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When selecting a Roofing Contractor in Edmonton, there are plenty of things to consider.
The problem is sorting through the noise to know what information matters when selecting a roofer, and what information doesn’t.
The simple way to cut through the noise is to be informed, in a world full of information at our fingertips there is zero excuses for a home owner to have a bad experience with a contractor of any trade!
The first thing you need to know, is that – at least right now – there are a lot of roofing companies. This has more to do with $58 barrels of oil in Alberta than roofing. The roofing trade has a very minimal barrier to entry as the oil industry slows down in Alberta, hard working oil men seek other employment. A common “spring breakup” job for oil field workers is roofing, as the timing is right for their slow season.
The problem begins when there is no Oilfield to go back to, there are a lot of summer job roofers that put a ladder in their truck zip over to Roof Mart to pick up a few nail guns and suddenly they are a roofing company. It can be difficult for someone who has never stood on a roof to know the difference, or to even know what they should be looking for.
The consumer then goes to the other end of the spectrum, the safer choice, and goes with the “big guys”. The roofing company with a big building, a fleet of trucks, and an established name. This is not a BAD choice at all, the big guys will always more or less get the job done, for a justified price, and there are not usually any major headaches. There can be minor ones however, long wait times, complicated contracts, delayed customer service, and broken communication.
This comes as a result of the size of the company, their name means they get a ton of calls for jobs, but because roofing is a seasonal job, and they already have huge overhead with the building, the accountants, and the fleet of trucks, they try to minimize their exposure to labor costs. So they quite often use subcontracted workers.
When the Tailgate Roofco’s of the world run out of work, they go on Kijiji.com looking for subcontract work, and when they call the numbers in the jobs section, they end up doing subcontract work for jobs sold by the large company. This results in commoditization of the roof work, and stops being about service and accountability. The company gets the salesman a lead, to go do an estimate, the salesman sells the roof job, then the company figures out how to fulfill the work. So quite often, the subcontractor is not attaching his reputation to the job, and the salesman might not even know who is actually going to be on your roof.
This doesn’t mean every sub-contractor is bad, or that every salesman doesn’t care about you. It just means that it is another option available to the consumer. There are plenty of benefits to the big companies, you know they are insured, bondable, have WCB coverage. These things matter, because you know the job will be completed, and you won’t be left hanging with half a roof. You know that certain safety standards will be adhered to, and if anyone falls off your house, it won’t be you standing in court. So Big is just another option, that is all. You have the freedom to choose!
However there is also a good selection of companies “in the middle”. Just like Goldilocks and the Three bears, not too big, not too small, but JUUUUUUST right.
The medium size roofing business, is one where you get most of the savings that come from not having all the overhead of the big company, while having all the accountability and security of the big company. The WCB and insurance coverage that protects you as the home owner, as well as all the online presence to make sure you can find them again if there is a problem. The best part of the medium sized company is the authenticity, good communication, and workmanship.
1. Authenticity: You actually get to meet the contractor, at the same time you meet the person who is doing the estimate and selling you on their roof work. You get to meet Joe, you know who he is, what he is about, his attitude and work ethic. When you meet him, you know that he is a proud roofer. This comes from his beginnings as a roofer, working for a medium sized company. When the owner is on the room for most of the job, right beside his crew, he is watching over them, making sure that what he signs his name to is quality.
2. Good Communication: Our company is big enough that you can sleep well knowing who is going to be working on your roof. That if anything happens, you can find them, hold them accountable, and have recourse. At the same time, it’s small enough that getting ahold of someone to discuss the details of your roofing project is easy, and that those concerns will actually be addressed on your roof. There is no “Switchboard” at Sargeant’s Roofing.
3. Workmanship, the benefit of working with a medium sized company like Sargeants Roofing is that you are buying quality. This is a term often thrown around, but everything about how we run our company is designed with the intent to produce quality work. Most of the roofing industry is paid by the “Bundle” of shingles. However not every bundle put down on a house is equal. There are critical areas like valleys, hips, ridges, and cut-ins around plumbing and ventilation that require special attention. When pulling the shingles off, there is concerns that need to be addressed like the deck of the roof, and if there is adequate venting. Any extra “work” or “care” is just added unpaid time. Our teams are paid hourly, they quite literally have no excuse not to take their time. We have strict policies in place, and constant training on “BEST practice” not “Fastest practice”. Nobody on a Sargeant’s Roofing crew will ever show up on Youtube bragging about how fast they can lay down shingles.
We have a few customers out their bragging about how well their homes stood up this Crazy Alberta Weather though!
I hope this helps you feel more confident in choosing a roofing contractor, and the guide shows you the basics elements of a roofing project. Stay Tuned for more great tips from Joe and commentary from me, AS – the Sargeants Roofing “website guy”.
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“The Website Guy”