Getting your roof repaired or replaced isn’t as easy as making one phone call and booking your service, though. Finding a professional and accountable roofing contractor who will do great work without overcharging you can be challenging depending on your location.
That’s why today, we’ve compiled all the best questions to ask before hiring a roofer. We’ll also go over early red flags you might see, and some other bonus tips to prepare for your roof replacement. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have no problem finding the absolute best roofing contractor near you.
What to Look for in a Roofer
It’s no secret that hiring home improvement professionals involves a bit of legwork. Every roofing contractor runs their business in a different way, from the prices they charge to the staff they employ.
The thing is, there are several qualifications and certifications that all roofers must abide by. Any time you’re considering working with a roofing contractor, keep an eye out for adherence to these regulations.
Every state, county, and city can require added licenses for contractors to legally work. Always take some time to research what’s required in your area. This gives you an easy way to evaluate the quality and trustworthiness of any roofer you’re considering.
The qualifications that any professional, high-quality roofing contractor should have include:
- Licensed to perform services in your local area
- Insured to perform the services they offer
- An experienced and professional staff
- Bonded (meaning they’re contracted with a bonding company to protect your investment if something goes wrong)
- Willing to create a no-obligation estimate for your project
- Open to supplying references of past successful projects
These are all great questions to ask before hiring a roofer. If a contractor is unwilling to provide any of this information or flat-out doesn’t have insurance, for example, those are huge red flags.
How to Hire a Roofing Contractor
When it comes to hiring your roofing contractor, you’ll actually talk to a few different companies in your area. Every business is run completely differently, and you don’t want to gamble with an investment like a new roof. It’s one of the most expensive projects for homeowners, so you can’t rush through the hiring process. (2)
The easiest way to start is with a referral from a friend who recently had their roof replaced, or looking at reviews for roofers near you. Take everything you hear and read with a grain of salt. What you want to be on the lookout for is the same issue repeated in many reviews, or a string of recent negative reviews.
“Call two or three local roofers to schedule consultations. Check references, reviews and qualifications, compare bids and negotiate the final price.” –Forbes
Once you’ve got a few good options picked out, set aside some time to call each of them. Use the checklist we’ve put together towards the end of this article for this initial conversation. You might also find quite a few of these answers displayed clearly on each roofing contractor’s website.
If you hit any red flags, remove that possibility from your list. You want to ultimately request estimates from 2 or 3 vetted roofing contractors and make your final hiring choice with all the information in front of you.
Preparing for Roof Replacement
When you need a roof replacement, proper research and preparation will make the process significantly smoother. The checklist towards the end of this article covers a lot of the research, but there are a couple of other details you should pay special attention to.
As previously mentioned, the team doing the replacement must be experienced and follow all safety protocols. But you also need to consider the materials and the coordination of the project’s schedule. Let’s take a deeper look at how you can prepare for both of these aspects.
How to Research Roofing Options
If the idea of researching your roofing options sounds a bit intimidating or overwhelming, you aren’t alone. This is an investment in your home that should last up to 30 years, so you’re wise to weigh your options carefully.
The roofing contractors you choose to get estimates from will have some recommendations on the best materials for the job. Some companies will be able to give you quotes for all your options, allowing you to see the pros and cons of each. Choices of materials and their benefits are very important questions to ask before hiring a roofer who offers these options.
But other roofers may only offer one specific brand or material for your roofing. That’s why independent research is so helpful for making the best possible investment.
Asphalt shingles are, to this day, the most widely used roofing material. They’re available in a wide variety of colors and design styles. Asphalt shingles are also typically inexpensive and straightforward to install, making them a budget-friendly choice.
Metal, tile, and slate roofing are commonly used, but not to the same extent as asphalt. This is partially because all of them are more costly than asphalt shingles. At the same time, these materials offer benefits to certain climates that asphalt shingles don’t.
In the Southwest region of the US, tile is a popular pick because it reflects heat extremely well. Metal roofing can be found on homes nationwide, as it typically lasts just a bit longer than asphalt. A slate roof can last up to 100 years, and they’re commonly seen on historic Gothic homes.
The last thing to consider about your roofing options is the warranty. Most manufacturers include a 10-year warranty on shingles, and your roofing contractor will have their own warranty period for the labor. That’s why we include warranties to our list of questions to ask before hiring a roofer.
Do Roofers Need to Come Inside?
Yes, most roofers will need to come inside your home to complete a thorough roof inspection. Typically, your roofing contractor will want to assess your ceiling as part of the estimate for your roof project.
The roofer is able to detect certain issues that aren’t noticeable or obvious from the exterior. By checking for these before creating your estimate, the roofer minimizes the risk of finding surprise issues during the project.
These surprise issues would also include a surprise additional fee. Neither you nor the contractor want to go through that experience, and the interior inspection helps avoid it. But once the actual repair or replacement work is underway, it’s unlikely that the work crew will need to enter your home again.
Do keep in mind that every contractor works differently. That’s why we include this in our list of questions to ask before hiring a roofer. Doing so also allows you to coordinate your interior inspection around your schedule.
Your Checklist of Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofer
We’ve discussed quite a few questions you should ask every roofing contractor you might hire. Here they all are in one handy checklist:
1. Are you licensed, bonded, and insured for my local area? Could I see copies of these documents?
2. Is your staff experienced, professional, and willing to follow OSHA laws during my project?
3. Will your employees be doing the work, or will you be hiring a sub-contractor? Can I see examples of the sub-contractor’s work if one is involved?
4. What precautions do you put in place to protect me and my family?
5. Could I get references from your past customers who had similar projects done?
6. How far out are you scheduling projects right now?
7. When I get my estimate, will it outline how long my project will take?
8. Is a permit needed for this project, and if so, will you pull it?
If the answers to these questions are all green flags, you can move on to the rest of the list:
9. Can I schedule an appointment for a walk-through so you can give me an estimate?
10. What roofing options do you offer or recommend for my home specifically?
11. What kind of access will you need to my home’s interior throughout the project?
12. How do you deal with debris? Will you have a dumpster to dispose of the old roofing? Will you need a location to place a porta-potty?
13. Will you supply written warranties for the labor and materials?
14. How will my driveway and property as a whole be protected from damage during this project?
15. Will my estimate include pricing for any needed plywood, flashings, chimney work, permits, and any other items? How do you handle payments?
16. Who will be my contact during the project, and during which times are they available?
17. Do you have protocols in place for 24-hour emergency help? Who do I contact if there’s an emergency during off-hours?
18. How do you prepare for or react to inclement weather during the project?
19. Are the fasteners you use approved by the manufacturer of the roofing materials? Could I see copies of those documents?
20. Who does the final test and evaluation of my new roof? Will they also test the new fasteners for proper location and pull-out resistance?
Don’t stress if some of these questions sound more technical than you’re comfortable with. A great roofing contractor has nothing to hide. They’ll take the time to break it all down and walk you through everything you need to know without issue.
Find the Best Roofing Contractor with Just a Few Clicks
Anytime you need to hire a professional for your home, it’s an involved process. Today we shared the top questions to ask before hiring a roofer, but similar questionnaires are crucial for all other industries. Then you have to run through it with ideally three different contractors in your area and compare results.
It’s true that your home deserves expert work from a licensed professional for all projects, big and small. But it doesn’t have to be a long, cumbersome process. If you need roof repair but you don’t have weeks to take on a major research project, Same Day Pros is here to help.
We make it easy to instantly find home service professionals who are already working in your local neighborhood. All you have to do is enter your location, and you’ll get a list of local professional contractors who are accepting new projects.
We believe that it shouldn’t take months to repair the roof over you and your family’s head. And yet, doing all this research yourself could lead to that exact scenario. You deserve a straightforward and stress-free project that you can enjoy for years to come. Get a head start on your roofing project today with Same Day Pros.
1. USA Today, Life Expectancy of Components of Your Home
2. Bob Vila, 5 Steps to Hiring the Right Roofer