Well, your roof needs repair. Or maybe you even need a full replacement. Either way, you’re getting ready to look for the right roofing contractor. Before you hire a roofing contractor, you need to know what questions to ask them. As you search, you can make an informed decision by weighing the answers your prospective contractor gives.
Cost and completion time are obviously big questions. So big, in fact, that we’re just assuming that each customer will ask them. “How much, and how long?” Your choice depends on your budget and scheduling needs.
Know what? Price matters. You should be skeptical of any roofing contractor that comes in with a far lower bid than anyone else. They’re probably not experienced enough to know the true costs of re-roofing your home. Either they’re just trying to get the job, or they have no clue how much materials and labor are involved.
Do your research before making your choice. If you choose the right roofer, even if they’re not the cheapest, you’ll be confident that your roof will be in good shape for a long time.
Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Roofing Contractor
Don’t be shy – fire away. The more direct your questions are, the better chance you’ll have of getting straight answers.
1. Exactly what does the job require?
Stay away from any roofer who doesn’t want to get into specifics. For instance, if you have more than one roofing layer, they all have to be removed before installation of any new material. Make sure your roofer will be replacing all flashing and installing rubber membrane at the eaves to avoid leaks from ice dams and backed up leaves.
2. Can you show proof of insurance?
You need to see a proof of policy from the roofer’s insurance company, showing both liability and workers comp coverages. Any roofing contractor can say they’re insured. Make them show you. Any roofer who deserves your business will be happy you asked. Do not, I repeat do not, hire a roofer without insurance, bond, and full license. Chattanooga Roofing Co. always stays current with all forms of authorization and insurance.
3. What’s your warranty?
In addition to providing a roofing material warranty, your ideal roofing contractor should also guarantee their workmanship. Look for a roofer with a 1-2 year warranty, and make sure the terms are included in the contract you sign with them.
4. Where can I view a current job site?
Want a clear picture of how a roofer goes about their business? Go to a job site and check out their work. Are they working efficiently? Is the site generally clean? Are they diligent or do they seem like they wish they were watching TV? A roofer who’s confident in their team’s quality should be happy to hear you ask this question. They look forward to getting the job based on the strength of their work.
5. Who are your subcontractors?
Most roofing companies use subcontractors, at least some of the time. It’s not a problem. The reason you’re asking is to learn who they are. You want to make sure they carry their own insurance and licensing. Also, make sure that an experienced foreman will be on the job with any subcontractors.
6. Can you give me references from past jobs?
Go one step further than simply getting references. Actually call them, or email if you don’t have their phone number. The experience of a happy (or regretful) customer can be very revealing. Among other questions, ask if their roof was finished on time and on budget.
7. What shape will you leave my property in each day and at job completion?
You’re the one paying for the roofing project. That should exempt you from cleaning up the mess. Make sure the contractor will be using tarps to catch all debris, and that they’ll haul it all away. Confirm that they’ll sweep a magnet over the lawn and garden to pick up any stray nails. Cleanup is normally part of the estimate. If it’s not, ask for it to be added at no charge.
Your home isn’t secure without a good roof. Fortunately, if you ask the right questions up front, you’ll end up with a great roof from a trustworthy roofing contractor. The more you know, the more roof repairs or roof replacements will give you peace of mind. Talk to you soon!