A Guide to Roofing Contractors: What Every Homeowner Should Know

Roofing is a fairly straightforward process but it’s understandable for those who are working with contractors the first time to feel overwhelmed. You know choosing the right roofer is crucial to the success of your roof project but how do you do that anyway? In this post, you’ll not only learn how to choose a roofing a company but what you should expect from them as well.

Narrowing Down Your Options: What to Look For

There will be a lot of roofing contractors out there so you won’t have trouble at all finding candidate roofers to consider. In fact, you’ll find so many and that can make the selection process feel daunting. To narrow down your options, make sure the following requisites are in place:

  • Licenses – Exact licensing requirements will vary from state to state but, at the very least, being provided a license signifies that you are dealing with a legitimate business. Choosing just one roofer to work with already poses difficulties on its own so consider a license a quick way for you to weed out fly-by-nighters and storm catchers who are just out to get your money.

  • Experience – You know what’s better than a licensed roofing contractor? A licensed AND experienced roofing contractor. Experience is important because it gives you the assurance that a contractor knows what they are doing, ensuring that your roofing concern is not only addressed but that your entire project goes off without a hitch. Different homes have different requirements and experience gives a roofer enough expertise to address whatever needs you might have. Just how much experience is enough? Years in business is one way to measure experience but you can also use a roofing contractor’s portfolio to gauge if they have what it takes.
  • Insurance – Liability insurance is there to provide homeowners with protection should an accident occur during the course of a roofing project and result in injury and/or damage to property. Nobody starts a roof job thinking something will go wrong but a responsible roofer will take all the necessary precautions just the same and prepares contingencies, including liability protection for you in the event of something untoward happening.

Licenses, experience, and insurance are the base requirements you should be looking for in a roofing contractor. If a roofer lacks any of these, it would be best for you to consider other options in their place.

Finding the right roofer for you helps ensure your roofing project’s success.

Choosing a Roofing Contractor

You already know that a roofing contractor has to be licensed, experienced, and insured. To zero in on the best choice for you, consider the following:

  • Certifications – A certification means that a roofer has received necessary training and education from a trade organization, roofing manufacturer, or other expert institutions in the industry. This is a good way to tell if a roofer is capable but it also means you’re getting certain benefits. For example, a roofer certified by GAF as a Master Elite contractor is able to provide its customers with better warranties than the roofing manufacturer’s base warranty. As the usual case for credentials, the more certifications there are, the better.
  • Specialization – It’s actually a good thing for a roofer to know how to handle a wide range of roofing products but it’s not going to hurt you if you go to someone who is particularly adept at installing the roofing system you’re interested in. Specialization entails focus, and that means knowing all there is to know about a certain roofing product. To spot a specialist, look for certifications for specific roofing products.

Got a particular roofing material in mind? A roofing specialist can ensure you make the most of your choice.

  • Recognition – Think of recognition as coming from two sources: those part of the industry and the customers. Recognition from industry insiders is a testament to the quality that a roofer is capable of and can come in the form of official awards. That which comes from customers, on the other hand, point more to the level of customer service that a roofer is committed to and can be observed in reviews and testimonials. Homeowners differ in their requirements but if you’re seeing a long list of happy customers for a roofer, chances are you’ll be in good hands if you get them.

Working with a Roofer: What to Expect

It all starts out with a consultation. Your roofer will pay you a scheduled visit to check up on your roof and see for themselves what the problem is and discuss possible options with you. Consultations typically require no obligation on your part so don’t feel pressured that you have to commit to anything right away.

After the consultation, your roofer will provide you with an estimate, giving you details for both pricing and what the roofing job will entail. Remember: an estimate is not a contract! Go over your estimate and don’t hesitate to ask questions, if you have any. If the estimate looks good to you, let your roofer know so you can be provided with a contract. Make sure you understand all terms before signing anything and that all details agreed upon are included.

Got questions? Ask away! An in-home consultation is a perfect opportunity to clarify any concerns you might have.

With your contract signed, it’s now time for your roofing project to begin. The exact roofing process will depend on your roof’s design and material but you can expect that your roofer will take precautions and properly prep the work site to protect your home. And after the work is done, cleanup should be part of their wrap-up, although garbage disposal itself will depend on what’s on your contract. Most roofers, however, will be more than glad to take this step off of your hands so you only have to focus on enjoying your new roof.

Realizing you have a roofing problem can push you into a bit of a panic but don’t fret! By making the effort to find the right roofing contractor for you, you can help ensure that all your roofing concerns will be addressed perfectly. To get started on taking care of your roofing problem, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a roofing expert in your area today.


Author Bio:

Mike Curcio co-owns CMS Roofing. He founded the company in 2002 with Gary DuVall and boasts of more than 20 years of experience in the roofing industry. Outside of work, he can be seen enjoying sports or spending time with his family. Check out the company blog for updates from Mike!


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