Choosing a Roofing Contractor

Nov 2, 2021

15 Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Your roof may be one of the most important elements of your home, so choosing the right roofing contractor is just as important. When searching for a reputable, reliable roofing contractor, use the questions and their accompanying expectations below to ensure you are left with a picture-perfect, long-lasting roof.

Are you a licensed contractor in Toledo?

Your roof may be one of the most important elements of your home, so choosing the right roofing contractor is just as important. When searching for a reputable, reliable roofing contractor, use the questions and their accompanying expectations below to ensure you are left with a picture-perfect, long-lasting roof.

Does Your Roofing Company Carry Insurance?

It is vital that the contractor has both comprehensive liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance. To verify the contractor has both, ask the contractor for certificates of their insurance, and they should have no issue with providing this. Both protect you in the event of a roofing-related accident on your property. If the contractor does not carry these insurances, the homeowner could be held liable for any injuries or damages that occur on the job despite having no involvement in such an accident. This is another reason to pick a contractor who is licensed, as these insurances are required for licensing, so you won’t need to worry about whether or not you would be liable in the event of an accident.

How Long Has Your Company Been in Business?

Of course, the more experienced the company, the better. Less than three years of experience might be an indicator that the business is unstable and/or has inexperienced staff. While a newer company may be capable, you take a bigger risk for error or accidents. Not only that, the company should have testimonials listed online to help you put your trust in their work. Too, ask around town to get referrals directly from the source.

Does Your Company Have a Local Business Address?

You will want to find a company that has a local business address for their offices, not a P.O. Box. This shows long-term service in the region, provides easier access to the company, and typically ensures better and quicker service. Along with this, you’ll want to verify that their phone number is manned during regular business hours to avoid frustration and delay.

Will Your Company Provide References from Previous Jobs?Did you perform a physical roof inspection?

While a company would likely want to display their work online, you should ask for photos of their more recent work to see the quality and thoroughness of the work. Also ask the contractor for three to five names and phone numbers of previous customers. Call the customers to hear first-hand about the company’s work ethic, timeliness, and quality.

Will You Perform a Physical Inspection?Did you perform a full attic inspection?

The contractor’s immediate task should be to get on your roof to physically perform a roof assessment. From here, the contactor can identify areas of concern that might need to be addressed, including chimney deterioration, skylight conditions, wood frame damage, damaged flashing, and more. This should be done at the beginning of the project so the likelihood of unexpected repairs later is unlikely. Too, the contractor will be able to provide you with an accurate quote from the start. Some roofing companies hide costs until they start the project, then find issues that were there from the beginning to upcharge you. With this inspection and immediate quote, you will be able to avoid these unexpected, additional costs.

In Addition, Will You Perform a Full Attic Inspection?

While this is one of the most important steps to performing a complete roof inspection, it is often overlooked by roofing contractors. Not everything can be assessed with an exterior roof inspection. By going into the attic, warning signs like rooted wood, improper or lack of ventilation, or water accumulation and/or damage can be assessed. Without a thorough attic inspection, these issues could be unknown, causing serious problems to your new roof and its installation. You wouldn’t want your brand new roof to be jeopardized by this oversight.

Are These Inspections Free?

Typically contractors will offer free inspection as it impacts how they approach their work and the time it takes to get their work done. If they do charge for inspection, verify how much this cost will be and determine if you think it is fair.

Can You Determine if the Attic Has Proper Ventilation?

Contractors should take special care to determine the right balance of intake and exhaust ventilation in your attic. With improper ventilation, shingles can deteriorate or moisture can be trapped in the attic, leading to potential mold risks on top of higher heating and cooling bills. Most shingle manufacturers require a proper ventilation for their warranties to be valid.

What is Your Roofing System and Why?

While price is certainly a determining factor when looking for a roofing contractor, be cautious of contractors that are more interested in giving a price than sharing what materials and process they will use. If the contractor doesn’t want to educate you on their methods, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. Having a contractor that uses and proves their use of quality materials and a thorough process will increase the lifespan of your roof.

Is There a Warranty for Your Roofing System?

While shingle manufacturers offer extended warranties on their materials for contractors that have been credentialed, this isn’t the only area that can have a warranty. Verify what else the warranty covers, like labor, installation, materials, or all three, and how long that coverage lasts. You’ll want to be sure this information is included in writing in the contract or proposal you have with the contractor.

Do You Offer Roofing Repairs?

When looking for a contractor, you’ll also want to keep the future in mind. If you ever need roofing repairs, you’ll want to be able to call on the same people who installed your roof to be the ones to repair it. This will provide consistency in the repair and prevent you from having to go through the search for another roofing specialist all over again.

Do You Remove and Dispose of Old Roofing Materials?

It’s great to see the finished product, but you don’t want to find yourself having to deal with leftover piles of old roofing materials. To avoid this, make sure the company removes and disposes of all roofing materials, so you’re not left wondering what to do with them as the grass beneath yellows and dies. Too, ask if they charge any disposal fees, so you’re prepared for the bill.

Can You Provide a Written Proposal or Contract?

No matter what promises or claims a contractor makes, if it is not in writing, that contractor isn’t obligated to deliver. Some less reputable contractors may try to upsell essential parts of the roof, add additional charges last minute, or increase the size of the job without your consent. The terms of the services and materials and what the agreed-upon price is should be spelled out in detail in this proposal/contract. This way, anything changed or added must be approved by you. If anything happens with the contractor or the outcome of their work, this written contract will be used to protect your interests. 

How do You Keep Projects on Schedule?

Unfortunately, contractors are known for their slow progress. So, before hiring a contractor, ask them how they plan to keep to a schedule and make sure your roof is finished on time. Too, ask them what their policy is for inclement weather as this could heavily impact the time it takes to finish your roof.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your roofing contractor or the answers that they gave you to Hopefully, having these questions at your disposal will help alleviate the stress of finding a reliable roofing contractor..