The Roofing Season is Flying By: Are You Ready for Winter?

Winter is coming Roof

Another Year Has Passed & More Money Have Been Spent

money spent roof
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...

It is hard to get in front of the ball anymore; it always seems that there is something else that requires our attention or hard earned money. If you are a homeowner, then you know exactly what I am talking about. The roof is one of those projects that everyone tries to put off as long as possible. Is is expensive and not something you get to enjoy all that often; a new bathroom or kitchen can get a whole lot more use and bring a lot more satisfaction to your life. But, even though it is often unappreciated, your roof is one of the most critical components in your home. It is responsible for protecting from the unforgiving outside environment. Without it, your beautiful new kitchen and bathroom would be destroyed in an instant. The elements would have their way with you and all your possessions destroyed. Not a pretty picture to say the least. Before this season escapes you, and winter rears its ugly head once again,                                                                                                                                       make sure that you are prepared. If you are planning on getting a                                                                                                                                 new roof installed this year, now is the time to start solidifying                                                                                                                                       your plans.

But if I just wait a little bit longer I can probably get a better deal

holding-breath-300x200Not true in the slightest. If you wait too long you will be forced to continue waiting; waiting much longer then you will be comfortable with. Understand that everyone fundamentally thinks the same way, they tend to put off these projects as long as possible. As the season progresses, and the number of days left to work starts shrinking, outright panic sets in. All of a sudden, every customer seems to call at once, and they all want that new roof installed yesterday. In a situation like this, how likely do you think it will be to find a contractor willing to give you a better deal? It is simple supply and demand, and at times like these most roofers have more supply then they can ever imagine handling. Yet, you may be just lucky enough to find someone with am availability. How fortunate you are, you think to yourself, they can even start the following day!  Before you sign that contract, and trust this person or company with your life and livelihood, you better question why they are the only ones that seem to be available to work at a moments notice.

Just because you locked up the deal does not mean that you need to get it done immediately

locked up roofPlan ahead, go ahead and start your search now so that you can make a decision sooner then later. Sign the contract, have them pull the permits, order the material, and get ready to complete the work at a time of your choosing. That could be in the next couple weeks or the following month, as long as you reserve a date now you should be all set. Any roofing contractor that values their reputation will not bump you off the schedule. However, we did receive quite a few calls last year with customers that suffered such a fate. That was most likely a result of the freakish hailstorms in Highland, Michigan as the insurance companies where paying a ridiculous amount of money for the work to be completed. But, if you find yourself in that situation for whatever reason, we would be more then happy to assist you at anytime.

Functionally, is there a better or worse time of the year to get a new roof installed?

goldilocks roofingThe answer is yes and no. You are always looking for the Goldilocks conditions in which it is not to hot or too cold, but just right. If we only worked on days like that, we would not be able to afford the electricity needed to power this meager keyboard. An experienced roofing crew will be able to work in nearly any condition, besides rain or snow. There are special considerations for specific weather, but that is all something the contractor should be well versed in and would gladly go over with you if you have any concerns. The best time to get a new roof installed is when it is convenient for you to do so. If you have the money saved up already, just bite the bullet and get it done ASAP before you are tempted to take that dream cruise you always wanted.   

Where Did My Roof Go? Shingle Wind Warranties

That must have been one heck of a storm last night!

This is the after math of the March 2006 storm in Nixa, Missouri

Is this a real problem in Michigan?

imaginary roof problem
Not generally, and those that use it as a selling point are taking advantage of your anxieties. They say that shit happens, well so do storms. They can cause unbelievable damage to your home in a fraction of a second. But, spending additional money trying to prevent this is generally a waste of money. We do not live in tornado alley and we are far from the coast with all of their funny named hurricanes. It snows a lot in Michigan, and once in a  blue moon we will get to see a tornado or two. That's it, plain and simple. Any salesman that tells you their shingle can withstand a tornado needs to clearly explain what magical nailing pattern they plan on using.

The details are important, but nothing to go crazy over

Roofing numbersThis is roofing that we are talking about here, not the most exciting subject in the world. You cant wear it or drive it, and you will most likely only look at it once after it gets installed. That being said, it is important to have a professional properly install a quality product in order to provide you with as much protection as possible. Unless you are electing to get a metal roof, or have special circumstances that require specific considerations, keep it simple when shopping around. Nearly every contractor has access to the same exact materials; anyone that tells you they make their own is flat out lying. Unfortunately, all to often, one product will be recommended over another because of price alone. This is an important factor, but make sure that you at least explore all of your options before making a decision. 

So you are saying that my roof wont blow away during a storm?

roofing tornadoThat is exactly what we are saying. There are no special nails, installation procedures, or rubber shingles that will protect you if the conditions are bad enough. This includes any extreme wind, rain, or snow storms that occur. Good luck fighting with the roofing company or manufacturer if, god forbid, you ever experience one of these calamities personally. In such an instance, any damages are generally covered by your insurance company anyhow. With the hail storms that hit Highland last year, it was a free roof bonanza. Ask any of the residents and they will tell you how easy it was because the area was designated a disaster zone. And guess what else? The insurance companies did not require the homeowner to pick a impact resistant shingle, or upgrade to the 130 mph wind warranty. After taking such a big hit, if it was important don't you think they would mandate such a thing instead of potentially losing millions of dollars all over again?

Special circumstances that warrant further consideration

roof lake houseExtremely steep roofs are one such exception to this rule, as they require more nails to hold the single in place properly. There are also many other details that need to be considered when working on steep pitched roofs, things that you should clearly go over with a roofing professional before signing a contract. Certain homes, such as those located directly on a larger lake, tend to get hit pretty hard with sporadic gusts of wind. Again, in such situations a similar strategy may be recommended. These are all things a reputable contractor would suggest anyhow, they are standard practices. Purchasing an upgraded wind warranty is most of the time just giving you some additional peace of mind. This soothing feeling can however cost a fair amount of money. Just like the cold hard cash that you just spend to get this boost of confidence, the additional warranty is just a thin piece of paper. There is nothing more to it, no actual substance behind it, except in your mind.    

E-Venting: Why it may not be worth leaving that review

It feels so good to let loose sometimes, but beyond that it may do no good

Roofing complaint

We are hardwired to seek vengeance, to demand an even playing field

Hardwired RevengeLike it or not, no one can escape this fact. Just like you cant help but look when passing a car accident, biologically this imperative has served its purpose throughout history. Does this mean that is necessarily a good thing? Absolutely not. If we blindly follow our urges we are lead down a dark path indeed. But, we have all experienced this overwhelming urge before, and satisfying it can feel damn good. With the instant gratification that the internet is able to provide, it is sometimes just impossible to resist. With a few cleverly crafted words and the click of a button, you are now able to tell the whole world exactly what you are thinking. Never before have we been able to exert so much influence with so little effort. But, with great power comes great responsibility. Or at least it should.

Understanding then true consequences of your actions  

Actions consequencesSome people deserve everything that they have coming to them, and then some. Most of the time though, we end up acting hastily out of anger only to regret our embarrassing behavior later. Posting online allows you to remain anonymous and we therefore are more inclined to act in ways that we would normally abhor. Then, after the dirty deed has been done, we can simply ignore it as if it was someone else that did it. It was probably that silly teddy bear emoticon that you picked, seems like something he would do. On the other side of the screen, some business has a giant black market against it and is left without much that they can do. Yes, they can respond, and even explain themselves most of the time. But, no matter how well written the response, it always seems as if the company is trying to defend itself, which can make the situation even worse. It is amazing to believe, but a single review can make or break a customers buying decision. All it takes is the ranting of one disgruntled person and it can cost a business thousands upon thousands of dollars, it can cost people their jobs.

Walking on eggshells is no way to live

Walking on eggshellsBut the question is then, what to do here? It is inevitable that you will experience such a situation if you do enough business, no matter how well you treat your customers. People make mistakes, and you can not always make everyone happy. Accepting that fact, it is important to immediately implement a strategy that will help to get your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. This is a lot harder then it seems, an angry customer is much more likely to find the motivation that they need to accomplish this task. A lot of these websites make you jump through hoops to even register, and without that white hot rage pushing you on, it is easy to loose focus. Explain to your customers how important this process is to you and then try to make it as easy as possible for them to complete it. This includes sending out automatic emails with links to the sites that you want them to post on, or even implementing incentive programs. If you create a constant stream of positive reviews, it will outweigh any negative statements and make them look like the frivolous comments that they most likely are. But, if you only have 3 total reviews, 1 bad one will make a world of difference for your company.

Confront the situation in a mature fashion

confrtontationDo not get angry and respond to the complaint publicly. In fact, take a full day before you even react. From there, always attempt to contact the customer personally before posting online. Never invalidate their feelings, always let them know that you completely understand how they feel and simply want to resolve the issue. For this to work, you must be sincere. Right or wrong is irrelevant here, other people are entitled to feel the way that they feel whether or not we agree with it. Be the bigger person and try to be as understanding as possible. Find a resolution that is quick and effective, do not even worry about the monetary value because it will come across as petty. If you are able to come to some sort of understanding, it is not out of line to firmly ask them to immediately remove their review.

Dealing with the unreasonable folks

UNreasonable customerTo wrap it up, we have saved the worst for last. There are people out there that are just crazy, you can not reason with them no matter what you do. Without getting philosophical or religious about this quandary, you need to protect yourself when your business is under attack. Making false statements about your company and posting them online is illegal for a customer to do. That being said, you will need to take them to court and prove that they are lying; hard to do when they can simply say that it is their opinion and nothing more. But, if you are ready to take this step and spend whatever legal fees necessary to defend your reputation, people can generally sense your resolve. If all else fails, and reason is getting you no where, you need to have your attorney draft up a letter threatening a lawsuit. If the harassment still does not stop, you need to take them to court. It will cost a lot of money, and the outcome is never guaranteed. But it is important to have a strong conviction and to stand up for what you believe in. If you constantly let people push your around, then you will not be in business long. Unfortunately, more often then not it seems, businesses areoften the ones taking advantage of the customer. Many times, the negative reviews are quite deserving. But, that is a topic for another article altogether. 

Do I really need a new roof?

Do I need a roof

Hard to get an opinion that you can trust

Roofing Opinion TrustIn most instances, it is pretty obvious when you need to get some work done. If you car will not stop without squealing like a pig, if you have water pouring out of your sink, or your tooth hurts so bad that you cant even eat anymore, it is time to see a professional. Now, it is not uncommon for people to call a roofing contractor because they have an active leak. This article is not for them, if there is water coming into your house from somewhere above your head just pick up the phone immediately. No, this is for those who want to be proactive about a potential issue, for those that want to address the issue before it starts raining inside their beautiful house. Certain people like to plan ahead and to prevent any problems from happening in the first place. This article is for you. 

Gaze deeply into the crystal ball...

Roofing inspectionThere is definitely a little bit of guessing when it comes to estimating the remaining life span of a shingle, regardless of how long a seasoned professional has been roofing.
There is nothing worse then telling a customer that they have another year or so, only to get a call the following month that the new paint job they had done recently is now adding some undesired colors to the hardwood floors. On the other hand, you don't want to come off as that guy trying to scare a customer into doing something prematurely, out of desperation or pure and simple greed alone. Therefore, it is important to take any advise with a grain of salt, and to understand that this is not an exact science. Try to call out a larger company that has a reputation to protect. Smaller roofers will sometimes do or say whatever necessary in order to make the sale. For a larger company, these kind of tactics are not worth the liability as word travels fast now that we are all connected on the internet.

Any immediate issues, like a hole in the roof?  

Eye looking through a holeYes, it happens all the time. A customer will call a contractor out only to discover a gaping hole in their roof that they were not even aware of. Whether it was caused by rotten boards, or a critter, does not matter. These matters require immediate attention, and a long term solution. If the overall condition of the roof is questionable, do not pay someone to patch it and think that you are going to be saving any money. One repair turns into two real quick, and from there the problems can grow exponentially. Next thing you know, you have spent over half the cost of an entire new roof and the problem still persists. The only time we recommend a repair is if the problem is clearly identifiable, if the section can be completed in full because it is separate, or if it is a new roof that was simply installed improperly. Otherwise, it is better to temporarily stop the water infiltration and to save up to get the entire thing done instead. Understandably, everyone is working with a different budget and finances, but this is a long term investment no matter how you look at it. Unless of course, you are just trying to fix it quick because you are looking to sell the property. Deep down, it is still better to do the right thing instead of pass along the problem to someone else though. 

I can just inspect and repair the roof myself

Super rooferWell, roofing is not rocket science so it is definitely a possibility. However, it will often involve putting your very life at risk working at such heights. If you do not have the proper safety equipment or experience, it is not recommended that you even attempt a simple inspection yourself. Most roofing companies are more then happy to come out and give you a free estimate and inspection, so call around if you are having any doubts. If you are not satisfied with what you here after getting a few opinions, then maybe it is time to venture up there and check it out for yourself. Nearly everyone has a cell phone camera, and can take pictures of their findings on the roof so that you need not put yourself in any danger. If you are into the adrenaline rush, there are better ways out there to get your kicks. 

Local Roofing Contractors Respect

The local roofing competition is sure steep,

most customers end up collecting estimates at least 4 deep,

but you will not hear a peep, not a sound will escape our mouths,

we work all year round, don't need a vacation down south,

because we are committed to this trade, rain or shine,

we will show up on time, finish the job, and then write our rhymes,

Other contractors are confused how we do it so well,

that is because most of them didn't go to school, don't even know how to spell,

makes it hard to protect someones home, to take care of them proper,

flashy words and scummy salesman are their show stoppers,

Better call the coppers, because they just wont leave your house,

insecure that if they do you will keep them out, set a trap like a mouse,

so that they can hang themselves with ill intentions and deceit,

hope you didn't give them any money, for that down payment you will get no receipt,

might as well burn your money, at least it would keep you warm,

because through that whole in your roof those bees will love to swarm,

you feel so torn, so out of sorts about all of this business,

thought Angie's list was safe, but even Ashley Madison can reveal a mistress,

All that you have to protect are your wit and intellect,

unfortunately, many just believe what they read on some blog on the internet,

The culprits all know this, your ignorance they prey upon, 

they see a good hear-ted citizen, in their game just another pawn,

It will dawn on you, hopefully sooner then to late,

for their tricks and treats just say no, resist all the tempting bait.

 

 

Local Roofers: How To Get The Best Deal On A New Roof

Deep Down, We All Want To Feel Like We Came Out On Top


Unicorn RoofingWin / Win situations are great, but about as hard to find as unicorns

When it is time to make a major purchase in life, everyone seems to have a different strategy to take care of business. You have the endless researcher that thinks they will be able to outsmart the world by reading enough blog posts and Wikipedia pages. Then you have the tough nosed negotiator that will get the best possible deal through sheer force of will alone. No matter how long it takes, no matter how rude they have to be, these individuals will take it to the extreme to get what they feel is a fair price. Lastly, you have the trust worthy, easy going types that believe anything that they are told. If it sounds like a fair enough deal, and they like who they are buying from, the whole process goes down pretty smoothly.

local roofer judgeCan anyone really say which approach is best?

It is all a matter of opinion, and any way that you approach can have mixed results. Therefore, an entire new strategy need be devised before attempting to shop around for a new roof. A hybrid method that only takes from the best, and leaves out all the rest. As we deal in this world each and every day, we feel that we can offer you some useful tips when it comes to this topic.

Put on your reading glasses, brew a pot of coffee, and get to work

Local roofer coffeeThis whole process is going to start with some hard core research. But, before you even start looking at roofing companies, do a little research regarding roofing in general. You should be familiar with the basic measurements and material options so that you can properly understand what you are paying for and how much of it is needed. Please, pretty, pretty please, don't ask Siri to explain this to you, or to find some local roofers to call . If you want any easy to understand roofing explanation and definition click here for a great article. You only need to graze the material to get a basic understanding here; each and every roofer is going to have a different opinion and you are going to hear them all whether you like it or not. Do not be one of those people that try to master the trade by just endlessly reading about it. Aim to have a healthy understanding, but also keep an open mind because these contractors have dedicated their lives to this and at least deserve a little respect for that.  Now that you have finished your homework, and you are certifiably a professional roofer, it is time to roll up your sleeves a little further and start contacting some contractors.

local roofer listMake a list, and check it twice

There are just so many places now available which list qualified contractors for you to look at. Angie's list, HomeAdvisor, Houzz.com, Amazon, and even Google is getting into the game! No one has the time, or the energy, to look everywhere to find a good roofing company. So, pick 3 resources that you feel comfortable using and no more. That's it. From those three websites, choose the top three contractors on each one and add them to a master list. Any companies that appear on more then one list you should automatically qualify as a final contender. If this alone gets you to a number over 3, you can move on to the next step. If not, then you need to look further at the companies that you have left over. Spend a little time on each of their websites, and even try Googling their names to see what pops up. We would like to say that most people are logical when it comes to making a big decision such as this. But, in all honesty, more often then not we hear that a company gets chosen because the customer liked the way their name sounded. Try to make a decision on more then this alone. Ultimately, you only need to have 3-4 companies out to give you an estimate, so this step should not take all that long.

local roofer invitiationNow, the real fun starts!

It is time to suck it up and actually invite some roofers out to your house. Yes, this can be painful, but you have no choice in the matter. Try to smile, and to be polite. Whether you believe it or not, it is better if the salesman actually likes you. Those that try to get a good deal by coming off as intimidating are sadly mistaken here, as no one wants to work hard for someone that they cant stand. Ask the pertinent questions, and listen to what the consultant has to say. The whole measuring and presentation process should take no more then 30 minutes. Anything beyond that time period, you can politely let them know that you have a prior engagement that you must get to. From there, collect all the written estimates to review at a later time. See, it wasn't all that difficult!

local roofer choiceWhittle them down, one by one

Odds are that one estimate will stand out from the others as being superior, and one as being just ridiculous. None the less, take your personal feelings out of the equation and look at everything on an even playing field. Make sure that the scope of work, the pricing, and materials used are all comparable. From there, it is OK to make the final decision based on your emotions, because they still do deserve some recognition. You have to just trust your gut to a certain extent, it has kept you alive this long in life. However, never trust it first and foremost, as it can often get misled by clever manipulators. 

 

But what about getting the best deal?

business man having his identity stolenYou thought we forgot about that didn't you? Not at all, we wanted to draw you down the rabbit hole to get your mind off of the price for a minute. You are making a huge purchase here, and it is always the ones that only look at the bottom line who get screwed over in the end. Why? Because the roofers that work to cheap are either cutting corners or will simply not be able to stay in business very long. It is OK for a company to make a fair profit, this is how they stay fed. You are making a long term investment here, and it needs to treated accordingly. Saving a few hundred dollars today can cost you countless thousands in the long run. When you get down to the nitty gritty, and have chosen your ideal roofing contractor, call them back to see if they can come down a little on their price if they are higher then the other estimates. Be fair about it, as you do not want to start this relationship on the wrong foot. But, any roofer that does enough business knows how competitive the market is.They should gladly welcome the opportunity to take away businesses from another company, even if it means they are making a little bit less on the project.