Blanco’s Historic Preservation Commission recommendation is to preserve and maintain the character of the historic buildings and homes in Blanco that should include a metal roof.
On the history side, metal was popularized for roofing after sheet metal production was expanded around 1840-1865, and can be found on primary buildings as well as agricultural structures and outbuildings. Many metal roofs require painting with traditional colors including red, silver, and green.
Finding the right contractor is important in many ways. A contractor, builder, remodeler, or a roofing company should have many years of experience and knowledge. Your new roof is an investment lasting many years. You may need a new roof due to wear and tear, deterioration, or a sudden event like a storm or fire. But, now you are to the point that you cannot resolve the existing roof and need to replace it.
Make sure you understand the workmanship warranty; they are only as good as the contractor and the paper they are written on. They are generally for one to five years and are issued for roof repairs. Some contractors, on a full roof system replacement, may offer half the term of the manufacturer’s warranty as covered by the workmanship warranty. Make sure you are provided a manufacturers’ certificate.
Tips on choosing the right contractor:
• The good news is that, by asking the right questions and looking in the right places, you can find a contractor to do a job that will not only raise your property’s value, but also make the home or building more enjoyable for many years to come.
• Do not conduct business with any remodeler or contractor without first investigating his or her reputation and experience. Price alone is not an indication of the remodeler’s competency or ability to complete your project.
• While it may be tempting to go with the lowest bid, be careful. No two contractors will do a job exactly the same way. When soliciting bids, be as specific as possible and ask the contractor to specify the materials and brand names on which the bid is being based. Be especially wary of bids significantly lower than the range indicated by the others.
• One of the most important things that can be done to check up on a contractor is to ask for a list of recent jobs done that are similar to yours. The contractor may have done some super handyman remodels, but that won’t be much of an indication of how well the company can install a new roof.
• Next, check up on the references and, if possible, visit their website. A contractor who can’t give a fairly extensive list of satisfied customers may be inexperienced or may have some other problem, neither of which may bode well when you’re planning to invest your hard-earned dollars into a remodeling project. It is also important that you verify the contractor has the Certificate of Appropriateness (if required) and a building permit required to build or re-roof.
• All this background work may seem like a hassle, but you only need to wait until an unqualified or dishonest contractor leaves a half-finished job to find out what hassle really is. No reputable contractor will mind you doing your homework before signing the contract. In fact, since so much of a contractor’s business comes from referrals, a good contractor will do everything possible to ensure the job will reflect well on the company and add one more customer to the list of satisfied clients.
• Ask for a copy of the contractor’s insurance certificates to verify that he/she carries insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries.
• Although it is common practice to make a down payment when you sign a remodeling contract, you should be especially wary of any contractor who asks for full payment before the job has begun. A payment schedule should be part of your written agreement with the remodeler and may, for example, be tied to completing various stages of the job.
• Check with the Blanco Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau in both San Antonio and Austin to find out if any complaints have been filed against the contractor that has not been resolved. However, do not automatically assume that if there is no record of complaints against a particular contractor that there have not been any problems; it may be that such problems exist, but have not been reported.
• Call the Texas Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-621-0508 to check an unknown contractor wanting your business. Visit their web site at www.oag.state.tx.us for more information.
Here are websites that will help you stay informed:
Rudy Nino is a member of the Blanco’s Historic Preservation Commission and a historic restoration services contractor and an EPA Certified Lead-Safe Firm.