Hiring the right roofing contractors when your roof needs replacement or repair is vitally important to your house, the life of your roof, and your budget. That means you want to find someone who is honest and well-respected, experienced, insured and a local roofer.
Working with the wrong roofing company could cost you time and money and you could even end up with a roof that doesn’t appropriately protect your home or business. A good roofing contractor ensures that any work on your roof is carried out safely and to professional standards.
Research Roofing Contractors Before You Call
You will save yourself a lot of time and hassle if you do some homework ahead of time. So before you even call a roofing contractor check into their business. Visit their website and social media and take note of their history, reputation from reviews, and service areas. Here are a few quick tips to look for in your initial research.
- Trustworthiness: Do they have a local address and phone number on their website? Don’t hire someone who doesn’t have a local address (within approximately 75 miles of you) on their website.
- Experience: How long has the roofing contractor been in business? Usually you will find this on their website, either Home page or the About Us page. If not, try their social media channels, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Credibility: Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or National Roofing Association or some other roofing association? Visit the BBB website to see their rating and review of the roofing contractors you are researching. Credible roofing contractors will usually have a link on their website.
- Testimonials:Do they have good customer reviews? These usually can be found by searching their name on Google My Business listing. Reputable roofing contractors also usually have a Facebook page you can find reviews listed there.
- Range of Services: Is roof replacement and repairs one of their primary services?
- There are a few contractors that are “handyman” workers, or even other service providers that will tell you they can do your roof. You may even find contractors that will outsource their roofing services. But you really want a professional roofing contractor with all the credentials and expertise that will handle your project themselves.
- Of course, a great roofing company like Ace Construction & Remodeling may offer additional services that may be beneficial, i.e. Gutters, Siding, etc. But you will see they are the experts in all types of roofing for both residential and commercial properties.
Topics to Discuss When Interviewing Roofing Contractors
Don’t be afraid to treat your first contact as someone interviewing for a job. You are the boss, and they are looking to be hired. You want someone who will listen to your questions and give honest answers. You also want your roofing contractor to be on time, so take note if they arrive within a reasonable amount of time based on the appointment they made.
So ask questions about the topics below and see how comfortable you are about working with them.
- INSURANCE – Ask the roofing contractor about their insurance. Insurance is an essential component to performing roofing work, and should include both general liability insurance and worker’s compensation. You can ask for their information to verify their policies are current. If the contractor doesn’t have an insurance policy or it’s improper or incomplete then we recommend finding someone else to work on your roof.
- LICENSING & CREDENTIALS – For your own protection you should only hire licensed roofing contractors. While licensing varies in different areas, a solid contractor like Ace Construction & Remodeling will always be up to date and comply with all licensing requirements.
In addition, roofing credentials from various associations and manufacturers helps you know you are working with a truly professional roofer. Ask the roofing contractor what manufacturers products they are qualified to work with and what are their preferences. A professional local roofing company will usually list this information on their website. Ace Construction & Remodeling is not only a “Preferred Contractor” with Owens Corning, but they regularly work with Mac Roofing Supply for their materials.
- WARRANTY – It’s always important to ask roofing contractors about warranty terms and conditions. It is also important to be clear about what warranties come from the manufacturer and what, if any, comes from the roofing contractor. Materials, installation, repairs, and labor are all things to consider and you should ask what is included.
- REVIEW PAST WORK – Another way to qualify a roofing contractor is to take a look at their past work. Professional roofing companies should be ready to share projects with you. In addition to samples seen on their website, the contractor may even give you a couple addresses that you can drive by in person. However, they may be reluctant to do this given privacy concerns, but it can’t hurt to ask.
- COMMUNICATION – Good communication is key if you want excellent service from a contractor. When your project gets started you will want to stay up to date on what’s happening to ensure the work is completed smoothly and accurately. So for your initial meeting pay attention to how quickly and clearly they respond to you. Can they answer your questions? Do they listen well and pick up on your concerns? This will help you decide how easy they will be to work with when replacing your roof.
Additional Questions to Ask Roofing Contractors
- How Do You Handle Surprise Repairs?
Often homeowners wait to replace a roof after they notice a problem like it’s leaking into their living room. But the actual problem likely started long before. When replacing roofs it is not unusual to find decking that is rotten or other moisture damage, even if you don’t think you have any leaks.
This can come as a surprise and possibly an unexpected expense. So the best thing is to ask your roofing contractor how it handles unexpected repairs. Then if it happens you will know things will be handled up front.
- Will You Tear Off The Old Roof?
Installing new shingles over an old roof used to be a common practice. It is a way to save money, but often it is a bad idea and could end up costing you more in the long run. But it depends on a number of factors.
First of all, local codes for roofing have changed over the years. This is another reason you want to work with a licensed reputable roofing contractor, because they will be up on all the codes. The concern is usually if the structure can support the additional and significant weight being added to your roof. It may depend on the pitch of your roof, or other factors relating to the structure.
Second, if your existing shingles are covering up underlying problems then putting another layer on top will likely compound the problem.. Unaddressed problems can have serious long term consequences.
So it’s best to ask your roofing contractor what their plan is for your roof. And if they suggest a second layer (or even third), ask them to justify their solution. Either way, you would want them to do a full inspection, including the attic, to look for potential underlying problems.
- Who Will Actually Be Doing The Installation?
The point you are getting at by asking this question is will the roofing contractor have their own workers doing the job or will they be outsourcing the work to a third party. Unfortunately some contractors do outsource their jobs. When this happens you don’t really know if the workers are qualified and it could possibly even void the manufacturer’s warranty. Be on the lookout for this type of situation.
Review the Roofing Proposal Before Signing
You should always get the roofing proposal in writing. If the roofing contractor doesn’t provide anything written, then don’t hire them. Or if they check out well in all other respects and you like them, then ask them for a proposal all in writing.
Their written proposal should include the following items. And nothing should be confusing or left undecided.
- Service details – Things like total tear off or roof overlay, new flashing, underlayment, gutter services, etc. Whatever they include should be detailed in writing. Don’t just assume because they mentioned it in your initial conversation that it’s included.
- Product details – This means the brand, color and style of your new shingles, and the type of underlayment.
- Workmanship warranty – Not all companies include a workmanship warranty or guarantee. If your roofing contractor does, you need to get it in writing.
- License and insurance information – All jobs may not require a license, but it is best to expect it and the information should be included so you can verify they are in good standing. It’s also a good idea to call their insurance company to verify they currently have coverage.
- Financing terms – Roofing contractors sometimes offer financing options. If you are going to finance the project with them then they should walk you through the contract and answer any questions you have about payment terms.