April 2 2014 by Ellen Roseman
Our home insurance company called to cancel our coverage for leaks coming through the roof. The reason? We hadn’t replaced the roof since 1986.
If we sprung for a new roof, we were told, the insurance company would consider reinstating our coverage.
Of course, this would save money for the insurer, since it would lower the risk of roof leaks and costly claims.
The idea of getting roof repairs scares me. I often hear stories from readers about defective shingles and worthless warranties. CBC Marketplace did a story on this in 2010.
Nevertheless, I’m looking for quotes from companies I find online. Not an easy job with a proliferation of firms.
First, I went to Homestars,which is well known for customer reviews of contractors. With hundreds of Toronto roofers listed, I looked for those with ratings of 9.5 to 10 (out of 10) and the owner’s name clearly visible.
I also went to Trusted Pros, which lets you search for contractors and find what their customers think of them. But there weren’t many reviews of Toronto roofers. Most were not yet rated.
What I did like was the site’s helpful articles, such as, “How to avoid a libel lawsuit when critiquing your contractor.”
Then, I ran across something called Smart Reno, which acts as a matchmaker for customers and contractors. I described the job and left my email address and phone number. Now I’m getting contractors calling me to see if they can inspect the roof and give quotes.
The final stop was the Better Business Bureau, which lists helps you screen out contractors to avoid (those with ratings of D or F). I checked out City Wide Roofing, which called me after I went to Smart Reno. They had an A+ rating.
Now I know why I waited so long to replace the roof. It’s an expensive job and requires an informed decision. Any advice is welcome. Wish me luck.