Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor
Most people only purchase a new roof a few times in their lives, so it’s normal to feel uncomfortable with the process. However, knowing how to choose a roofer can help ensure a successful investment for your residential roof repair or replacement, or commercial roofing needs. There are certain questions to ask a roofing contractor that are critical, a few of which we’ve highlighted below.
While it’s important to only trust reputable contractors who are preferably members of the Colorado Roofing Association, knowing the best questions to ask a roofer when you receive estimates will help eliminate uncertainties and flush out problems before the job.
Unfortunately, there are various tactics that unethical roofing contractors take to secure jobs and then don’t adhere to the quality of workmanship.
How to Choose a Roofing Contractor
Any reputable roofing contractor will answer any question you pose. Never walk away from a meeting with an estimator feeling as if you aren’t clear about any of the processes or costs of your roofing job. Roofing services are extremely important to your home or business health, not to mention they come at a high cost. Knowing the questions to ask a roofing contractor can mean the difference between a quality roof that lasts versus a quick job that will require frequent repairs.
Choosing a roofer may require some upfront homework, but it can make all the difference. For example, you should learn a little more about the components that make up a roof, so you can better understand how to apply that information to your requirements. Always be sure to do the following:
- Ask your roofer to show you photos or sketches of how certain problem areas will be handled.
- Request more information on how a roofing contractor’s process works from start to finish. You should have a solid understanding of how they operate when arriving at the job site, plus anything you should do to prepare the space for the work.
- Inquire whether your roof has any areas where structural changes should be made in order to avoid issues later.
- Discuss any maintenance tips that you can fulfill without hiring a roofing contractor. This also helps you to extend the lifetime of your roof.
- Questions to ask a roofing contractor also include any tips on whether your old roof needs to be removed completely.
- If you have ideas about moving to green living or want to be more energy-efficient, be sure to ask your roofing contractor whether or not they can supply recycled materials, and whether their end product (new roof) is Energy Star rated.
Best Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor
The best questions to ask a roofing contractor before hiring include:
Are you licensed and insured?
- Avoid fly-by-night storm chasers and unskilled roofers by only selecting companies who are licensed. Protect your home and your liability by working with contractors who carry general liability insurance to protect your home and worker’s compensation insurance to protect you if a worker is injured on the job.
Do you use subcontractors?
- If a roofing company doesn’t use its own employees for the job, there’s no guarantee they’ll be skilled, licensed, or insured if they’re not employees of the company you deal with.
How do you clean up your job site?
- Replacing a roof is only half of the job. Removing layers of shingles if necessary as well as sheet metal scraps, nails, and pieces of roofing material can make or break a roofing project. Learn how your company plans to remove it as well as protect your landscaping from debris.
Can I contact references?
- Any time a roofing company can’t offer names of satisfied customers who are willing to vouch for it, it’s a red flag.
Do you provide a warranty?
- Roofing materials are covered by manufacturers’ warranties, but only if installed correctly. Your roofing contractor should warranty its labor to provide you with full protection.
Do you offer a written estimate?
- Your written contract should include costs of materials, labor and necessary building permits, workmanship and materials warranties, and proof of the contractor’s license.
Do the estimates you provide detail my current issues?
- Inquire whether or not you should expect supporting materials like photos or sketches with the estimates. At a minimum, a trusted roofing contractor will be quick to point out specific details on your roofing repair or replacement needs.
How long will my project take?
- Roofing work can feel like a huge undertaking for most homeowners. It’s a good idea to get an ETA for completion on your roof project. As mentioned above, you should also get an idea of things you should do to prep the area for your contractors. Get a completion date also help you to evaluate if roofers are incredibly busy, as some may decide to rush projects (which always come at an expense to homeowners and commercial building managers).
What happens during unforeseen weather changes?
- Good questions to ask a roofing contractor usually begin with weather. Understandably, you wouldn’t want your home to be exposed to harsh weather conditions or the elements. Your roofing contractor should be prepared for various scenarios.
What do you recommend for roofing materials?
- Most real estate owners will have a preference for roofing materials. Believe it or not, though, the roofing industry changes regularly and new materials are often introduced each year. Get some advice on the latest technologies being used, and request an assessment for the most beneficial type of roofing material for your home or commercial building. After all, roofs are not just made to improve home health and protect you, they are also aesthetically pleasing too.
While these are the best questions to ask a roofer before you hire one, they’re not the only ones your estimator should be able to answer. Questions about timing, length of the job, and logistics should all be considered.