Roofing Contractors: How to Make Sure You Get a Great Deal

The roof that covers your home can mean the difference between your single biggest investment appreciating or depreciating in value. It doesn’t pay to skimp on the roof you live under but it doesn’t make sense to overpay for it either. With so many roofing companies willing to promise the moon, how do you get the best deal possible while also getting high-quality metal roofing properly installed? The fact is that although the internet is loaded with stories of people who trusted the wrong contractor and lived to regret it, you don’t have to be one of them.

Roofing Contractors – Approach With Caution

Way before you ever start talking prices there are some other steps you should take to make sure the metal roofing contractors you’re speaking with are worth considering for the job. Here are a few:

  • Make sure they have a permanent, verifiable address, phone number and tax ID number.
  • Insist they provide you with proof of insurance. If they don’t have insurance and an accident occurs during the roofing process, you could be liable for damages.
  • Ask for references and check them out thoroughly.
  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of a local or regional trade association.

Once you’ve developed a pool of roofing contractors to choose from you should move onto the next phase of the process, where you should:

  • Get Competitive Bids As a general rule you can toss the lowest bid since it’s not uncommon for unscrupulous contractors to submit a lowball price to get the job and then spring unexpected or “emergency” costs on you in the middle of the process, when your roof has been ripped apart and you’re in a vulnerable position.
  • Negotiate Once you’ve decided which bids seem the most realistic ask the different roofing contractors involved for a discount on labour or materials. Get them bidding against each other. But beware of pushing things too far. Contractors have real expenses after all and if the discounts become too deep the winning contractor may look for ways to recoup that money later on.
  • Get Everything in Writing That includes the discounts you negotiated as well as a maximum price for various discretionary items. Shady roofing contractors sometimes try to pad their margins by inflating the cost of these items. Since you don’t want to wind up paying $200 for a sheet of plywood it’s in your interest to make sure the unit price for discretionary items are entered into the contract as well as a maximum number of these items that can be purchased without further, written approval from you. You may also want to include a penalty that kicks in should the work run past an agreed-upon completion date.

Getting a great deal from a roofing contractor requires patience and persistence during the negotiating process and then making sure the deal you negotiated is set down in writing. A reputable contractor will not object to this process and will adhere to the terms of the contract allowing you to reap the benefits of your deal-making prowess.

London Eco Metal has a reputable team of metal roofing contractors offering services for steel roofing in Toronto, Mississauga, Windsor, Kitchener and Ottawa.

How Does Steel Roofing Compare to Other Roofing Materials

Steel roofing has been around for more than 100 years but it’s only recently that its outstanding value has finally begun to get the media attention it deserves. Still, in spite of the gains steel roofing has made in the public eye more traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles, tile and even slate continue to hold the lion’s share of the roofing market. So let’s take a look at these different materials and see how they stack up when compared to steel.

Steel Roofing vs. Traditional Roofing Materials

While many comparisons are completely subjective, comparing steel to other roofing material does not require an injection of opinion or speculation. There are plenty of hard facts to kick around regarding:

  • Cost – Steel will generally cost a bit more than asphalt, wood shingles or ceramic tiles and less than slate tiles to install. However, while asphalt, ceramic and wood have life expectancies of 10 – 20 years a steel roof can last 50 years or more. Slate is about the only material that compares to steel in terms of longevity but woe unto you should one of your slate roofing tiles break.
  • Maintenance – Once installed your steel roofing system is maintenance free. Compare that to tiles that can be torn off in storms or asphalt shingles that begin to degrade the minute they’re installed and often need to be patched or repaired due to leaks. And as alluded to above, trying to patch a slate roof should a tile break can be an expensive and tricky process with the odds very long indeed that you’ll actually find a tile to match the ones you have.
  • Safety – Asphalt is a form of petroleum, that is, crude oil. When you install asphalt shingles on your roof you are in fact installing a layer of solidified oil across the top of your house. Should a fire break out these asphalt shingles become an immediate liability and act as an accelerant, turning a bad situation into a potentially devastating one. The same can be said of wood shingles. Steel roofing on the other hand will never catch fire or promote the spread of a fire that may be underway. A huge safety plus.
  • Green Value – When a roofing contractor replaces the asphalt shingles on your roof the old shingles almost invariably go straight to landfill. During any given year thousands of tons of these rotting petroleum sheets are dumped into landfill sites across Canada adding to groundwater contamination and releasing toxic gases as they break down. 50 years or so from now, if you decide it’s finally time to replace it, you’ll be able to recycle it once again.

As you can see, metal roofing has distinct advantages over more traditional roofing materials. When you factor in the substantial energy savings you’ll enjoy due to steel’s ability to reflect the sun’s heat as well as the relief you’ll see on your homeowner’s insurance due to steel’s safety factor you’ll realize there’s no mystery behind the growing popularity of steel roofs.

London Eco Metal has a reputable team of metal roofing contractors offering services for steel roofing in Toronto, Mississauga, Windsor, Kitchener and Ottawa.