Picking a Roofing Contractor
10 Questions to Ask
Good help is hard to find. This especially rings true when you need help the most. Such is the case with a damaged roof. Many homeowners will only have to repair their home’s roof once — if it’s done correctly. But how do you find the right roofing contractor for the job? Referrals from friends, neighbors or online reviews are a great place to start — but keep in mind they are only a starting point.
To ensure you have the best experience possible, don’t award the job to the first roofing contractor who picks up his/her phone. Think of yourself as the owner of a company. Before you hire a new employee, you must conduct interviews to make sure you find the person best qualified to handle the job. The interview process is a great way to separate the best from the rest. To make sure you have thoroughly vetted your roofing contractor, here are 10 questions you should ask:
1. Are you licensed?
There are no guarantees with an unlicensed roofing contractor, only more questions.
Having a licensed roofing contractor is essential as it is the first way the roofing contractor can show that he/she is committed to his/her profession.
• Roofing contractors, in some states, have to pay a fee and pass an exam
• To receive their license, in addition to the fee, roofing contractors must also purchase liability and property insurance
• Roofing contractors are required to take continuing education courses and pay a fee to renew their license
License requirements vary from state-to-state.
2. Do you check ventilation and make sure I have a balanced system?
Proper ventilation serves many purposes and plays a vital role for your roof. A poorly ventilated roof can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your shingles while also causing your air conditioning unit to work much harder (which will drive up your energy bills). If your ventilation system is no good, then all of the time, effort and money you spend could be destroyed in a few short years.
3. Do you have Insurance (workers’ comp, general liability, etc.)?
Mistakes happen and problems do occur. You want to make sure the company you hire is prepared for the worst. If not, should anything go wrong, you might be on the hook for damages. Don’t forget to ask for proof of insurance before awarding the contractor the job.
4. Do you have a local phone number and address?
On top of basic customer service, you want to make sure the roofing contractor you are working with has local ties for many different reasons. A local contractor has more reason to care about the quality of work because much of his/her business comes by way of referral. Roofing contractors who can pick up and leave town the next day don’t have to worry as much about word of mouth. Plus, getting hold of a contractor is much harder when you have to cross state borders to walk into his/her office. This is typically only a problem if you are looking for a contractor after a major storm. Any contractors within driving distance will be in the area hunting for jobs.
5. What kind of warranty (contractor workmanship and manufacturer’s warranty) do you offer?
You want to be sure your roof is taken care of should there be a problem. Make sure the roofing contractor explains exactly what is and isn’t covered in your warranty. From high wind damage to black streaks caused by algae, from manufacturing defects to roofing system failure.
6. Do you have any references?
We said referrals are a great place to start, and they are. A roofing contractor who cannot find any homeowners willing to vouch for his/her work is a red flag signaling this hire is not worth the risk. Be sure to follow up on the references provided to make sure they are legitimate.
7. Do you protect my landscape?
Any answer other than yes is a reason to run away. Think damaged bushes, broken windows and hundreds of extra dollars wasted.
8. Can you guarantee against algae?
Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t pay attention to their roofs until they are either damaged or look so dirty they can no longer be ignored. The dirty look is often due to ugly black streaks caused by algae. Some shingles have no algae protection, others come with resistance to algae, and the elite offer a lifetime guarantee.
You might also like: Scotchgard™ Protector Vs. Algae Resistant Shingles — Know the differences
9. Do you use subcontractors?
Subcontractors are not uncommon. Roofing contractors don’t have to pay for workers’ comp insurance, which saves them a lot of money on the labor. If your roofing contractor intends on using subs, be sure a representative of the roofing company will be onsite during the installation so you have someone to communicate with.
10. Do you offer a system warranty?
A system warranty provides added protection. Buying a roof system means that every component (starter shingles, underlayment, shingles and hip and ridge) comes from a single manufacturer, who rewards you with a longer, stronger warranty for your roof.
You may need anything from minor repairs to a completely new roof. If your roof needs work, take the time to research roofing products and contractors. Click here to explore roofing options.
Streamline Enterprises is located in Mason, Michigan and have been providing the surrounded areas with quality exterior home improvement services since 1998. They can provide you with a roof inspection and make the best recommendation for your home and budget. Contact Streamline Enterprises for additional information on their products and services.
Streamline Enterprises is an Independent Contractor, not an Employee or Agent of Atlas Roofing Corporation. See the full article.