If you’ve ever had work done on your property, you’re very familiar with all the standard tips you look for in a storm damage contractor. You check how long they’ve been in business. You confirm they have insurance. Check their references. Review their Better Business Bureau status.
We believe these are just the basics. We feel it’s important our customers know there are other important attributes you should look for when selecting a contractor.
1) Have you checked their license? In some states, anyone is free to work on your home. They don’t have to be licensed. (By the way, being bonded does NOT mean the same as being licensed and insured.) In some states, you need a special license to be a roofing contractor. Olneya holds all the appropriate licenses in the areas we serve. And we are bonded and insured. Make sure your contractor is as well.
2) Does your contractor know building codes? Many companies are storm chasers. They swoop down on storm damage areas and try to scoop up as many contracts as they can before leaving town again. So what happens a few years down the road when you find out your home doesn’t meet building codes. In many areas, there may be multiple building codes. The local municipality, the county codes, the state codes and even the homeowner’s associations. Making it more complicated is the fact that some municipality codes may differ from the municipality just a few miles away!
We establish our offices in the areas we serve, and then we become experts in your local building codes. In many cases, if you have storm damage and your insurance adjustor is from out of town, we may know more about the local codes than the adjustor. It helps to have us on hand to meet with your adjustor and help make certain your claim is covering all the building code requirements.
3) Are you comparing apples to oranges? Occasionally, the best contractor for the job will have the lowest bid but this isn’t usually the case. Make sure your bids are exactly the same. Remember all those different building codes mentioned earlier? Contractors make mistakes. They may not realize the building codes are different than a job they did a few miles away.
There is a reason cheap contractors are cheap. They may be just starting out. They may be using inferior materials. If they are inexperienced, they may have missed rotted underlayment. Did they pull the proper permits? They may not be using the highest safety practices to avoid accidents on your property.
In short, our reputation is our bread and butter. We believe in proper licensing, experienced crews and highest standards of workmanship. This may be a bit more expensive, but in the long run, you save time and money.
4) Select a contractor with an excellent reputation. That brings up our next tip: Quality contractors are trusted. They grow through referrals. Checking a contractor’s Better Business Bureau rating is important, but be sure to check their online reviews too. Most contractors will have negative reviews (it’s just the nature of the business), but when you read the positive reviews look for the issues that are important. Did the contractor help the homeowner navigate the complicated insurance claim process? Was the job done on time? Did they provide exceptional customer service? These are the things that matter when trying to get your home repaired after a storm.
Olneya Restoration Group is one of only 3% of contractors in the US to meet the stringent qualifications to be designated a GAF® MasterElite™ Contractor. For example, to preserve this exceptionally high level of service, we make sure that all our roofing inspectors are HAAG-Certified. This also means our customers qualify for GAF’s Golden Pledge™, the industry’s leading 25 year warranty.
As insurance specialists, our team will help walk you through the insurance process for your property. We make sure you are fully educated and comfortable through the entire process of getting their life and home back to normal. Many times, we can be more knowledgeable of your local building codes than your insurance adjuster may be, making certain your home meets the highest standards to maintain it’s value.
5) Does your contractor have experienced employees? Is the salesperson knowledgeable? Are the inspectors HAAG-Certified? Do the crews have experience in the particular job you are having completed? Is the office staff knowledgeable about your project and timelines? These all make the difference in your construction experience.
Now it’s time to relax. If you’ve followed our advice and found a good contractor, you have to trust your job is going to be completed to the highest quality standard. Sometimes, it’s hard to be patient once you’ve decided to do the work on your home. But good contractors have a strong scheduling system and they work around weather delays and emergencies. So relax and let your quality contractor do the excellent job you hired them for.
And whether you decide to use us or go a different direction, we’re always here to answer your questions so call us today at 314.432.6100 in Missouri or Illinois or 772.222.5019 in Florida.