Here in Texas we are a “Right to Work State”, the effect it has on the roofing and general contracting industry is that literally anyone can be a roofer or general contractor. Where as many states like Florida, Arizona, and countless others require mandatory licensure, unfortunately in Texas that is not the case. I’ve seen ads for roofing companies that operate out of their trucks, no office, no website, nothing but a name, and that can be changed like their clothes.
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The major roofing supply companies separate roofing supply buyers into groups associated by what brands they are certified applicators for, and how much of that material they buy. Tier one is the highest rating a roofing company can achieve. What is the benefit of being a tier one roofer versus a tier 4 or tier 5, or a walk in? Sometimes as much as 20% difference in material pricing plus most all tier one roofing companies have credit lines that are typically much larger than lower tier ranked companies, as well as the ability to set up a job account for a job of any size on the strength of the contract, pending the approval of the suppliers credit account.
For example, a job may take $250,000.00 in material to complete it, but the contract is for far more. Setting up a job account allows credible roofing companies to order all the materials they need to complete a large job without having to tap into their existing credit line.
Some other major differences between roofing companies is:
(1) The type of insurance they carry, for example a high dollar policy with Workman’s Compensation from a A rated carrier verse a low dollar policy from a B or C rated carrier which often aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
(2) Bonding and the ability to get bonded truly separates the smaller outfits that haven’t been around for any period of time and do not have the financials required for bonding.
All of the above mentioned ads to a roofing companies overhead operations cost.
You could have roofing companies that bids a job literally for free but because they do not have the right insurance and are not bondable their bid gets tossed as it does not meet project requirements. I’ve listened to potential clients say how can this company bid this job for this price? And explained that they do not have all the overhead expenses that a reputable company has, and that most likely they do not carry Workman’s Compensation insurance which puts the potential client in a position of liability should anything go wrong such as a worker getting injured.
We strongly urge anyone looking to have roofing work performed be it new construction, re roofing a house, or a large Multi Family Complex to check the references of whatever roofing company you are dealing with. Also, in addition make it a requirement to have a Certificate of Insurance listing you or any required assignees as additional insured and do not rely on just a emailed copy, usually the carrier will mail you an original copy. If it is a time sensitive project then pick up the phone, call the insurance provider and verify coverage and their rating. This could save you a lot of headache, as with today’s technology fabricating a COI (Certificate of Insurance) has been known to happen and usually by the time it is discovered it is too late.
When it comes to roofing companies there are lots of industry terms that have to do with the type of contractor they are, the main two are:
(1) A cost plus contractor, which is a roofing company that’s business model is built around the cost of labor and materials plus overhead and profit, and
(2) A proceeds contractor, often referred to as a Storm Chaser, this type of contractor has a business model that is set up to work for insurance proceeds of insurance claims, and often refers to themselves as insurance specialist. I’ve written before about this in the post, “Insurance Re Roofing”.
There are basically 20 different types of roof systems. The most popular being Asphalt Composition Shingles because the high percentage of houses and apartment complexes using them for their roof system. Composition shingles are the most entry level position when it comes to installation. Some of the largest Commercial Roofing Companies in the Country do not even have a shingle division or go after Composition Shingle Jobs. The nickname of an installer who only installs shingles is commonly referred to as a “Shingle Rat”, where the term came from I have no idea but I have heard it for years.
Roofing companies are like all other types of businesses in that there are good legitimate ones, and there are Shady ones also. Most educated decision makers do their research and have no problem differentiating the type of contractor they are dealing with.
It will take a legislative act here in Texas, but hopefully one day in the future mandatory licensing will be a qualification to do business in Texas state wide for Roofing Companies and General Contractors. This will protect the consumer and serve a source of revenue for the state as well as creating jobs in other fields. At the end of the day if you do your research you will find that there are great differences between roofing companies, and that typically you get what you pay for.
Contact us for roof repair Houston in Texas for reconstruction and leakage of your roof.