Choosing the Right Roofer: Key Questions for Success
Hiring the right roofing contractor is essential to getting your project done on time and how you want it. But finding the right professional can be a tiresome and daunting process. What are the right questions to ask a roofing contractor to ensure that you hire the right one? We’ve prepared a list to help you get started.
1. Are you licensed to install and repair roofs?
A license is required for contractors to start offering roof repair and installation services in most states. What will differ are the local codes and permits. This means you need to see what the prevailing laws and ordinances are in your location. In this way, you’ll know which licenses to look for (and if they are updated) when you start interviewing contractors for your property.
2. Do you use roofing subcontractors?
There are roofing providers who do subcontract some services, especially if they are at capacity. This is perfectly all right. However, for your peace of mind, you can ask if the company provides general liability insurance and workman’s compensation for their subcontracts. You might also consider asking for a lien waiver, just in case the main contractor fails to pay the subcontractor’s fees.
3. Will you remove my old roof?
Visual inspections are the standard procedure when assessing a roof’s status, but there will be times when the top will need to be removed for a thorough evaluation. There might be rotten areas or problem spots underneath that are not easily seen from the outside. If such issues are left unaddressed, they could lead to much larger and expensive problems in the future.
4. When you install my new roof, will you install drip edge/edge metal?
Both the edge metal and drip edge are small aluminum pieces placed under shingles, and you will see a part of these extended off your roof. The purpose of these is to direct runoff into the gutters so that roof’s surface will not be affected. Not all roofing contractors automatically include drip edges to their work, so it won’t hurt to ask just to be sure.
5. What is your workmanship warranty?
Because roofing work is a large investment, you need to secure yours by asking about a workmanship warranty. There are two warranties in place when you get your roof done: 1) warranty for the materials used, and 2) warranty for the contractor’s work. These can go from one year to a lifetime, depending on the types of materials used and job performed. Note: if a roofing company is genuinely committed to providing the best there is for your roof, they’ll give you 25 years to a lifetime warranty.
6. Will you provide a written estimate?
A written estimate is your proof and protection if you find that the contractor is going over or under the amount you agreed upon. It also details the cost per material used, labour hours, and other charges. Before you sign any agreement, be sure that your contractor has provided you with the written estimate and that you agree to it. The point is not to have any surprise expenses midway or even after the roofing work has been completed.
7. Will you use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect the gutters during roof installation?
Your contractor should answer “yes.” It’s important to know that your contractor uses safe and stable methods to get the work done. Standoffs and stabilizers are used on every roofing work, to shift the weight away from your gutters. Without these, you might end up with a torn gutter system. If the contractor does not use stabilizers, you need to determine how they will ensure that the rest of your roofing system and the house will not be compromised while they are at work.
8. Will you have someone onsite to talk to during the work if I have questions?
There should be somebody on site whom you can easily talk to and ask whenever you have any questions or concerns as the job is done. This point person is also the one who will be rounding up the rest of the team to ensure that everything is in order when the day is done. You don’t want to come home to a house with a gaping hole on the roof that the workers did not bother to cover up after their workday ended.
9. If I have a problem, can I talk to the owner?
You also want a “yes” to this question. While there will be somebody to manage your project, it’s nice to know that you can bring any issues up to the owner if the need arises.
10. How will you protect my property from damage that might occur due to your work?
Reputable roofing contractors will have all the right tools and equipment to get their job done seamlessly and as cleanly as possible. They will have dumpsters for the refuse, trucks, ladders, and all the machines needed, so they won’t have to keep bothering you during the day. Ask the contractor where they will be placing such ites during the workday to not harm the rest of your property and interfere with your day-to-day.
Do you have a roofing question that’s not on this list? We can answer that! Contact the experienced team at Above Roofing to learn more.