Getting a roof fixed after a hail storm?
Ok...so we had a hail storm in our area last month...it caused extensive damage to the area. As you can imagine, tons of roofers came out saying oh..you have damage, we need to get you a new roof. Well I didn't want to be had by some bad contractor so I contacted my insurance company. They sent out an adjuster, he looked at it, made a list of everything he thought needed fixed, tallied it up and cut us a check there on the spot. My question is where do we go now? I want to go with a reputable contractor, but since this is the first time that I have ever done this, I don't really know what to do. Will they come out and look over my home and then give me an estimate or will they look at the estimate that the adjuster gave us and go from that? Also a 2nd question is, if I get a quote from a contractor and it ends up being less than what the insurance company gave me, do I have to give that back to them or could I use it to fix up other projects on my home? Any answers would be great for this first time home owner. Thanks!
- Ken BLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
1. Make sure that they have liability and workers comp insurance, they need to provide you with a copy of a current policy.
2. Make sure that they are licensed to do the type of work in your area.
3. Get references and check them out, go out and see the work that they have done. Talk to the clients on the phone or in person.
Don't even think about hiring a contractor without the three above.
Then ask the ones that pass muster to bid on your roof, based on the line items, but not the price given by your insurance. You'll be suprised to find that reputable contractors will probably be more expensive than the amount that your insurance company paid on the initial inspection. Insurance companies pay based on formulas that they develop internally. You may have to go back to them with the estimates that you receive if they are more than the company gave you. Don't plan on a windfall from an insurance company, the money that they gave you will barely pay for the roof to be redone.
- ElizabethLv 44 years ago
First to answer about your roof, while it may appear from the ground that you have no damage there can be damage. When hail hits a roof that has good shingles it makes a dent and removes or depreciates the amount of material in that spot. Within a short amount of time the shingle cracks and then you have a problem so yes your roof can be totalled while not appearing so. You can always get qoutes from other roofers and go with the bid you feel is the best for you. However the insurance company will check on who you use as far as their price for if it lower than the adjusters estimate they will want money back.What the one roofer was offering was basically giving you a kickback for his estimate would actually total the adjustment yet he would make sure you had some money too for using him.Although they can't say that it is how it works, the most important thing is for you to have a new roof. Keep in mind the money they gave you for the fence will work the same way...good luck
- 1 decade ago
Check with the BBB for roofing contractors. Get estimates from 2 or 3 and make sure they are all talking about the same type of repair. You didn't say what type of roof, but generally with a composition shingle roof it can't be repaired but must be replaced. Compare your bids with the insurance companies estimate. If the contractors say you need more done than what the insurance company said contact the insurance company again with the bids in hand. As far as money left over after the repairs- it's yours to use as you want. I highly recommend waiting on a LOCAL contractor, even though they will be busy and not able to get to you right away.
- thewrangler_swLv 71 decade ago
There are 'roving' bands of scam artists that follow storm damage, and try to take advantage of people. So the first step in finding a reputable contractor is your local directory. IF the contractors canvassing the area aren't listed, don't call them back.
Second... talk to your local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau to compare names.
Another good source is your local building supply company. Good contractors buy quality product to work with, and when they're good... they're busy. Which means repeat business, usually at the same store...thus... the store knows them on a personal basis. If you live in a small town, or rural area, the local hardware store would be a good place to check too. Most of the time, the employees who have been with these stores know who has a good reputation and who doesn't. I would even go so far as to ask the insurance company for a reference as to who normally does their work for them. This would be particularly handy, if that particular contractor's estimate is higher than the insurance paid you, in the event you have to fight the insurance company for a better settlement.
Now... with regards to what has happened so far.... you contacted your insurance company, and accepted a check from them. Unfortunately, the insurance company's goal is to pay as little as possible.... surprise.... Quite often, the initial offer from an insurance company is NOT enough to cover the true cost of replacement. If you had any kind of deductible, that came off the top, and they also calculate a certain amount of 'depreciation' into their estimate. For example... if the existing roof was rated to last 20 years, and it was 10 years old, then the insurance would take a low replacement estimate, divide the cost by HALF, because of the age of the roof, and then subtract your deductible. So... depending on the age of the existing roof, and your policy, you may end up seeing estimates quite a bit higher than what the insurance paid you for. They loved you by the way... for letting them cut you a check before you had any quality estimates in hand.
Ok, with all of that said... hail damage usually results in damage to the shingles themselves (assuming this is a shingled roof), and occasionally the felt paper (aka 'tar paper') underneath. If you have only one layer of shingles, then you may be able to simply add a second layer on top. This would be your least expensive approach. You'll need to check the building codes in your area though. A three layer limit is pretty common across the country, but I understand some places are getting downright difficult, and want to limit homes to just a single layer of shingles. If codes do not allow you to place another layer of shingles on the roof, then you're going to have to do a 'tear-off', which is removing all the old shingles, and starting fresh. With this approach, you've got to pay for the labor of removing the old shingles and tar paper, AND disposal of them. This can double the cost of a new roof.
Always get multiple estimates. Always get references and CHECK THEM. Talk to previous customers. You might find that while a 'reference' roof looks good, the contractor was a nightmare to work with, leaving trash about, poor manners, all kinds of things that could have a negative impact. Do NOT assume the lowest, or highest, estimates are the 'best'. ASK questions. Make them compare apples to apples. If one estimate is quite a bit different from others, ask WHY (high or low...find out why their estimate is so much different). Lets face it.... the cost of supplies is going to run pretty much the same for any contractor... they all get about the same discount from where they buy their supplies. That leaves labor, overhead, and profit margins to play with. If one bid is quite a bit lower than the others, it may be because that contractor isnt carrying insurance like he should. Speaking of insurance, ask the contractors as you whittle the list down to provide the names of their insurance providers... liability, and workman's comp insurance. Any contractor that works on a steady basis WILL have these types of insurance. "Fly by night" contractors often will NOT. Liability insurance covers YOUR home in the event the contractor or one of his employees does something to damage your home (like when a plumber accidentally sets fire to the wall when sweating copper pipes, hehe), and workman's comp insurance covers his employees in the event of an accident. If a contractor does NOT have workman's comp... guess who pays the bills for a worker that falls off YOUR roof? You Do.
If you don't have any leaks yet in the roof, then you've got some time to work with here. And the prices may come down, closer towards fall, as the roofing contractors are winding up their seasonal business. Don't dawdle though.. start looking for a quality contractor now.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
I would give the contractors a list of the items you want repaired but not the prices that the insurance company gave you. Ask around for good contractors, get a couple bids and go with the lowest one that seems like they will do a good job. If it is less than the insurance company gave you, it is yours to keep.
- robert.111Lv 41 decade ago
Find a couple of good roofers,their is a section under you local builders that are reliable and get a few quotes then submitt them to your insurance company. ask the question how you were not asked to get quotes first,andhow did the adjuster come to a set amount to cover the cost.