Your roof is designed to protect the elements and provide security from the outside world. But roofing is one of the most expensive projects you can ever undertake in your home. It is crucial to observe due diligence when hiring a roofing contractor to carry out any repairs or replacements. And since a lot can go wrong and cause more issues down the road, you need to ask your potential roofer specific questions before you hire them.
Schedule a conversation with your contractor and get more information about their:
- Skill level
- Guaranteed deliverables
Here are the 13 questions you should ask before signing a roof repair or replacement contract.
1. Are you local to me?
You should always ask if they are local. Get their address! Some contractors show up only after hurricanes, looking to get work. What happens if a roofer installs your roof and when something happens to your roof, they’ve left the area? Who do you call to get it fixed?
Working with a local roofer means they can help you maintain your new roof to help it last longer.
2. How long have you been in business?
Taking time to investigate a company’s history is not the only way to determine if they provide quality work at a fair price. But it helps you to get a good idea of what they do. If a contractor has worked on many different types of homes, they will have plenty of customer references and many examples of their work for you to peruse.
3. What training and experience does the crew have?
Make sure you choose a good roofing company with highly skilled roofers who have extensive training and are certified by roofing material manufacturers.
4. What past customers can I talk to?
A reputable roofing contractor will be happy to direct you to honest testimonials from homeowners they’re worked with. Experienced contractors need to build a good reputation and satisfy customers. They should be eager to help you find out what other homeowners think about their work.
A roofer can also refer you to someone who recently had their roof replaced is also beneficial. They should have names and contact details of homeowners who have agreed to talk with potential customers about their experience with the roofing company.
5. When would you be able to schedule my job?
A reliable roofer should be able to give you a specific timeline for when they will schedule your roofing project and how long it will take. They should keep you informed throughout the entire project and alert you if anything, such as material delays or inclement weather, might delay the work.
6. How long will my project take?
Ask your contractor how long it will take to complete your roof project. The length may not be exact, but it will give you a good idea of how long they’ll be at your home. Since there will be several people working on your roof, know who your contact person is for the project and how to connect with them.
7. Do you have proper licensing, certification, and insurance?
Workers’ compensation protects homeowners if anyone is injured on the job, and liability protects you in case roofers cause damage to your property. Without workers’ compensation, the homeowner could have to pay medical bills and other costs associated with any accidents. Ask roofing contractors about roofing licenses in your state, city, and county. Each state has different licensing requirements. Ask the license-holder for specifics, including the name of the person who holds the license. Check with your local licensing office to see if the roofing contractor license is current and free from violations. Also, note that a business license is different from a roofing contractor license!
8. Is a building permit required for my project, and if so, will you be pulling one?
Any roofer who works in your city needs to know the building codes. This is important because the you could be fined if they don’t follow the building codes. You may also be asked to replace your roof again because of a violation of the city codes. Moreover, some insurance companies may deny coverage for work that was not performed according to the code.
If all you are doing is installing a new roof or applying a fresh layer of shingles to an existing roof, you don’t require a building permit for that work in Cincinnati. A building permit is required if the wood sheathing or structural members such as a rafter or a truss are being repaired or replaced.
9. What steps do you take for the safety of your workers?
Employers are required to have workers’ compensation. Sadly, some contractors and roofers choose to skip over providing workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. If a worker is injured while working for a company without workers’ compensation, you might have to cover the medical bills. It is a loss that no homeowner wants to experience.
Another form of safety is following the OSHA safety regulations. Having safety harneses, hard hats, and other safety gear protects the lives of the crew on your roof. If a company will not provide this protection for their employees, work with someone else.
10. What steps do you take to ensure my home and family’s safety?
Ask your professional roofer what they do to protect the landscaping, siding, windows, and doors. What safety equipment do they use?
11. Do you provide a written estimate?
When it’s time to pay the bill, you don’t want surprises you haven’t budgeted for. Contractors should provide you with a written estimate before you sign a contract. It should include the cost of:
- Removing and disposing of the old roof
- An explanation of your current roof’s condition
- The total square feet/area of your roof being worked on
- The type of roofing materials, manufacturer, & colors that will be used (including underlayment, flashing, ventilation, etc)
- Warranty options
- Approximate timeline for the project
- Payment due dates
- Labor costs
12. Do you offer a workmanship warranty?
Manufacturers of roofing materials offer a warranty on the products they make; roofing contractors typically provide a warranty on their work. Many basic manufacturer warranties cover material for 20 years, but what does the roofer offer? The strength of their workmanship warranty can tell you about the quality of their work. A roofer who stands behind their work is a roofer you want to work with.
13. Will you remove and dispose of the old roof?
Some roofing contractors try to save you money by installing new shingles over it. However, they won’t know if there is rotting wood or other problems underneath. If this damage is left, you may have bigger and more expensive problems in the future. Don’t let a roofer install a new roof on your house before they have removed the old roof.
It’s also important to know what happens with the construction debris after your roof is complete. Most contractors bring along big containers to dispose of unwanted materials after they finish working on a job. Some may charge you more after the fact to dispose of the debris.
As a responsible homeowner, you shouldn’t trust just anyone with your roof. These are just some critical questions to ask a potential roofer before hiring them. Of course, you can ask several other questions along the way, but these questions will ensure you hire a trustworthy roofing contractor who will do the job right the first time. Titan Siding and Roofing has you covered if you’re looking for a trusted, local roofing contractor in the Greater Cincinnati area. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced roofing professionals.