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August 3, 2009

My Turn: Get the facts before roofing

This week's "My turn" column is by Jeremy Meyers, owner of Dundee Brook Contracting Services.

Re-roofing is a process you may not be familiar with until it becomes time to replace the roof on your home.

Even then, there is much to learn about which products to use and what procedures meet your individual needs. Therefore, it is vital to know that you can rely on the roofing contractor you choose to give you good advice about those products and procedures that may be new to you.

Unfortunately, it's not like buying a new car or a barbecue grill off the assembly line. Roofing products and accessories between roofing contractors may be similar; workmanship and warranties are not. The key is to find the right roofing contractor for your job.

Evaluate the roofing contractor as carefully as you would a doctor or a lawyer. It is certain you will want a roofing contractor who employs capable applicators to install shingles. It is also clear that you will need to look closely at the proposal offer, the products selected and the price-value relationship of the entire package.

What criteria can you use to decide if the contractor is a true professional who will stand behind his work? There is no clear-cut answer; there are a number of indicators that you can look for when going through the evaluation process.

References? Ask for a list of 10 names and numbers of customers from the last 12 months. It is not necessary to check all 10, but you will be able to choose randomly from the list of those you do call.

Ask to see photos of roofing projects completed. Take a drive-by to see projects in progress or recently completed by the contractor to view firsthand what their workmanship is like.

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