What do you think is the first thing that comes to mind when I say "roofing contractor"? For many of us, it's a person who installs and repairs roofs. A roofer can be a handyman or general contractor on your property. The truth is that there are many different types of contractors with varying levels of expertise in the field. Knowing what you need before hiring someone is critical for success. So if you're looking for a roofer, here are 10 questions to ask:
1. What is your warranty?
It is necessary for your roofing contractor to explain the warranty he or she will offer. For example, the shingles and other materials that are part of your new roof will have a separate warranty from the manufacturer, meaning that if the roofing contractor does any damage to the material during installation, it will void the manufacturer's warranty on the material. Try to work with an installer who performs high quality work so that there is no risk of losing the manufacturer's warranty due to poor installation. It is also necessary to ask the roofing contractor for a document stating the warranties offered by their work and what these warranties include.
2. What materials are you using?
A roofing contractor will tell you which materials are the most suitable for your roof taking into account factors such as price, resistance, durability, etc. They should also know which is the most suitable material according to the climatic conditions it must withstand.
3. How many years of experience do you have in roofing work?
You should ask the roofing contractor how much experience they have on this job. This can serve as an indicator, since the more years of experience the company has, the more likely it is that the personnel working with them will have a high level of knowledge and training in the area, so it is very likely that they will perform a high quality job.
4. Are you licensed to perform this type of work?
When hiring a roofer, it is important to find out whether or not they are licensed. Some states require licensing for people who work on roofs and if you hire someone without a license in your state, then there's no way of knowing that the roof was competently installed. If possible, try to get bids from multiple contractors before making any decisions because prices can vary significantly depending on where the contractor is located as well as materials used.
5. Does your company have insurance?
You should ask the roofing contractor what type of insurance your company has as there are usually 2 types of insurance in this type of business:
workman's compensation, which is the insurance that the contractor has in case of accidents or injuries for their work personnel.
On the other hand, this type of insurance will not protect your property, which is where the work is going to be done. The insurance that takes care of this is the general liability insurance; this covers any type of damage that may occur to your property during the performance of the work.
6. Can I see pictures or examples of previous jobs that were completed by your company?
The best way to have a visualization of how your roof will look like with the contractor who offers his services is to ask the same referential photos of the last works performed. It can even be a video or any visual media that allows you to see how the roofs repaired or installed by that contractor look like. Nowadays, it is common that contractors on their websites provide the user the experience of seeing their work done, this could be a good option to compare and choose the right contractor.
7. Will the job be done on time, within budget, and with quality standards in mind?
Roofing projects must be completed on schedule, as certain materials used during the work may be damaged if there are delays in the process. It should be noted that the size of the roof is a very important factor in estimating the completion time of the job. 1 to 3 days for small roofs and 1 to 4 days or more is the estimated time for larger roofs. Estimates may vary depending on what can be seen on the surface, in any case we take care to provide you with an organized schedule for your peace of mind and additionally we reserve a calculated amount of time for delays that may occur as a result of unforeseen events.
8. Who will be performing the actual installation work on my home's roofing system-your employees or subcontractors from other companies?
When the work to be done is very large and complex, some contractors hire subcontractors to complete the work on time. So in these cases it is essential to clarify with the contractor who will pay the subcontractors, whether they have general liability and workers' compensation, and also to obtain lien waivers to protect yourself in case the contractor does not pay the subcontractors. It is advisable to make sure that the contractor you have chosen is the person who will be performing the work and not a third party outside of the stipulated contract.
9. Do you offer a free estimate for the cost of my roofing project?
Once the inspection or review of your home is done, ask for a quote to know the total costs expected to be incurred, this quote also tells you that the evaluation to determine the type of work to be done was done correctly. This estimate should include labor for the removal and installation of the old roof for the new one and materials to be used in the process. Make sure the estimate does not include unexpected and exorbitant expenses along the way to avoid surprises.
10. Do you provide references so that I can speak with past clients who used your services?
It is important to ask the contractor for references to back up previous work to ensure that you will be working with the right equipment, so ask for references from the last 3 to 6 months to validate the work being done.
If they are a reputable contractor, they will be happy to provide you with the necessary references. Then, for peace of mind, you can check the contractor's credibility by contacting previous clients. If the contractor refuses or is unwilling to provide references, it is best not to invest your money in him.