10 Questions to ask your Roofing Contractor
Protect yourself and your home by asking these simple questions.
Are you a licensed contractor in Toledo?
Toledo is one of the few cities in Ohio that requires licensing for roofing contractors. Even if your home is not located in Toledo, it is highly recommended that you use a contractor that is licensed with the city. Licensing insures that contractor passed specific training and testing to obtain General Contractor status, and is qualified to work on your home.
Does your roofing company carry insurance?
Contractors should carry both comprehensive & workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. This can be verified by asking contractor for certificates of insurance. Be aware, if contractor doesn’t have these insurances, homeowner may be held liable for any injuries or damages that occur on the job.
How long has your company been in business? Do you have a local business address (and not a P.O. Box)?
Needless to say, longer is usually much better. Less than 3 years in business may be a sign of an unstable business or one with inexperienced staff. This is not to say that young companies are not capable, everyone has to start somewhere. Referrals are highly recommended. Try to hire a contractor that has an office nearby, as they will typically provide better and quicker service.
Will your company provide references from previous jobs?
Ask for photos of the contractor's previous work. Request a list of 5-7 names and phone numbers of previous customers. Randomly pick 3-4 on the list and call them for information. Don't be shy about doing homework on the person responsible for fixing your home.
Did you perform a physical roof inspection?
It is recommended that contractor gets on roof to perform a complete roof assessment. This will identify any areas of concerns that will need to be addressed, including wood replacement, chimney deterioration, skylight condition, layers of shingles, damaged flashing, etc. When this is done at the start then the likelihood of any unexpected cost are less likely, and the contractor will be able to provide a much more honest quote.
Did you perform a full attic inspection?
This is the step that is missed most often by roofing contractors, though it is one of the most important steps to a complete roof inspection. There are things that cannot be seen from the outside of the roof, such as rotted wood, improper ventilation or lack of ventilation, bathroom vents improperly vented to attic, etc. Without getting into your attic, a contractor may be unaware of these issues, which could cause serious problems for your new roof.
Does my attic have “proper” ventilation? Why or why not?
There are specific calculations that need to be completed to determine the right balance of intake and exhaust ventilation. If there is not proper ventilation, it could cause shingles to deteriorate or trap moisture in attic, causing potential mold risks and higher heating and cooling bills. Most leading shingle manufacturers require proper ventilation for warranties to be valid as well, another important reason not to skip this step.
Can you explain the materials and process of installing your roofing system?
There are many important components to installing a long lasting roofing system. Be cautious of those contractors and sales companies that are more interested in giving you a price rather than explaining the materials and the process they will be using. You may find this same approach when there are questions or concerns during the project or years after. If your contractor isn’t educating you than be cautious. Price isn’t everything!
Is there a warranty for your roofing system? Can you explain in detail what is and is not covered?
The top leading shingle manufactures offer extended warranties for only those roofing contractors that have been credentialed. Be sure to ask whether the warranty covers labor, installation, materials or all three, and for how long.
Can you provide a written proposal/contract?
It is in your best interest that certain items which are important to you be stated in writing in a binding contract. Some less than honest contractors will try to up-sell essential parts of the roof, of increase the size of the job without your knowledge. Be sure that the terms of what is going to be repaired and what the agreed to price is for that work are spelled out in detail.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your roofing contractor, or the answers that they gave you to any one of these questions, please call Frogtown Roofing at (419) 466-2131 for a second opinion. We provide a free, no obligation on-site quote to all our prospective customers, and will be happy to take care of your roofing and roof repair needs.