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    Finding the Best Roofing Companies in Your Area

    Finding a good roofer may seem easy with all the choices that are out there, but there are roofing companies that are less than honest. When choosing a roofer, some investigation on your part could save you a lot of money and heartache later on. There are very good roofers, and with a little bit of care, you can find the honest ones who do high-quality work. Choose a shady company, though, and you may end up paying thousands of dollars more for a project that is not finished on time. Do not be drawn in by roofing deals that seem too good to be true; instead, do your research and make a careful choice. Here are some questions to help with your search for a quality roofer.

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    Which roofing companies does my insurance recommend?

    If you are getting a roof replaced due to hail or storm damage, you will be dealing with your insurance company. Your agent probably knows of some good companies and can make some solid recommendations. It is also in the insurance company's best interest for you to get a good roofer, so this could be a good place to start.

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    Do friends or coworkers have recommendations for good roofing companies?

    Word of mouth is a good roofer's best friend or worst enemy. Ask around and see who you know that has had a roof replaced. You may get some good recommendations, or at least you may get some idea of who you need to avoid.

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    What are this roofing company's qualifications?

    Many towns require that roofing companies be licensed. There are also trade organizations roofers can belong to. Ask to see their licenses and their accreditation. If there is any problem here at all, this is not a roofer you need to do business with. All legitimate roofers have their papers and are happy to show them to you. It is like a recommendation they carry in their pocket.

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    How do roofing companies handle payments?

    Never ever, for any reason, pay for a job in advance. You should have a contract that will spell out the payment schedule. Usually, you pay a certain percentage when the work begins, another percent at the halfway point and the rest when done, or some combination of the above.

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    What is this roofing company's experience?

    Ask for references and for examples of where they have worked. They should be able to give you some specific addresses of buildings they have roofed, and you can go by and see the quality of their work yourself.

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    What kinds of materials will be used?

    Again, be sure to get a contract, and make sure it spells out exactly what materials will be used in replacing the roof. Some roofers say they will use a certain material and will try to sneak in a cheaper material when you are not looking. Most roofers are honest, but it never hurts to pay attention to every detail as the work goes on?

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    What if I don't want a local roofing contractor?

    Are you more comfortable going with a large home improvement chain than a local roofer? If so, then check out the roof installation services from Home Depot and Lowe's, both of which have stores offering roofing services in most major cities throughout the United States. Both of these retailers offer quality roofing services with accurate quotes and competitive pricing.

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    Can I get a free quote?

    Do not do business with a roofing contractor who refuses to give you a free on-site quote. These quotes are vital for holding roofing contractors accountable. If projects run longer than expected -- or if costs are over budget -- then your quote gives you leverage for ensuring fairness in your final bill.