In this article we will be discussing “6 Questions to ask a roofing contractor”. When you’re getting your roof repaired or roof replaced, you’re going to have to deal with a roofing contractor at some point. If you’re wondering “What should I ask a roofing contractor?” then you’re in the right place, as we’ve put together this list of six vital roofing questions that everyone should ask a contractor before signing anything.
The roof over your head is one of the most important parts of your home, so you can’t afford to take chances on people that you’re not sure about. Follow this list of questions to ask when getting a roof estimate and you should be safe to embark on a professional collaboration with any contractor who gives the right answers.
1. Are You Licensed, Insured, and Bonded?
Before any legitimate negotiations take place, you have to make sure that everything is above board. These are probably the most important questions to ask roofers before anything moves on any further, as without these certifications the work they complete will likely be shoddy and potentially even illegal.
Licensing is essentially confirmation that they have a license to complete tasks of a certain price point, verified by the state’s board of licensing contractors. Insurance is essential as well as if the contractor makes any major mistakes or suffers any damages to their own equipment or your, you need to know that they’re liable and will be able to deal with their own damages. Being bonded essentially means that a bond company gives this contractor the thumbs up that they’re legit, and will come in to finish your job in case of any extenuating circumstances.
2. Can You Share References?
If you’re wondering what to ask when hiring a roofer, whether they can share a decent array of good references should be pretty high on your list of questions. Ideally by the time you’re talking to them, you should already have a decent idea of their standard of quality and reputation, but it’s not until you’ve contacted a reference firsthand can you really be confident in their prowess.
Prior to this, definitely search them up online to see some reviews. People are generally happy to share a positive experience and they’re even more likely to share a negative one. The willingness to share their references is also a good indicator of how trustworthy a contractor is, as if they try to dodge the question there’s a likelihood that their bad reputation precedes them at least somewhat.
3. Are You Local?
When working with a contractor, good practice is to always choose someone who works within your local area. If you know full well where they’re based, where their office is, and how to get a hold of them easily, then you can be more confident in letting them do their thing moving forward. If they’re not locally-based and don’t have an office nearby then they have more opportunity to leave without a trace after doing a shoddy job.
It’s worth noting that various out-of-town contractors will target areas with high levels of storm activity, with the intention of pawning off substandard roofs then disappearing forever. To avoid falling victim to a contractual opportunist, make sure you work with local people when you can.
4. How Long Have You Been in Business?
This may seem like an arbitrary question, and knowing that younger businesses are often cheaper, it may even seem like a waste of time. However, while a younger business may offer cheaper rates, that’s often because they don’t understand how to last in the industry, meaning their firm could be gone within a few years, and your roof investment will have no one to look after it.
Choose a firm with a history in your local area, somewhere that you’re sure will still be there in a few years time. Not only will their lasting existence in the area indicate a certain degree of pedigree and quality, but it should also give you an idea that the company has a reputation to protect and good reason to treat you well going forward.
5. What Roofing Materials Do You Offer?
When it comes to questions to ask your roofer, this one lands in the more technically-minded side of things, but it’s similarly important to the more ‘business-based’ lines of questioning. You want to know what sort of options you’re going to have when it comes to your roof, be it asphalt shingles, metal, or ceramic tiles.
Not only will the answer to this question offer you some visual guidance when it comes to your roof, but it will also build a degree of rapport with the contractor as it will show that you’re not totally clueless when it comes to your investment. Of course, if you’re not fussed then there’s no need to ask, but it’s definitely worth thinking about.
6. Can I Talk To the Owner?
In some cases, the owner may be the contractor that you’re talking to already, but the ability to contact the owner, president, or general authority at a firm is very important. Knowing that the person who calls the shots is willing to talk to you firsthand without pawning you off onto a lower staff member is a good sign that the company does things in a legitimate way.
If there are any problems with the project, or the contractor themselves, you need to know who you can turn to, and that they’re going to be there to hear your concerns when need be.
Trust is a big thing when it comes to working with contractors. Everyone’s heard a thousand horror stories about contractors and developers who took a friend or relative for a ride, but with these questions you should be able to vet out candidates to at least some degree. Check out our website to learn more about our own approach to roofing.