While other home improvement projects are elective, repairing or replacing a damaged roof isn’t a choice; it is a necessity for your personal comfort and the structural integrity and market value of your home.
As one of the most significant and expensive upgrades, you’ll undertake, finding a reliable contractor for your roofing project is essential. Take your time shopping around for local roofing companies with contractor’s insurance until you find someone you can trust. A reliable roofer will make the entire process a lot easier and complete the job on time and on budget.
7 Questions to Ask Your Potential Roofer
Rather than simply flipping through the Yellow Pages or going for the first roofing company you come across online, asking these questions during the interview will help you find a trustworthy roofing contractor:
1. Do you have proof of insurance?
Due to the dangerous nature of their occupation, all roofing contractors should be covered by roofers’ insurance – specifically workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance pays for the costs of medical treatment and loss of income if a worker is injured in the job site, while liability insurance covers any damage that the contractor causes on the property during the course of the roof repair or replacement project.
Hiring an uninsured contractor is a huge risk for the homeowner as they could be held accountable for medical expenses and other costs incurred as a result of an onsite accident or injury.
2. Are you licensed and bonded?
Apart from having the necessary insurance policies, your roofing contractor should also be licensed and bonded.
When a contractor is licensed, you can rest assured that they know the best practices and relevant guidelines for roof repair/installation in your state. All this helps ensure that they get the job done right the first time.
On the other hand, being bonded means a bonding company trusts your contractor to do business in an ethical and legal manner. The bond is an added assurance that clients can fall back on. It will cover losses and damages if in case the roofing company goes out of business in the middle of a job or there’s a problem with their work.
3. What’s your company phone number and physical address?
The roofing industry is plagued with drive-by roofers who chase storms from place to place and are only interested in quick jobs with low overhead costs. These contractors typically don’t have insurance or a warranty in place or a physical address in the state. Thus, asking for a local phone number and office address will help you steer clear of these types of roofers.
One of the advantages of working with a local contractor is that you know where or how to find them if you encounter any problems with your roof in the future.
4. How long have you been in business?
While it is not always fair to assume that newer companies are less qualified, you can be confident that a roofer like this Long Island roofing contractor with decades of experience will do a good job with your roof.
If you want to work with a contractor that hasn’t been around long enough to have established a solid reputation, it’s a good idea to check on any of their existing projects or ask for customer references, so you have an idea of the quality of their job and what it’s like to work with them.
5. Do you use subcontractors?
Some roofers outsource part of the work to another contractor. Ideally, the roofing company you choose does not have to hire subcontractors. The use of subcontractors is acceptable from a technical standpoint, but it is better if the contractor you hire has the time, manpower, and resources to complete the job on their own.
In cases where hiring subcontractors is necessary, make sure to also interview the subcontractors yourself and ask them the same questions, especially the ones regarding insurance and licenses.
6. Do you offer a warranty for your work?
It’s vital to ask your potential roofing contractor about the warranties they offer. Remember that roofing projects can be very costly and it’s your money that’s at stake here. You deserve the assurance that your investment will be safe.
Many roofing companies offer both materials warranty and workmanship warranty (also known as craftsmanship warranty). Once you’re provided with the paperwork for the warranty, make sure to read it carefully. If you have any questions or terms that you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to clarify them with the contractor.
7. Can you give me a written estimate?
A written estimate from the company is to be expected, but it’s still a good idea to ask about it. Any reputable roofing contractor will provide their clients with a written estimate. So, if you encounter a roofer that doesn’t, run the other way.
Whether you’re doing a roof repair or replacement, your roofing estimate should be broken down in detail, including any expenses that may arise as a result of removing your old roof. It should also provide a description of the work to be done, the project timeline, and the estimated completion date.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to roofing repairs and replacements, you usually get what you pay for. That being said, the lowest bid probably isn’t your best option. However, this doesn’t also mean to say that the most expensive choice will deliver the best results.
The most important factor of all is the roofer’s ability to do the job as expected. Asking the right questions and using this guide will help you get their processes and help ensure that you’ll have a reliable roof over your head for years to come.