A roofing system repair or replacement is an essential and costly investment. The roof contributes to the aesthetic appeal of your home, increasing your property’s value, not to mention protecting your home from external elements.
However, when a roofing repair or replacement project is not handled appropriately, your home will sustain extensive exterior and interior damage, and you could incur significant expenses in correcting the mistake. For this reason, you should leave all your roofing projects to a professional contractor instead of going DIY. An expert can ensure the job is done well.
Determining whether you are hiring the best roofer before signing the contract can be challenging. Read on for nine questions to ask a roofing contractor before hiring them for roof repair and replacement.
1. What kind of work do you do?
Your roofing system is the primary defense against external elements, including mold, mildew, and moisture. For this reason, you want to entrust repair and replacement to someone who specializes in roofing, not a general contractor. An expert in roofing has extensive knowledge and skills in repairing or installing new roofs, so you are guaranteed a quality job.
Be sure to avoid contractors with general knowledge about outdoor home improvements. Instead, opt for a company such as Landmark Roofing with an extended track record of repairing and installing new roofs, job after job.
2. Are you licensed?
Most states require contractors to have a license before handling any projects, so you should establish that the potential roofer is licensed before hiring. A permit shows the roofing system contractor has undergone the required training and performed well in the competency tests, so they qualify to take on any roofing project.
Be sure to request potential contractors to provide verification of their licensing requirements to enable you to stay clear of roofers who may be cutting corners. Hiring a contractor not eligible for a legal license could leave you with unsatisfactory results and make you vulnerable to legal suits for not complying with your local building codes.
3. Are you insured?
Roofing system repair and replacement are among the most dangerous home improvement projects. The contractors and their employees are susceptible to slips and falls and sustain severe injuries when handling your project. If the contractor does not have insurance coverage, you will likely assume the liability for medical expenses.
The contractor could also damage your property when handling the roofing system project. If they do not have insurance to cover the damage, you will have to fund the repairs or spend a lot of time and money on a fruitless lawsuit. For this reason, demand that potential roofing contractors provide proof of their liability and worker’s compensation insurance coverage.
4. Will you be handling the project?
Some roofing contractors maximize their profits through subcontracting. Subcontracting involves winning a contract and selling it to another roofing company at a discounted rate. This way, the roofer still gets proceeds from your project while handling another job. Be sure to ask a potential contractor whether they intend to pass your job to someone else before hiring. This will ensure the roofer you hire will be the one that shows up for the project.
5. Is your business local?
If you search for a roofing contractor online, you will likely get leads to professionals from across the globe. However, you should ensure you only hire a local contractor. This is because a roofing contractor within your region is familiar with your local building codes. This means they will handle the project in the confines of local rules and regulations, protecting you from legal implications. The local authority is also less likely to demand that you halt or demolish the roofing system project if you comply with your region’s building codes.
6. How long have you been in business?
You will likely establish how long a specific roofing contractor has been in business from their website. However, if you cannot determine this information by browsing through their site, do not hesitate to ask them during the interview. It is best to work with a contractor who has been in the industry for an extended period as they are more experienced.
However, it is worth noting that some contractors open their businesses, handle a few projects and stop operating for a couple of years because they cannot sustain the business or due to lawsuits. Hiring such a roofing contractor could mean you will have no recourse should you discover faulty installation or your roof leaks. For this reason, partner with an established company with a proven track record to ensure upfront quality and continued support.
7. Can you provide some references and reviews?
An effective way to establish you are working with a credible roofing contractor is by checking reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Reviews and testimonials show customers’ experiences working with a specific contractor, enabling you to make an informed decision. You can find online reviews on Better Business Bureau or Google.
Consider asking a potential roofer for references if you prefer a physical roof inspection. A physical inspection can help you decide whether or not a specific contractor’s quality of work suits your needs. Be wary of contractors who do not provide references.
8. How will you protect my property?
Apart from establishing your contractor has liability insurance coverage, you should determine other measures they intend to take to protect your property. Before signing the contract, ensure you understand how the contractor will protect your landscape and driveway from roofing refuse and vehicles, shield gutters from ladders, and clean up nails and material waste. You should ensure you will not have to worry about more property damage at the end of the roofing system project.
9. How much will my roofing system project cost?
Before signing the contract, you should establish your project’s cost. Roofing contractors differ in price ranges, so you need to partner with a professional that fits your budget. Be sure to ask for a free estimate of your project, then compare and contrast pricing to settle for an affordable roofer.
Hiring the right contractor is the first step to investing in a high-quality roof for your home. Before hiring, conduct in-depth research on the roofing companies within your state and ask the above questions when interviewing potential contractors to get the right level of service.