Chicago has a long tradition of great contractors, roofers, and all kinds of blue collar workers. Perhaps harsh winters have something to do with it. After all, you do need a well-built home and a reliable roof if you want to be safe and comfortable in this climate. Or perhaps Chicago is famous for its blue collar workers because Chicagoans are just a tough breed of people, always striving to better themselves, to build, to improve, to grow.
Either way, there’s no shortage of great roofing contractors in the city itself and in the surrounding suburbs. So how do you go about hiring the best contractor? Let’s be more specific and talk about a particular area known as Western Suburbs, including Oak Brook, Hinsdale, Western Springs, Downers Grove, Willowbrook, and Burr Ridge, among others. Below are a few items for your checklist when in search for a roofing company in Oak Brook, IL.
- Employ “You’re the best for me” approach. When we say “you’re the best” to our better half, what we really mean is “you’re the best for me.” No one is perfect and even movie stars and great artistic geniuses are not liked by everyone. The same goes for a roofing company. Not all roofing projects are the same just like not all clients have the same desires and preferences. Do look at testimonials and reviews, but ultimately decide if the company has experience and expertise in the kind of job you need to get done. For instance, if you’re looking for a cedar shake roof or copper gutters, make sure that the company you hire has experience and references pertaining to that kind of projects.
- Get 3 opinions, but don’t go with the cheapest quote. If you’re taking bids for your roofing project, don’t immediately accept the lowest bid. A low bid may be an indicator of poor quality materials or sub-standard work. At the same time a roofing contractor may be able to offer a low bid because he has low overhead or a source for quality materials at lower prices. If in doubt ask the contractor how he was able to arrive at his bid.
- Hire someone local. In this day and age, what does local even mean? Let’s make it simple: local is someone located within 30 mile radius from your home with a physical office in that area. So if you live in Oak Brook, hire someone from Oak Brook or the next closest suburb. It’s not a secret that hiring a local company increases your chances of getting the best quality job possible. Why? For starters, you know where to find them. The owners’ kids probably go to the same school as yours. You have some people that you both know. They might be involved in community activities. In other words, they have everything to gain from doing a great job and everything to lose if the don’t. If you also have a business, hiring a local company may lead to them hiring you if you provide services that they may need.
- This goes without saying, but make sure the roofing company is licensed and insured. In most states it is illegal for a roofing contractor to work without a license. This protects consumers from contractors that aren’t experienced in the industry. Ask about insurance, particularly liability and worker’s compensation. A roofer without insurance coverage can leave you open to all sorts of risk, from damage to your property to liability for personal injury.
- Look for a roofer that has good communication skills. You want someone that you can talk to about your project, that will readily answer all your questions and that will keep you informed every step of the way. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, a finished job you may not be happy with and unwelcome surprises on your final bill.
- Get a written contract. While an old fashioned handshake is nice and a sign of a courteous contractor, you still need to have everything in writing. This includes the scope of the project, the materials to be used and their specifications, the dates for beginning and completion of the job and an itemized list of cost for all materials and labor.