When it comes to roof installation and repairs, we understand that the process doesn’t always go exactly according to plan. Significant damages, less than stellar working environments, and disgruntled homeowners can change what is meant to be a simple process in a matter of minutes. Take one of these job-complicating factors out of the mix by finding out exactly what your clients expect from the roofing process. Here are some of the things we think they will want to know.
After meeting your clients, the first thing they will expect is to see your business credentials. Be prepared to show your NRCA and other organization credentials, as well as liability insurance coverage paperwork, workers’ compensation certificates, and other licenses. If you don’t already have positive references who can vouch for your work, get them in order well ahead of time. Your clients will undoubtedly contact references, as roofing repairs and replacements are large jobs that, if completed by someone who is not qualified to the roofing materials manufacturer’s standard, could create significant damage to the rest of the home.
Before the actual work begins in the roofing process, customers like to be informed. A basic outlining of the process from start to finish will be extremely helpful for both homeowners and contractors. If you explain the timeline and roofing process in a step-by-step fashion before the day, your clients will be much happier and easier to work with once the job starts. For most roofing companies, the job outline looks something like this:
1. Contract signing, product ordering, scheduling the build
2. Delivery of materials
3. Arrival and introductions to foreman/workers
4. Removal of old roofing
5. Assess decking and repair any damage
6. “Blacking-in” roof—underlayments
7. Installation of shingles, ventilation, and other system components
8. Clean-up (if not overnight)
A simple meeting over coffee to go over this or a similar outline will go a long way toward building a positive relationship with clients and setting their minds at ease about the large-scale building process about to take place in their home.
This normally goes without saying, but maintaining a professional relationship with homeowners is an essential part of the roofing process. Once your clients have established their relationship with you and your business and have seen your working credentials, they should trust you to carry out a high-quality roof installation or repair. Make sure you and all the workers on the job are properly trained and take the time to complete the job correctly. Small, careless mistakes at any point during the roofing process can cost your clients (and in turn, you) precious time and money. Help eliminate the possibility of mistakes by educating your employees, keeping them up to date on any material and process changes, and working together to mitigate the risk of slip-ups and accidents. This roofing horror story says it all: one tiny mistake in the layering of sidewall flashing cost nearly $1,000 in damages and repairs. If something like this were to happen during a job, you run the risk of losing future business and tarnishing the positive relationship you worked so hard to establish with homeowners.
Although clean-up is listed in the process schedule outline, it is important to reiterate to your team that homeowners expect a clean and tidy workplace both during and after the job. For many clients, this means no treading on landscaping, smoking on premises, or making any other mess that is not absolutely necessary. For debris and other unavoidable messes, suggest a dumpster for your clients and remember to tell your employees to tidy up completely after the job is finished. When jobs take longer than a day to complete, make sure to clean away materials at the end of each day and rainproof the house overnight.
Last, but certainly not least, is friendliness. Although you don’t have to become best friends with your clients (and some will be harder to work with than others), it is important to maintain a positive relationship throughout the building process. Ensure that your clients meet all the workers who will be present for the build, as well as anyone else who delivers supplies and equipment. After the introductions, the positive relationship with the homeowner you strive to build will reward you with a less stressful, more successful process, as well as a positive reference for future jobs.