You can never emphasize the need to hire the right roofing contractor for your home’s roof repairs and roof replacement projects. The integrity of the roof and the level of protection it offers may depend on how skilled the contractor you hire is. Unfortunately, it is not very easy to know who a good roofing contractor is unless you have worked with them before and have witnessed their workmanship firsthand. Generally, though, an interview is always a great place to start. First, let family and friends recommend a few roofing contractors they have had great experiences with, then figure out which questions to ask the contractors during the interview session. You will get a lot of meaningful insights based on how the professionals respond. Only then should you decide on whether to hire them or not. Below are 17 of the most critical questions you must ask each roofing contractor you intend to hire.
1. What is Your Company’s Name?
Knowing the name and physical address of the roofing contractor’s business is crucial since it helps you follow up on a few things before committing to work with the contractor. First, you want to be sure that the company exists and that there are no red flags to watch out for. You should move on if the company has no physical address. Even if they have a name and address, go further and check that the company is rated highly with BBB, social media platforms, and other online websites. These are excellent sources of information regarding red flags and any other. Never ignore tell-tell signs.
2. Are You Insured?
The worst mistake any homeowner can make is to assume that the roofing contractor has the right insurance cover. Usually, the contractor should have liability insurance and workers’ compensation that protects the homeowner or client in accidents. Unfortunately, overlooking such critical details may mean being liable in case of injuries or property damage during a roofing project. You certainly don’t want to be the one paying bills and associated costs if someone gets injured. Unfortunately, some homeowners assume that as long as they have home insurance, then they are covered. However, this is not the case since most home insurance may not cover such incidents.
3. Are You Licensed?
The idea is to know if they are licensed to operate in the state, county, or city that you live in. Note that licenses are offered based on the location, so you need specific details on this. You should then confirm that the roofing professionals can operate with the licensing offices. One thing you ought to pay attention to is the type of license. Note that roofing licenses are not synonymous with roofing licenses. Please pay attention to the roofing license since it confirms the contractor’s tax status and identifies their company. Ensure the license is updated and recognized by the relevant authorities.
4. Do You Offer Service Warranties?
You want to work with a roofing contractor that has no issue offering warranties. This is often a show of good faith because they are confident about the quality of work they deliver. Typical roofing service warranties last one year, with the manufacturer covering the material and the roofer covering services offered. Note that these will be two different coverage, so it is essential to ask the roofer about the type of warranties they offer and the duration these warranties last. However, beware that extended warranty requests could translate to increased cost of roofing services.
5. Do You Work Alone or with Subcontractors?
It is essential to know whether the roof will be alone on the project or outsource the services of subcontractors. If the roofer subcontracts these services, ensure that the subcontractors are licensed and insured. Also, run the subcontractor’s details through the BBB for any red flags. A good roofer will clarify their subcontracting services and why they chose this path. Trust and accountability are essential aspects of all great roofers.
6. How Long Have You Been an Active Roofer Running a Business?
It is one thing to have the roofing skills needed to execute a great job and another actually to put this knowledge and talent to use. You must always ask the roofer if they are active business people and how long they have worked in the industry. The expert’s history can also inform whether they will give you a good deal and deliver excellent results or not. It may not be the only way to get this information, but it sure does paint the right picture of how things could be. Besides that, a company that has been in existence for quite some time will have a good number of customer references and enough evidence of their work for your perusal. It is therefore essential to ask how long the roofer has been practicing.
7. What Are Your Estimates?
This should be a more specific question that requests written estimates. No one wants to receive a rude shock when hiring roofing experts without asking how much they charge for their services. The contractor needs to break down the estimates and include labor charges, material costs, and other costs involved during the project. Make the estimates even more accurate by taking pictures of the damaged areas and measuring the roof size. It also helps if you pay attention to and keep up with the roofing processes as a way of monitoring material usage.
8. How Do You Keep Time for All Your Roofing Projects?
Whenever you hire a roofing contractor as a matter of urgency, your priority should be time. You need to ask the contractor how well they manage time and if they can complete the project in specific timelines. A good contractor will only respond with finality if they are sure about their workforce and have backup plans if the client needs the services hastened. Great contractors have most things figured out, including emergencies and weather challenges, as these can cause major interference or even stop the project before they are complete. Please find out how confident the contractor is and whether or not they have a plan for such times. You will have peace of mind knowing that your roofing project will not stall or delay no matter what challenges the contractor and his team face.
9. How Do You Intend to Keep My Lawn as it is During and After the Project?
You do not have to tamper with anything in your backyard or outdoors just because you have a roofing repair or replacement job going on. Professional roofers should have an elaborate system of collecting any trash that may result from the roofing project. They need to account for each debris disposal and avoid tampering with your lawn at all costs. Some contractors will even go as far as instituting mandatory foot traffic patterns to prevent the workers from wandering into spaces they are not allowed to. The last thing you need is to have your kids playing with dangerous tools because the workers in the roofer’s team forget a tool out there.
10. How Do You Dispose of the Refuse you Collect?
Just because the roofing contractor collected the debris elsewhere and away from your lawn does not mean that it is okay for them to leave behind a pile for you to worry about. Good roofing contractors will plan to dispose of all debris from the roofing project. In addition, they are likely to have a strategic way to sort the garbage before finally disposing of it appropriately.
11. Will You Have Someone on Site I can Talk To Constantly?
It is important to communicate constantly with someone on the team, especially if you are not around when the work is ongoing. This boosts your confidence and gives you peace of mind. For example, you may work when the roof repairs are done. In such instances, make sure to keep yourself updated by following up on the progress at specific intervals. Therefore, it is essential to have someone on site ready to respond to all your questions and concerns. You can then verify everything you were being told on the phone when you get home in the evening.
12. Are You Comfortable Showing me Some Reviews?
A good roofing expert should be elated at this question because they cannot wait to show off their expertise. A contractor whose focus is on pleasing clients and making them happy will undoubtedly attract positive reviews. Of course, everything may not be so good, but your attention should also be on how the contractor handles customer complaints. Too many negative remarks about a contractor should be alarming and treated as a red flag.
13. Must the Roof Estimator Get Inside My home?
If you are the kind of person that values their privacy, then this is a question whose answers you will need to pay attention to. Fortunately, as technology improves, homeowners benefit more. For instance, it is possible to have a roof inspection done and all vital information collected without taking a close picture of the roof on a ladder. If the inspector has to get inside the house, the roofing contractor should explain how this happens and if they have to follow a specific procedure. You can also ask how long the inspector is expected to take the said measurements inside the house.
14. Can I Call the Company Owner to Express Myself In case I am Dissatisfied with the Service?
It is possible to have an expert who is not open to talking to the company owner if they are not the ones. This should be a red flag as you may wonder why this is so and if they have anything to hide. A good contractor will have no issue with you calling their boss for anything. They may even supply the necessary contacts or facilitate communication. It is always good to know that there is someone you can take the problem to if the contractor is not able to fix it. Your ability to speak to the business owners shows that they value their customer feedback and are ready to support them at all times.
15. What Can Change the Cost of the Roof?
A written estimate is excellent and always a welcomed idea, but it is not the final cost of the roofing project. Anything can happen to alter the cost of the project. Therefore, you need to closely monitor the project’s progress to note when such things happen. However, even before they do, know what is likely to cause an increase in the roofing service cost. Ask the roofer to explain the potential scenarios you need to watch out for.
16. Which Materials are Good for My Roof?
Experienced professional roofing experts will advise homeowners on the right roofing materials to use for their projects. However, you cannot just purchase any roofing material blindly lest it fails to match the needs of the new roof. Instead, find out which roofing material the roofer recommends and why.
17. Will I Get Regular Updates?
Whether you are around to monitor the roofing project or are far away to follow the progress closely, a good roofing contractor has systems to ensure that you stay updated. If this is important, you should ask the contractor before hiring them. Express your desire to receive regular updates and find out if the contractor is willing to do based on what you agree. They should be open to the idea.
Choosing a roofing contractor does not have to be a complicated process. It involves deciding on a few traits that you are unwilling to compromise and having a few negotiable ones before engaging the potential contractor. You can sift through the many contractors on your list by interviewing each of them. Have a list of questions and take note of the answers they supply. Only hire the contractors that impress you the most and match your project’s needs. There is more to hiring a professional roofing contractor than skills and experience, so make sure you get it right.