Choosing a roofing contractor is often a stressful ordeal for many homeowners. When you’re faced with a leaking or damaged roof, you’ll want to have someone in handy to call and get the job done right the first time. When looking for a local roofing contractor, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you’re getting a reliable, experienced, and trustworthy roofer you can count on at all times. So, here are the excellent questions to ask before you sign on those dotted lines:
#1: Are you local to me?
Always go for a local roofing contractor who can be available to respond to your roofing emergencies whenever storms hit your area. Even after a new roof installation or replacement, something can go wrong and you’ll want someone who can come back and fix the issue. If you opt for a contractor who is not based in your locality, it will be difficult getting them back to the site to correct any installation errors.
#2: How long have you been in business?
Roofing contractors who have been in the business for several years often have a solid track record for quality workmanship and customer satisfaction. They will more likely maintain the same reputation in the local community to keep afloat. On the contrary, storm chasers who knock on your front door with quotes will more likely vanish once the job is completed and they’ve received the payment.
#3: When would you be able to schedule my job?
A reputable roofer will be transparent about their timelines and will schedule your job at an appropriate time. Avoid roofers who take you around in circles without a solid commitment. Your contractor should let you know beforehand when the work will begin and when it will be completed.
#4: How long will my project take?
Roofing projects must be completed in a timely manner to ensure that your home remains protected from the elements. Any prolonged delays may cause further damage to your home’s interior components or ruin the structural integrity of your house. Depending on the size of your roof and the scope of work, most roofing projects should last 1-3 days, and about one week for larger homes.
#5: Who, exactly, will be installing my roof? Are they employees or sub-contractors?
Some roofing contractors often pick jobs and hire subcontractors to handle the work onsite. Ask if your roofer will be using in-house teams or external subcontractors to handle your project. It’s always a good idea to hire a contractor with trained in-house teams to handle roofing projects. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing that the workers are protected under the contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, you’ll be relying on the contractor’s immense experience and expertise to deliver quality work.
#6: What training and experience does the crew have? Have they been trained by the manufacturer of my roofing?
Leading roofing product manufacturers often train and certify roofing contractors to professionally install their products. You can expect to receive extensive warranties on roofing systems installed by these contractors, as long as they keep up with the regular maintenance. Ask if your roofer and their crews have received such training and certifications from leading manufacturers such as CertainTeed, GAF, and Owens Corning.
#7: What past customers can I talk to?
Previous customers’ experiences can give you a clear indication of how your roofing project will likely turn out. If you’re not able to get online customer reviews about the roofing contractor, ask them to provide a few contacts who you can call directly to get a feel of their quality of work and customer experience. A reputable roofer will be willing to share the contacts of their previous customers and won’t try to hide things from you.
#8: Do you have proper licensing and certification? Insurance for your crew? Workers’ Comp? Please show me proof of these things.
A reputable roofer should carry the right licenses and insurance coverage for their crew. Ask if the roofer has workers compensation insurance for their roofing crew and relevant certifications to work on your specific type of roof.
#9: Is a building permit required for my project and, if so, will you be pulling one?
In most jurisdictions, including, Atlanta, GA, the permit you’ll need for roof replacement projects is the same permit required for all major works on your home. If you’re doing a major renovation such as replacing a roof or doing significant alterations that affect the structure of your home, you will need a building permit. Ask your roofer if your project will require a permit and whether or not they will pull one on your behalf. Typically, a good roofer should handle all permit requirements.
#10: Do you provide a written estimate?
Always insist on receiving a written estimate before signing any contract. You’ll want to know beforehand the cost of your roofing project and whether it includes things such as tearing off the old roof and disposing of the debris. That way, there won’t be any surprise costs when the work is done.
#11: Do You Offer a Workmanship Warranty?
A good roofer should be able to stand behind their work by providing a workmanship warranty on their roofing installation. Typically, you should expect between 15-25 years workmanship warranty on new shingles. Be sure to ask about the length of the warranty your roofer provides.
#12: What steps do you take for the safety of your workers?
All roofing contractors are now required by law to offer workman’s compensation insurance to their workers, regardless of their number. However, some contractors might choose to do without insurance to cut costs. If any injury happens on your property, there’s a high risk you could be held liable for the medical expenses. So, be sure to verify that your roofer carries valid workers’ comp insurance to protect their workers in case of an accident.
#13: What steps do you take to ensure the safety of my home and my family?
Your roofer must carry general liability insurance to protect you, your family, and your property in the course of the project. With general liability insurance, you can rest assured that you’re protected from losses in the event your roof, home, or property is damaged during the roofing project. Also ask your roofer where they’ll place their trucks, tools, ladders, benches, and dumpsters for refuse to minimize the risk of damage to your property or injury to your family members.
#14: Will you remove and dispose of the old roof?
The process of replacing a roof generates a lot of refuse, from shingles to nails, old plywood, drip edge, etc. Whoever you hire to replace your roof should bring their own dumpster to the job site to dispose of the refuse in. They shouldn’t ask you to supply the container or to handle the trash once the job is done.
By asking these questions, you will be able to know what to expect from a roofing contractor and if the roofer is the right one for you. Choose a roofer who takes pride in always being transparent and honest with their customers. They should also have the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of residential and commercial roofing systems, including shingles, metal, and tile.