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749 N. Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 646-7161

Since 1939, we've specialized in energy efficient home improvements -- especially in older homes. We do everything from replacing drafty windows and doors to leaky roofs and gutters. Quality products and experienced installers make all the difference.

Page Last Updated:
Tuesday September 14, 2010

Minnesota License #7082

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Copyright 2017 Iver H. Carlson & Son, Inc.

How to Choose a Reputable Roofer
By Hugh L. Carlson
February 25, 2005

Has your home been stormed over, or is your roof to the point where it needs replacement? When shopping for your next roofing contractor, take these points into consideration.

1) Is there a physical place of business, that can be reached and visited?
Some contractors do business out of a truck, or a P.O. Box. These types of contractors can't possibly offer reliable warranties or be depended on for follow up visits if your new roof has problems.
Iver H. Carlson & Son has been located at the same physical address for over 65 years. Our family of customers know we'll be there if they have problems.

2) Is the contractor licensed and insured?
Ask for the license number and look up workers compensation and liability coverage for the contractor and any sub-contractors they're using on your home. Even seemingly trustworthy workers, when seriously injured on your home, will hold you responsible in a heartbeat if they're uninsured and desperate. Don't allow yourself to be held responsible for injuries or penalties because of a lack of a valid business license or insurance.
Iver H. Carlson & Son is a Minnesota contractor, licensed and insured. Our state license number is #7082. Any roofing sub-contractors we use are fully insured or they wouldn't be working for us. We happily provide all certificates on request.

3) Is the contractor proud enough of their work to provide references?
Many contractors do out of residence work and are loaded with part-time employees. One of the most important things about the contractor is their reputation. The only reason a contractor wouldn't provide positive references of past work is if they had none.
Not only can Iver H. Carlson & Son provide numerous happy referrals from past customers, but we're also proud members of the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List.

4) What is the company's workmanship warranty?
Some businesses offer verbal warranties and assurances that sounds good at first but can be fatal. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Most problems that develop after a new roof is installed occur within the first few years. Nobody is perfect, especially if you're working on an older home. Anyone who guarantees there won't be any problems is usually wrong. Anyone offering an absurd 10 or 20-year labor warranty has not and probably won't be around very long. Most warranties offered for three or five years will be more reliable than any long term plan.
Iver H. Carlson & Son provides a 5-year labor warranty on all roofing and siding projects. With over 65 years of experience, our warranty is iron-clad dependable.

5) How does the roofing contractor handle concerns and complaints?
If you were to post a complaint through an independent organization such as the Better Business Bureau or Angie's List, how would the company handle that complaint? Will they ingore your request and hope you'll go away? The way a company deals with complaints is very important when determining its reliability if you depend on it down the road.
Iver H. Carlson & Son is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List. Our clean record should be a good indicator of our response to problems.

6) Does the proposal offer building permits?
It depends on locale, but almost all roofing projects require a city building permit. Failure to obtain a permit can lead to fines and other problems. Make sure the contractor obtains this permit for you and includes all costs of doing so in your proposal. If a contractor requests you obtain the permit, it's because they're either too lazy or don't have a valid work license or insurance.
Iver H. Carlson & Son includes permits in all proposals, no matter where you live.

7) Does the company have an experienced work force?
Some companies might hire part-time or temporary workers, or the lowest priced sub-contractor available. Be wary of these companies. An inexperienced work force can make costly mistakes. Any reliable roofing company wants experienced workers to help deter future problems and work. Iver H. Carlson & Son uses only reliable and experienced sub-contractors and workers on all its projects.

8) Did you get a formal proposal in writing?
Was your estimate written on back of someone's business card, or maybe a napkin? Does it state the type of shingles, weight, type and width of ice and water shield used, underlayments, and all the information of the work to be done? Generic or short proposals are that way for a reason: so they can use the cheapest product in the least amount necessary. For example, ice and water shield is very important. Using none or too little can and will lead to leaks around vents, chimneys, etc. If it's not in writing, the contractor is in no way required to provide the necessary amount. Get a written proposal and discuss it with another contractor or your local building inspector to ensure it's adequate for your home. It will also provide future protection in case the contractor doesn't comply with what they've written.
We supply detailed estimates showing exactly what's to be done and the type of product to be used. All estimates are clearly typed and explain any and all costs that will come to you.

Why not go with the lowest bidder for your new roof?

If you decide to go with the lowest bidding contractor, be sure to keep some things in mind. Those companies might not provide quality or reliability, and might not stand behind their warranties. Your home is your biggest investment, do you really want to leave its protection against the elements in the hands of an unqualified stranger?

If your roof leaks, are you willing to risk the:

  • Ceiling?
  • Walls?
  • Carpet?
  • Floors?
  • Furniture?
  • Cupboards?
  • Televisions and stereos?
  • What else?
  • What do you have under your roof? Iver H. Carlson can assure quality service the same as they always have for over 65 years. We offer a physical showroom and detailed bids. We have a wonderful staff to answer all of your questions. We do quality workmanship on all of our jobs. We are fully insured and licensed, and offer the best products on the market.

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