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Ask These Questions before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

22 February 2018

Most of us will probably only hire a roofer a handful of time in our lifetime.  If you’ve determined your roof needs replacement and you’re in the process of hiring a professional, ask these five questions to make sure the roofer you’re considering is the right person for the job.

“Have you ever done business under a different name?” The reaction from this question is more important than the actual response.  That’s because it’s highly improbable that a contractor that went under and had to restart their business under a different name isn’t going to be likely to want to share lots of details.  If you’re questioning the caliber or work a roofer will perform, it’s wise to investigate them on watchdog websites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List.

“Can you provide me a list of local references?” Any reputable roofer should be able to easily supply a list of area homeowners that they have performed work for.  Be sure that the list includes recent installs, as well as those a few years old.  This will provide a well-rounded understanding of current practices and how well older projects are holding up.

“Are you willing to provide your estimate in writing?” Trustworthy roofing contractors are accustomed to putting their proposal in writing.  Bear in mind that an estimate should include information such as timeline for work being commenced once the contract is signed, payment expectations, and color & material being used.  This information keeps everyone on the same page.

“Can you provide me with a local address?” Be wary of any roofing contractor that supplies a PO box as their primary address.  Lack of a physical address makes it nearly impossible to track down a roofer if they collect a down payment and don’t complete the work.  Storm chasing roofers that have a physical location, though several states away are a gamble to work with because it is much more difficult to get them to make any needed adjustments after initial installation.

“What will be done to protect my landscaping?” Seasoned roofers have concise procedures in place to protect a home’s landscaping during tear-off.  This includes dedicating specific spots for shingles to be dropped during tear-off and the use of tarps.  The roofer you entrust for your project should also coordinate the delivery and removal of a dumpster for your project.  Placement should be in an agreed upon area that does not prevent you from entering and exiting your garage.