When it comes to offering roof inspections among roofing contractors, there's a pretty clear divide between those who do and those who don't. The former see it as the final step in the service equation and an opportunity to sell other projects; the latter, as unproductive and unnecessary.

Peace of Mind Metropolitan Contractors in Fairfax, Va., provides past customers with an annual roofing inspection. “It's one more thing to offer customers to provide them peace of mind,” president Jim Corridon says. “It's at the homeowner's discretion to schedule their inspection, and we often get busy after large storms like we've been having this year.”

Metropolitan Contractors' vice president, Jim Sparks, instituted these inspections four years ago. “Reason No. 1 for starting the program was to maintain quality control — no question,” Sparks says. “But Reason 1A is to stay in front of the customers.” And, Sparks adds, “it results in lead generation.”

Unlike dedicated roofing contractors, Metropolitan has more reason for face-time with customers: The company offers other services such as siding, windows, and full-service remodeling. So while Corridon and Sparks agree that customer service is the source code for their program, lead generation is a secondary — but welcome — result.

No Inspection “I don't offer them,” says Alan Archuletta, owner of Full Systems in Salt Lake City. Considering his record, Archuletta doesn't believe it's necessary. “I have four crews, we average two to three houses a day, and I just did 700 houses from which we got only five callbacks.” He adds that “if there's a problem, you can bet I'll be there to fix it,” but there are so few problems that it doesn't warrant the additional visit.

David Cameron, a 30-year industry veteran and proprietor of Certified Roofing in San Jose, Calif., echoes Archuletta while making a further observation: “Lots of my customers move.” Cameron adds that he lives in a gentle climate that's easy on roofing materials. If he took the time to inspect his former customer's roofs, he'd end up talking to a lot of people who don't need a new roof. —Mark Clement is a freelance writer and former contractor based in Ambler, Pa.