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Replacing a roof on a commercial building is one of the biggest capital expenditures a building owner or facilities manager can make. According to several roofing industry surveys, a new roof can cost between $3.50 and $6.50 per square foot. The cost depends on whether a project was aiming for roof recovery or consisted of a complete tear-off and replacement job.

This means, for a typical roof of 10,000 square feet, the cost for roof replacement can cost as much as $65,000, and this is a very conservative estimate. Some commercial roofs are much more prone to leaks (depending on the slope of the roof) and climate can also play a role in their longevity and expense in replacement.

With this level of expense, it behooves commercial building owners and facility managers to ask the right questions when reviewing proposals from commercial roofing contractors. So, what are those questions?

“There are dozens of factors to consider when hiring a commercial roofing contractor,” noted Mike Genette, Director of Project Management for National Roofing Partners. “However, there are three questions that will help a building owner or facilities manager build a short-list of potential contractors and they relate to safety, quality and value.”

What is the Contractor’s Safety Record?

New Mike - NRP“As a company with a national reach, National Roofing Partners has the advantage of reviewing, estimating and presenting proposals for commercial roofing job all over the United States,” said Genette. “This gives us an excellent perspective on what is important for building owners and facility managers.”

“Without doubt, the safety record of the roofing contractor should be at or near the top of the list for a building owner to consider,” he said. “The reason for this is because a company’s safety record drives their costs for workers’ insurance and this will be reflected in the final estimate for the job.”

“It takes a little work, but asking about OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) citations, checking injury reports and asking if the company has ever been sued for safety violations are all important areas to pursue,” he said. “One might also ask to speak with the company’s safety director and if the contractor has no safety director, this is a big, red flag.”

What About the Quality of the Contractor’s Work?

Roofers-2-000003158659_Medium“The roofing industry has many excellent manufacturers of materials,” Genette noted. “Asking the contractor about his company’s status with product manufacturers is a good way to begin learning about the quality of the contractor’s work. Asking if the contractor has an ‘elite’ status with roofing products companies will help the building owner evaluate the quality of the contractor’s work.”

“Awards are also important,” he noted. “If the roofing contractor has won local, regional or national awards for their work, this suggests quality in their completed roofing jobs.

“The best way to ascertain a level of quality with a potential roofing contractor is to go see a completed job. Ask the contractor to show you a job, similar in size and scope to yours, which has been completed by the company. Most reputable contractors will be eager to show you projects they have completed.”

Is the Value of the Contractor’s Work Up to Your Standards?

“The word “value” is overused and as suNew Business Value - NRPch has lost some of its meaning,” Mike noted. “However, the value a roofing company can offer a commercial property owner can absolutely be quantified. In many ways, the value of the finished job is the sum total of a competitive price, quality of materials and workmanship and the safety record of the roofing contractor.”

“In the case of NRP, because of our national footprint, we have the unique value of convenience for companies with multiple properties throughout the country. This represents excellent value for larger companies because we are a one-stop shop.”

“Asking for references is one way to get closer to the value proposition,” he said. “Of course, no one would offer a reference from a company which was dissatisfied with the contractor’s work. However, some probing of these references can often yield valuable insights about the strengths and weaknesses of a contractor. It is sometime surprising how much information about a company can be obtained by simply talking to their previous customers,” he concluded.

Reputable commercial roofing contractors such as National Roofing Partners will eagerly respond to any and all questions about their safety, quality and value propositions. Give us a call (866.537.6034) or contact us with your questions and let us show you our value.