fact, this is especially true when it comes to having work done on the roof. Unfortunately, a number of individuals have learned to turn some homeowners' care and concern into profit, through a number of roofing business tricks. There are some things you can do, however, to avoid becoming the victim of one of these traps.Make certain to do your research when selecting a contractor to work on your roof, so that you are informed about how the roofing process works. Get recommendations from family and friends, check each candidate through the Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber Of Commerce, and ask for references from each candidate and ask questions about the work, including materials and costs.There is no need to worry about the contractor taking offense; a reputable roofing contractor would rather deal with a homeowner who may not understand everything but has done some research, than one who knows nothing and doesn't seem interested in how the process will work - while still expecting superior results. Next, be aware of how some disreputable contractors or companies work. One common way they take advantage of unsuspecting people is by using what is called the "elevator ride." In this case, a company will place a much lower bid than his competitors to replace a roof. The homeowner, anxious to save money--- especially given that replacing a roof is an expensive undertaking - accepts the offer. Work begins, and all appears to be going well, but then suddenly, unexpected problems begin to surface that increase the cost tremendously.Another variation of this trick is when the contractors need far more materials than you originally budgeted for, causing expenses to skyrocket. Often, those who operate these types of dishonest business deals don't do a thorough inspection of the roof. In many cases, the full inspection needed to check the condition of what is already there, look for sufficient insulation, and other things that would be a part of the inspection process with a reputable contractor, is delayed until money has been given and work is already underway. At that point, the homeowner has no choice but to pay, or begin the search process all over.Another common way that numerous homeowners are duped each year is when companies or individuals misrepresent themselves. Sometimes, a company may claim to be an affiliate of a certain type or brand of roofing product or material, when in reality, it is only one of a variety of options available to them.In some cases, it is a product that they may not even use on the job. Other unscrupulous contractors may change the name or location of their company frequently, even as quickly as one job to another. The lack of references or a verifiable work history is a sign a homeowner should be running the other way.Sometimes, potential customers are taken in by individuals who claim to have more experience than he does. For example, when Sam was a teenager, he worked for his Uncle Jim's company doing roofing work for three or four summers, and then went off to college to become a landscaping artist. Years pass, the economy gets rough and Sam loses his job, so he decides to get back into the roofing business. Keep in mind that he still only has four summers of experience that ended when he was 19. Now, he's 38 years old, so he claims that he has 19 years of experience in roofing, a complete fabrication. This exaggeration is common to a group of individuals looking to sound more established; they multiply each person's experience by the total number of people. This way, a crew of 5 employees, each with 2 years experience in the industry, will begin advertising their company as having 10 years experience. By being aware and learning to ask questions, you can protect yourself from a potentially negative contractor-customer relationship. This is all about being a responsible homeowner who understands the importance of doing the research before hiring someone to work on the home.
Sample Roofing Contractor Business Plan Outline
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.