Although the number of DIY home improvement projects has increased since 2020, the professional roofing industry has maintained steady, generating roughly 45 billion dollars in revenue, according to IBIS World.
Given the state of the economy, that sum of money seems excessive, but it makes sense given that placing asphalt, shingles, and the like on one’s roof is often not at the top of anyone’s DIY to-do list.
If you’re considering hiring roofing professionals to fix the roofing of your house, you should be aware that not all roofers are made equal. How can you be sure you choose wisely before signing a contract? After all, repairing a roof has a lot of potential for error, which could lead to more problems later.
The best course of action is to arrange a meeting with the contractor to learn more about their skill set, working methods, and promised deliverables. If you are planning to replace or repair your roof, be armed with the following questions to ask a local roofing company.
1. Are You Licensed?
This question is one of several to ask a local roofing company. In most American counties, you need a license to perform roofing services contracting work.
Before a contractor can start working, the local government issues them a license to ensure they are legitimate. Therefore, the first thing you should find out from a potential roofing contractor is if they have obtained a permit to operate.
The roofing contractor should be able to provide you with the license information for your state, city, and county since local laws differ. Request some specifics, such as the license holder’s name. The National Roofing Contractor Association enables you to check a company’s license
To confirm that the contractor is licensed in your area, you should also contact the city building department in your neighborhood. Names, addresses, and phone numbers provided by contractors must correspond to those on the NRCA website. If this doesn’t work, check the provider in the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce databases.
2. Are You Insured?
Due to how roofing labor is inherently risky, you must be protected against all risks by asking these questions to ask a local roofing company. To safeguard the homeowner in the event of an accident, any roofing contractor business should be covered by workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Suppose a contractor is hurt while working on your house. In that case, workers’ compensation will cover it, and liability insurance will cover any damage the roofers make while doing maintenance or replacement work.
Imagine one of your contractor’s workers fractures their leg while doing roof maintenance. They might go after you if they can’t get their employer to pay for a worker’s compensation. Additionally, a roofing contractor can cause damage to your property while working. Without the necessary insurance to pay for it, you would be responsible for the harm, or you would have to launch drawn-out, frequently pointless litigation.
3. What Services Do You Offer?
From contractor to contractor, roofing services differ. Ensure the roofers you are interested in working with offer the needed services by asking them this question from the list of questions to ask a local roofing company. Typical roofing services consist of the following:
- Roof maintenance and repairs
- Replacement or installation
- Roof cleaning (pressure washing away mildew, moss, and buildup)
- Painting, treating, or sealing (especially for wood or metal roofs)
- Cleanup of debris
Checking your gutters is an excellent idea while replacing your roof. You might come across roofers who provide siding, gutter, and window repairs. Ask the roofing experts if they offer other services. In the long run, you can save money by tackling roofing and gutter repairs simultaneously.
4. How Much Experience Do You Have?
This question is another among the several questions to ask a local roofing company. Many rogue roofers frequently open and shut their businesses to clear their names and restore their reputations. Based on a contractor’s website, you could infer how long they’ve been in operation. Ask your potential residential roofer during the interview how long they have been contracting for and how long their business has been operating.
You might discover that a contractor who claims to have 20 years of experience has only been operating independently for a few months. They may be trying to flee responsibility after doing poorly, which is a warning sign because they haven’t invested much in their company’s reputation. In an ideal situation, you should deal with a contractor with at least five years of experience in their field.
5. Do You Offer Free Estimates?
Although many local roofing contractors still operate on a ‘handshake’ basis, you’ll need more than that to have confidence in your chosen company when such a significant investment is at stake. IKO.com reports that it is possible to recoup 109% of your investment when you sell your house with a new roof.
Make sure you ask these questions to ask a local roofing company, so you can get a thorough estimate. Make sure to do so before revealing your budget because you might be selecting a provider based on the quote. You risk headaches if a company refuses to provide you with the job’s details, including the project estimate, in writing.
A documented estimate might offer some protection against price increases and hidden fees for your roof’s repairs or complete replacement. Since it is uncommon for a construction project to proceed exactly as planned from the start, a written estimate could provide a solid indication of what you can expect to pay in various situations. No matter how fantastic a contractor’s bargain sounds, only sign a contract if you have the estimate.
You want to avoid any expensive surprises when paying the bill, right? Therefore, the local roofing company should offer a documented estimate for labor, supplies, and any additional costs that might arise. And remember that by documenting any damage with photos, noting the dimensions of your roof, and keeping track of the project’s materials, you can make this estimate more accurate.
6. Are You Local to the Area?
Asking a roofing contractor if they are local might be a good method to determine their experience level and dependability. Some people might not think having a local business residence matters, but it should. A contractor with a problematic past might have just relocated to your neighborhood and might need to be made aware of the local challenges when working on your roof.
Additionally, replacing a roof might seem like a one-time task, but it is usually not. Consider a scenario where you have a problem and need further repairs, but you cannot reach the company you chose. Are you at ease pursuing a warranty with a business thousands of kilometers away?
Some out-of-state businesses will enter the area, undercut the costs of local roofing companies, take the money, and leave for the next town. None of these businesses are concerned with following local regulations or installing roofs correctly. But a local company will be aware of the installation regulations that must be followed in the area, the paperwork that must be submitted, and the steps necessary for a proper installation.
7. Can I See Past Projects?
Request to see the prior work of a contractor you consider employing for roof replacement services. If you can’t find a gallery on their website, you should request to visit their previous projects. A roofing contractor can demonstrate their caliber of work and what a home or business owner might anticipate by showing prospective clients their portfolio of previous roofing projects.
Every skilled and reliable roofing contractor will be able to provide you with examples of their prior work. You may visit the completed sites to verify the work and speak with individuals who have previously collaborated with your prospective contractor. Contrary to popular belief, no two roofs are the same. Can a certain business handle all the special features of your roof? Checking out their past projects is the only way to find out.
8. Do You Have Any Referrals?
Don’t just trust the words of a potential roofer. In fact, take their word with a pinch of salt. Make sure you can read reviews of prior clients before selecting them. The value of word-of-mouth promotion can’t be overstated. The best approach to judge a roofing contractor’s roof maintenance work is to personally examine their work and speak with other homeowners who have hired them.
Any reputable contractor should be able to give you local references so you can learn more about what they can do. Contractors will only want to give you great feedback on their job, so you must do a little independent research to ensure you get an unbiased review. You can look online for customer reviews or enlist the help of your friends and family by asking them about their experiences.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, or one of the many other websites that allow user reviews. Check the reviews. Were any complaints made by previous clients that should be cause for concern? If so, go to the next roofing contractor and research them.
9. What Materials Do You Use?
You should be familiar with the range of roofing materials available and your preferred choice. But, your roofing contractor should also be well-versed in the options and understand which shingles or metal roofing services are ideal for your house, location, and requirements.
If you need clarification on the material to use, the best course of action would be to inquire about the materials they suggest for your roofing project. Pick the material that best suits your requirements. Inquire as to why a contractor suggests one kind of roofing system over another. For instance, why would they prefer asphalt shingles over metal roofing? Find out their opinion on various roofing materials, including tiles, membranes, and solar.
Additionally, keep an eye out for manufacturer identifiers. Is the roofing contractor a go-to supplier for the best shingles and roofing materials? Manufacturers of roofing materials only cooperate with firms with a reputation for providing installations of the highest caliber.
10. How Long Will the Project Take?
Among the many questions to ask a local roofing company is how long it will take to complete the project. The time it would take to acquire your new, upgraded roof is a crucial factor to consider. There are standards dependent on the size of the roof surface when it comes to timing. Here is an illustration to help you estimate how long it would take to replace the roof of your house.
Let’s imagine you need to repair the average architectural roof on your 2,000-square-foot home. In this instance, the roof replacement project may be finished in just two days. When determining the projected completion date, you must account for particular circumstances and unanticipated events.
There could be roadblocks that delay the project’s completion. Any potential challenges that could cause the roofing project to take longer should be addressed in the roofing contractor’s contingency plans by the residential roofing contractor.
Do they have sufficient personnel to pick up the slack in an emergency? Do they have extra supplies, equipment, and materials? What are they going to do in case of bad weather? Even worse, some contracts could have a “no later than” condition that makes them void if the task takes too long to finish.
The Bottom Line
When looking for roofing contractors around, you don’t want to take any chances, so be sure you know what to look for before you sign a contract. You can be sure you are receiving the best value for your money in this way. Armed with these questions, we’re sure you’ll be able to cut through the clutter and find a great choice that will serve your house (or business) well. Remember to request a written estimate, read it carefully, and feel free to ask any further questions you may have.
Working efficiently with a certified roofing contractor requires open communication, so even after hiring a pro, stay in touch with them as they do their work. So, as they fix the roof, there are no unpleasant surprises.
You want to ensure that every home’s roof will survive as long as possible because it is your most important possession. Therefore, don’t take your roof for granted. Find a contractor who offers local roofing services who can handle the job well by doing your research. Make sure you use these questions to ask a local roofing company before hiring any professional service for your home.