Questions to Ask a Roofer Before Hiring
Are roofers a dime a dozen? Some would like you to think so. The truth is that it takes persistence, diligence, and concern for the customer’s best interest to become a trusted roofing company. Roofing, like many services, is a specialty that requires licensing, insurance and processes in place to put the customer at ease and to do the job well.
Before you sign a contract, ask your potential roofer the following questions:
Are you licensed?
Every state is different as far as what type of license is required to operate a business. Check the requirements in your area, and if a license is required, only hire a company with a license and one that is up-to-date. To go even further, even if a specific license is not required, it is smart only to hire companies who have a reputation for excellence. The company should also be able to provide references and evidence of jobs that were completed timely and went smooth.
Do you carry workman’s comp AND liability insurance?
Make sure the company you hire has both of these! Workman’s Comp covers any injury to employees that occurs on your property while liability covers any damage to YOUR property while they are installing the new roof. Some companies skimp on this which leaves you open and liable for injuries and property damage that could cost you thousands in medical bills or repairs.
Will there be a written contract detailing costs, payment and terms, and a timeline of completion?
A handshake is good, but a written contract is better. A company that is willing to express details in writing such as payment terms, costs, and a timeline is being open and upfront. Consider this a sign that the company is well-managed and professional.
Will you remove my old roof?
Roof removal should always be included in the cost. Some companies will claim that they can simply place a new roof on top of an existing roof. This is not a good practice. The old roof should always be taken off to address any problems that may be hidden underneath.
Will you recycle my old roof?
Asphalt shingles, traditionally the least eco-friendly roofing options, have redeemed itself lately because of the ability to be recycled. The most common use of recycled shingles is roads! The ability to recycle asphalt shingles depends on your area, so ask your roofer if they can recycle the shingles.
[note: they may not recycle. If they don’t, we’ll need to remove this question.]
What happens if you find structural damage while replacing my roof?
There are a few reasons to get a new roof – storm damage, remodeling, or if the old one is simply worn out. No matter the reason, you can be confident that we will inspect the roof and identify any issues we see that might compromise the integrity of the house. We will notify the homeowner and come up with a plan of action to correct the issues before the roof goes on.
How will you protect my home and landscaping while installing my new roof?
The outside of your home is one of your greatest investments! Make sure that your roofer takes steps to protect the gutters by using ladder stabilizers or standoffs. This will ensure workers can get on and off the roof safely without harm to gutters. And to protect landscaping, make sure the workers are conscious and polite when in your space. After all, you have spent money on shrubs and flowers. Where will the ladders be placed? Where will debris be thrown? Will there be a refuse container to catch all the waste? If damage dos occur to plants, what is their policy on making repairs?
What will you do in the instance of adverse weather?
Weather happens. Make sure the company has a plan in place in case a sunny day turns into a rain storm! In the event that it’s is raining or starts to rain, make sure that your home is protected from the elements with plastic sheeting. And if rain persists for a few days, ask if the company will come by and check on the property and secure the plastic if it looks loose.
Will there be someone on site that I can communicate with?
Communication is key. Ask your roofer if there will be a job supervisor or leader that you can talk with if needed, whether it’s to express an issue or to give kudos for a job well done. A reputable company will have someone on the job site that can answer any questions.
Will the contractor “clean up the mess” once the roof is installed?
Roofing is a messy business. Ask the roofing company if they provide a refuse container for debris and old shingles and if they haul it away once the job is completed. It’s important that the company leave your property clean and damage free when they leave a job.
Does the contractor offer a warranty on craftsmanship?
The roofing material will most likely come with a warranty, but what about the installation process? Mistakes are a fact of life. You want to make sure that if a mistake happens when installing your roof the roofer has a plan in place and a warranty to cover any damage done. They should be able to provide, in writing, their warranty and what it covers.