When the time comes to get some work done on your roof, you want to find the best person for the job. And with so many different options available, it can be difficult to figure out who that might be. One of the biggest sources of confusion often comes from the terms used to identify the person you’re looking to hire: roofing contractor, roofer, and roofing company. All of these are often a better option to choose for your job than a general contractor would be, but depending on the person you are speaking to, there may be some differences between them that you should be checking out.
Roofing Contractor - Why Hire from a Local Roofing Companies vs a General Contractor
Local roofing contractors can take on a few different personas. In general, however, this is someone that is licensed with the state as a contractor who specializes in roofing. Most of the time a roofing contractor will carry out the work himself, but in a few cases he may subcontract out the work.
There are also times when a roofing contractor may be employed by a roofing company. You should always ask questions such as whether the contractor is licensed, if they work with a crew, have their own company, or use sub-contractors to help clarify the issue.
A roofer in general terms is simply someone who works on roofs. So this person may be a licensed roofing contractor, a general contractor who also does roofs, an unlicensed contractor who works on roofs, or someone employed by a roofing company.
Because there is so much ambiguity surrounding this term, it’s very important when hiring a “roofer” that you get some clarification from them. Are they licensed? If they are licensed is it as a roofing contractor or a general contractor? Do they work with a crew? Do they work for or own a roofing business or company? Do they use subcontractors to do the job?
And as with any contractor you hire to do work on your home, be sure to get references as well as a copy of his driver’s license contractor’s license, and the name and address of his business so you can follow up on any claims made.
A roofing company generally specializes in one of a few areas which includes roofs. A company will usually employ a crew made up of licensed roofers and will have some type of longevity in the industry. Roofing companies are likely to offer fairly substantial warranties, and are unlikely to hire out the job to someone outside of their crew. Reputable companies are also likely to employ background checks on the people they hire, which can help give you some peace of mind.
Just because a company exists, however, doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice for the job; you should still do your due diligence in getting references and other information and following up on them to determine if this company is right for your project.
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Roofing and Siding Home Repairs
My roofing and siding are 25 years old. Do we need to replace them on our house? When looking at roof materials, slate, copper and clay/concrete roofs all have a 50-year life expectancy while asphalt shingle roofs have a 20-year expectancy. Fiber cement shingles should last approximately 25 years while wood shakes should be good for around 30 years. Ultimately, the life of a roof depends on local weather conditions, proper building and design, material quality and the maintenance of the roofing material. Proper ventilation is key to the longevity. A professional roofer will be sure to remove all layers of shingle, check for damage, repair any structural damage, install new flashing and ice and water shield at the gutter edges and on the valleys. Don't skimp on this part. It insures the longevity of your investment. Outside siding and trim materials typically last a lifetime. Brick, engineered wood, both natural and manufactured stone and fiber cement will last as long as the house. All of those materials listed above can be applied to you home if you want to retrofit them over wood siding. Exterior wood/vinyl shutters are expected to last 20 years, depending on the weather. Gutters made of copper can last 50 years. Aluminum gutters will last up to 20 years. Copper downspouts last 100 years or more while aluminum downspouts will last up to 30 years. Color choices for all products are amazing, but be sure to see large samples to be sure you like the color combination. When in doubt, look at houses in your neighborhood to see what they're using as materials and what you like.
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