Once you have decided to purchase a new roof for your house and selected your roofing material, you will need to pick out a roofing contractor. Picking out the right roofing contractor will make all the difference. The right contractor will ensure the roof is properly installed and ventilation systems are set up. Going with a poor contractor can lead to unnecessary problems and more expensive purchases in the long run.

Here is some of the best advice to help you pick the right roofing contractor for your project:

Know What You Are Looking For
Before you start doing some research you need to decide on the specifics of your project. You can immediately eliminate certain contractors if they don’t install or have little experience with the type of roofing you desire.

Decide on a budget and decide what else you would like from the roofing company. For instance, do you need them to remove the old roof as well? Once you are set, you can start to check for things like average installation time, size of crew, and costs.

Do your research
When researching roofing contractors, the first place most people will look is at the contractor’s website. This is a good place to start, but it is important to remember that the website is designed as a marketing tool. Companies will only put information on there that will help them attract customers.

Do your due diligence and check other sources. Check for credentials from manufacturers. These are a good indicator of quality work. Also check out a contractor’s score from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Maintaining a high BBB score is a sign of a good contractor. Try to avoid contractors that have no listing at all.

Ask around
If you know people who recently hired a roofing contractor in your area, ask them about their experience. Ask them why they chose their contractor instead of going with someone else.

If you don’t know someone, ask social media for help. Maybe one of your friends online will have some suggestions or can point you to someone who does.

Testimonials and reviews are another great option to get real customer feedback. Check the contractor’s website, Google, or a third-party review site such as GuildQuality to find reviews of certain contractors. Try to look for reviews that include images so you can actually see what type of work the contractor will provide.

Check for insurance & licensing
Roofing is a dangerous job. While most states require contractors to provide insurance for all employees and contractors, many contractors still try to avoid it. Make sure any client you are working with has proper licensing and insurance to avoid legal complications. Do this before you start any work with the contractor. A reputable contractor should be able to provide the right documentation without a problem.

Get a contract written up
Make sure you and the contractor sign an agreement prior to starting any work. This should include the details of the project as well as any associated costs.

Make sure to include a section about handling unplanned repairs. These arise often, so it is important that you know what the contractor’s process looks like and what the costs might be. You don’t want to get taken advantage of, especially considering the already hefty price tag of a new roof.

Handle your own claims
If a problem were to arise during the installation process, make sure you handle your own claim. Most states have made it illegal for contractors to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Communicate with the contractor, but make sure you are filing and following up on any insurance related issues.

Get multiple quotes
Once you have found a few contractors that you like, get a quote from all of them. Even if the first quote you receive checks all your boxes, take the time to review the rest. Ask the right questions, and you might end up getting a better deal or find a new issue to take care of.

And remember: the cheapest option is not necessarily the best option. When it comes to roofing contractors, you get what you pay for!