August 24, 2015
If you live in Maryland, you might have heard that Maryland roofing contractors are not required to hold a special roofing contractor license in order to perform roof repairs. While this is true, certain types of roof repair and installation jobs may fall under home improvement, which means your contractor should be licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). Your best option is to always choose a licensed contractor even if licensing is not required. And here are a few reasons why this is important.
Knowledge and Experience
A roofing contractor is typically required to have at least two years of experience when they apply for their MHIC license. They are also required to pass a licensing exam that tests their knowledge and expertise. Although this is not a guarantee that you will receive exceptional service, this is a good start to eliminate unqualified candidates. Anyone could put on a tool belt and call himself a roofing contractor, but only a licensed contractor took the effort to prove their knowledge and skills.
Let’s say you hire a contractor who looks qualified and experienced but lacks licensing. What kind of risks are you taking? One of the biggest risks is the lack of insurance. Some contractors don’t get licensed because one of the licensing requirements is the $50,000 liability insurance. However, it’s in your best interest that your Maryland roofing contractor carries this type of coverage.
Think about this: your contractor lays a tarp overnight to cover the open areas of the roof and continue the project next morning. A big storm rolls in at night and blows off the tarp, soaking the entire master bedroom. Who is responsible for the damage? If your contractor is licensed and insured, their insurance will cover the damages. However, if you hired an uninsured contractor, you may be stuck paying for repairs from your own pocket.
While hiring a licensed contractor doesn’t offer a 100% guarantee that you don’t run into a scammer, it definitely reduces the risk. Most scam artists don’t go through the trouble of obtaining licenses, especially if the state doesn’t require them. A contractor without a license doesn’t risk losing the license and doesn’t have a regulating agency they have to answer to. This opens up doors for high-pressure sales tactics, fluctuating bids and contractors disappearing with your down payment.
Other Tips For Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor
Checking your roofing contractor’s licensing and insurance information is an important first step, but it’s certainly not a silver bullet. Here are a few other tips and guidelines you can use when deciding who to trust with your Maryland roof repairs:
- Ask how long the company has been in business. If it’s an established roofer, the chances are good they will be around when you need any additional roofing services in the future of if you need them to honor their labor warranty.
- Look for online reviews or ask for references. A roofing company with a good track record should have plenty of satisfied customers ready to put in a good word.
- Take notes from the initial communication, whether it’s by phone or by email. Did the roofer respond fast? Was your question fully answered? Wast the person easy to talk to?
- Compare apples to apples. If you are requesting quotes from multiple contractors, make sure to get a written estimate. This way you can compare them line by line and see that low bids are often low for a reason.
Feel free to call Platinum Exteriors today or contact us online for a free estimate. We are a Maryland roofing company with over 25 years of experience and we are fully licensed and insured. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and perform quality roof maintenance, repair or replacement.