There are several steps you should take in the process of hiring a qualified roofing contractor or any contractor for that matter.

1. Use local contractors. Just because a company has a local phone number does not always mean it is a local company. You can check with your local building department.  Pueblo Regional Building Department  has a great site. From here you can see if your contractor is licensed and what the business address is, if they have insurance and if they have permits that have been pulled and have failed inspection or have any jobs not completed. This last not completed may not mean the job wasn’t completed, but that the final inspection was never done. This website will also show how long they have been licensed in the area. By using a local contractor you have a better chance of them finishing the job right and coming back if repairs do need to be done.

2. Check references. Most contractors have a list of satisfied customers that you can call, you can’t always trust this, they could just be giving you names of family and friends. If you can get addresses drive by and actually look critically at the work done to ensure it is up to your standards. Pueblo Regional Building Department website allows you to see all permits pulled by a contractor including addresses.

3. Call your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce or Home Builders Associations to see if they are members in good standing and that they are involved in their community. Pueblo has three chambers; The Greater Chamber , The Latino Chamber and The Pueblo West Chamber. There are no hard fast rules, but typically businesses that are investing in their community are more likely to value their reputation, and be more customer service oriented. Two articles from BBB on finding a contractor are worth reading, Tip Off’s to Rip Off’s and Contractor Advice.

4. Ask for a lien waiver or a joint check agreement. Check the link for an article about lien waivers. A joint check agreement is a three-way agreement between you, your contractor and the supply company. This protects you, the agreement is that you write all checks to both the supplier and the contractor. The supplier cashes the check and takes their money first, then gives the balance to the contractor for their labor. This ensures that the material bill is paid and the supplier can not place a lien on your property. Typically the agreement is an automatic lien waiver as long as the check clears the bank. If you refuse to pay the bill or the checks don’t clear both the supplier and contractor can file liens against your property.

5. Ask for proof of insurance. If you hire a contractor who does not have insurance on himself and his employees, and something happens, you run the risk of being personally responsible for all their medical bills, or legal fees if they sue you. Depending on how your property owners insurance policy is written, it may not cover uninsured workers. Do not sign a waiver saying he will not hold you responsible, if damage is done to your property you will be admitting to your insurance company that you knowingly hired an unlicensed and uninsured contractor.

6. Always get a couple of estimates. While we all like getting a good deal, be very wary of a contractor who is substantially less expensive than all the others. Many times they will cost you more in the long run. Never pay the contractor final payment until the job is complete. Some contractors will ask for money up front for material costs, this is okay, as many contractors have been cheated by homeowners as the other way around and they are looking for ways to protect themselves as well, however I would ask for materials to be delivered before paying them. 1/2 at time of material delivery and 1/2 at completion of job is not unreasonable.

Most contractors offer free estimates.

Rory Huskin ~ Owner ~ Cornerstone Roofing, Integrity is the cornerstone of our business.

Serving Pueblo, La Junta, Colorado Springs, Trinidad, canon City and all areas of Southern Colorado. Call our toll-free number for the office nearest you. 877-564-5470