Roofs are an indispensable element of any construction. It is important to perform maintenance on them regularly or, at least, have them inspected by a professional every once in a while to ensure everything is alright up there. Sadly, that isn't always the case. Most business owners will only look up to their roofs when things have gone terrible wrong, and the extend of the damage is too grave. If you find evidence of leaks, mold, cracks, or obvious signs of damages after a season of harsh weather, you need to contact a professional roofing company to help you determine if your roof can be repaired or it will have to be replaced.
However, choosing a commercial roofing contractor might be easier said than done. If this is your first time dealing with this situation, you are probably going to feel frustrated because you don't know how the process works. After all, it isn't just picking up the phone and calling one. The fact is, is that there is so much more to it, and in this article, we will discuss all the basics you need to know about this subject. Our goal is to prepare you for the bidding process. This way, you'll have all the knowledge necessary to understand what the contractors are trying to sell you.
How Commercial Roofing bids work.
The first thing you need to be clear about is that a roofing bid is not the same as a roofing estimate. The latter is an approximate cost of a roof repair or replacement you usually get from your local roofing company before any work gets done. It is based on calculating the cost of roofing materials, manual labor, and size of the roof or of the area that needs repairs. On the other hand, a bid takes everything into account, and the company submits an exact amount to do the job. Companies will bid against one another, and you'll ultimatelly have the final say.
You can request a bid from every company you meet with, even after they have already sent you an estimate. In the paper, the bid will be far more detailed about what it entails than an estimate. This makes the job of comparing offers much easier.
What you'll find in a Bid.
There are three key elements you'll find on a commercial bid:
⦁ Size of the project.
⦁ Insurance and Guarantees.
A proper commercial bid contains all the necessary information you need to make an informed decision when choosing a contractor to take care of your roof. It has to include the cost of commercial roofing materials, a complete list of all the supplies needed for the job, and an approximate deadline to deliver results, among others.
⦁ Size of the project.
When analyzing a bid, you have to make sure it describes exactly what you're looking for and what solutions they are offering to fix the issues that YOU have. This is different than accepting a bid that includes things the contractor wants. This also tells you if they have understood what you need and if their solutions will meet your requirements. Also, check if the contractor has detailed other items like safety measures, equipment, materials that will be used, and all the steps or phases that will take to get the job done.
In essence, you want to get a clear picture of what the project scope is. That is, its size, how long it's going to take, payment terms, insurance claims, contract provisions, etc.
The next thing to look for on a bid is the project's final cost. A well-prepared bid will point out every single expense necessary for the project to be considered complete. Everything has to be included. You need to look for full disclosure. Check how they will be charging you for the job, by the hour, a percentage upfront, upon delivery, or any other weird contract terms people make up these days. If you aren't sure about something, you can always ask the company to clarify. The thing about bids is some of the costs will vary while the project is underway. The company needs to address this situation clearly to avoid any misunderstandings or delays.
⦁ Insurances & Guarantees.
The last item, but definitely not the least, is insurance. You need to check out is the company's insurance policy. We can't stress enough just how important it is for this information to appear in the bid. The roofing company must have liability insurance to remain in business. It covers property damage (in case there are any), injuries, or delays that would result in the interruption of your commercial roofing activities. The company's proposed bid must include the Certificate of Insurance, stating the amount your project will be insured for in case the worst happens.
The next thing to be included in the bid is a set of guarantees or warranty. These typically go into effect right when the project is underway andd until it's finished. They're usually valid between 1 and 5 years. Also, every roofing material used has its own warranty issued by the manufacturers.
As mentioned, these are just some of the most important elements every proposed bid should contain. They will simplify the selection process for you.
How to choose the right bid.
Needless to say, the final decision will be entirely up to you. While we want to discuss certain things you have to consider when evaluating one proposed bid, these are certainly not the only factors. Consider some of your own, personal circumstances as well. Many of the bids will contain the same information, and the costs will vary, in some circumstances, ever so slightly. However, you will be making a terrible mistake if all you do is look at the price. We understand the attractiveness of a cheap cost, but you'd be ignoring other decisive factors like quality of work, type of materials, etc. Bear in mind these next tips before making any sort of decision.
⦁ Compare costs.
An "expensive" bid would usually mean the contractor uses high-quality materials, top of the line equipment, a much extensive warranty, and has overall better insurance coverage. Read everything carefully to see what every bid has to offer, besides the cost.
⦁ Check for online reviews.
In the era of information, it is hardly impossible for any company to hide from online reviews. A quick search online will reveal a company's reputation, certifications, licenses, and overall performance. You can also take your inquiries directly to the contractor and ask for proof of documentation. Any negative reviews or refusal to answer your questions with documented evidence is a bad sign.
⦁ Choose Local When Given the Opportunity.
This is an important one. When your commercial roof succumbs to harsh weather or its useful lifespan ends, speed is of the essence when it comes to fixing the problem. You can't put your business on hold forever. You need quick solutions, and no one works quicker than your local roofing contractor. The will be close to your business, meaning quick access to materials, equipment, and other necessary things to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Lastly, in this case, it wouldn't hurt you to judge a book by its cover. A professional roofing company will create the perfect proposal with detailed information that is easy to read and analyze.
Useful sites to check out.
There are dedicated websites that can help you simplify the process of choosing the proper contractor to handle your commercial roofing needs. As comprehensive as our guide is, there are elements like the price of materials, their composition, quality, and other things that would take forever to explain. Luckily, you can visit these sites to further research each bid.
Roofing Calculator: This online calculator has impressive accuracy. You can check the cost of roof repairs or replacement in your area.
Talk.Roofing.com: This website is ideal for home and business owners to ask professional roofers for advice. You can talk to them about costs, materials, deadlines, among other things.
DIYchatroom.com: This chatroom is another ideal site to get all your questions answered by professionals and talk to people going through similar situations like yours.