Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

Your home’s roof is the critical component to a safe, warm living environment and an important investment. Replacing it is one of the most expensive home remodeling projects that most homeowners face. Entrusting this important project to a reliable roofing contractor can ensure the safety and longevity of your home. Entrusting its installation or repairs to the right professional can save you from future headaches and costly mistakes.

Here are some of the best questions to ask before you hire a roofing contractor. These will help you avoid any scams and find the best company to do the job..

What is your legal business name and how long have you been in business?

Getting the actual business name of the roofer helps you do a bit of homework on the company. A quality business entity will have filed with their state so they can get the proper insurances and licenses to do business. Search the State of Florida corporate database to see if they are registered locally. Then do a search on that business name to see what comes up in the results. You want to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate business and not someone who will take your deposit and disappear or use low quality materials in place of what you paid for.

Asking a roofing contractor how many years they have been in business will help you determine what type of experience they have. This question helps gauge their level of expertise, as contractors with more years of experience typically have a broader knowledge base and a better understanding of industry practices. While experience is valuable, it should be balanced with other factors such as qualifications, references, and past project successes.

Who owns your business, and for how long have they owned it?

Asking about the ownership of the roofing business and the duration of their ownership helps you gain insights into the company’s stability, expertise, and commitment to quality service. A long-established ownership:

  • Suggests that the business has been successful and able to maintain a positive reputation over time. A well-established roofing company is more likely to have experienced roofers, a proven track record and the expertise to handle various roofing projects effectively.
  • Demonstrates a dedication to customer satisfaction and a desire to build lasting relationships. Such a commitment indicates that the company is more likely to prioritize quality workmanship and provide reliable roofing services.
  • Signifies a level of success and a positive reputation in the industry. Companies with a strong reputation are more likely to prioritize customer satisfaction and deliver exceptional results. It also implies that they have developed relationships with suppliers

Do you have proper licensing and certification, insurance and workers comp?

It’s important to work only with licensed contractors. A roofing contractor license ensures that they know what they are doing and that your money won’t go to waste because of poor workmanship. You can check on the validity of their license by going to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website and clicking on Verify A License.

Roofing contractors should have workers’ compensation and liability insurance. If they don’t have insurance, the responsibility and liability would fall to you if there is an accident.

  • Workers’ compensation covers you in the case of a contractor injury. If there is no workers’ comp, you may be responsible for medical bills and other costs associated with the injury.
  • Liability insurance protects you from damage caused by the roofers during repair or replacement. If your roof is installed by a contractor without liability insurance, you may not be able to make a claim if there is damage to your roof due to their poor workmanship.

Avoid any contractor who doesn’t provide insurance documents, licenses, or warranties.

Answers from All Weather Tite: 

We carry all the proper licensing and use seasoned professionals who are willing to take the time to complete the roofing project the right way. We take pride in hiring experienced tradesmen and providing our customers with the highest quality workmanship.

Our work and our workers are fully insured to protect you and your assets. We carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance specifically for roofers. This covers you if there is an unfortunate incident on your property. We will give you the name of our insurance company. Feel free to call to get a certificate of insurance for both liability and workmen’s compensation.

Most roof systems require special application expertise to achieve lasting quality. A roofing contractor that carries a certificate with a roofing manufacturer ensures a quality job and the expertise to do it right.

All Weather Tite Roofing provides superior workmanship and uses high quality materials from the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, GAF offering the highest warranty in the industry. We have achieved the exclusive status of Master Elite™ Weather Stopper® Roofing Contractor. Only 3% of roofing contractors in the U.S. have achieved Master Elite status.

Are you a local contractor?

Working with a local roofing contractor makes it easier for you to meet with the roofing contractor. Ask where their home base is and how they can contact you when necessary. A local contractor can be available to help you if you ever have a problem and need emergency storm repairs. 

Be aware of storm chasers. These are out of state companies that come in after a big storm. They will charge a lot less than local roofing company and disappear once they have your money. Most likely, they don’t care about local codes and may have poor workmanship.

A quality local roofing company will know the local roofing codes and the permits required. This helps ensure your roof is correctly installed and in compliance with your state’s requirements.

Can you provide a detailed written estimate of the project cost, including labor and materials?

A good roofing company should always provide a free, written estimate that outlines the details of the work you are paying for. Requesting a comprehensive breakdown of the project cost, including labor and materials, allows you to assess the financial aspects of the job and make an informed decision.

A written estimate helps minimize surprises during the project. You’ll want to know the actual cost of tearing off the old roof, installing the new roof and disposing of debris. The estimate should outline other potential costs, like replacing the underlying plywood decking if they discover damage once the project starts.

By understanding the costs upfront, you can anticipate the financial aspects and plan accordingly. Additionally, it provides a reference point to ensure that the final invoice aligns with the initial estimate.

Will you provide a written contract that outlines all the project details?

It is essential to have a written contract that outlines all the project details when working with a roofing company. Requesting a written contract ensures that both parties are on the same page regarding the scope of work, timelines, materials, and other crucial aspects of the project. It gives you peace of mind. You can proceed with the roofing project knowing that all the details have been documented and agreed upon. It provides a level of security, as both parties are bound by the terms outlined in the contract.

A written contract serves as a legally binding document that protects both parties. It establishes the terms and conditions of the project, including payment terms, warranties, and dispute resolution procedures. Having a written contract in place safeguards your interests and provides recourse in case of any disagreements or breaches of agreement.

Do you provide a warranty for materials and workmanship?

Ask the contractor for information on the manufacturer’s warranties for the roofing materials. You want to know your rights concerning defective products and what circumstances could void the warranty. In addition, ask the roofing contractor if they offer a warranty on their workmanship and for how long. A reputable contractor will stand behind their work and cover issues in the event there are problems.

Answers from All Weather Tite: We offer a 25 year warranty on workmanship and use shingles from GAF that carry a lifetime warranty. We use top quality materials from industry leaders like GAF, TAMKO, and VELUX to ensure your roof will stand the test of time. Quality and craftsmanship is very important to us. We strive for 100% satisfaction from our customers.

Can you help with an insurance claim?

Working with a roofing contractor who knows their way around insurance claims is a great way to lessen the burden of making a claim and paying for work that could have been covered by insurance. Dealing with insurance claims can be complex and time-consuming. A knowledgeable roofing contractor can guide you through the process, helping you understand the necessary steps and documentation required for a successful claim.

Can you provide references from previous clients?

A reputable roofing contractor will have several good references that you can speak with. Get references from recent projects and if possible, go see the workmanship. Some of the references may have provided reviews and uploaded pictures that can help you make you decision.

They will also have many reviews available through an internet search. Don’t worry about about a couple of bad reviews if there are many 5 star reviews. Read the reviews and get a good picture of how this contractor handles issues.

Answers from All Weather Tite: We have many customer testimonials on our website, on Angie’s List and other review sites. We constantly strive to ensure our customers have a great experience with our company. We’ve found that customer reviews are very helpful in keeping our business thriving and are very important to our online visibility. Our past customers love us, and so will you!

Will you obtain the necessary permits for the roofing project?

Obtaining permits is a crucial step in ensuring that the roofing project complies with local building codes and regulations. It is crucial for the safety and structural integrity of the roof. By acquiring the necessary permits, the roofing company demonstrates their commitment to following the established standards and ensuring a properly constructed roof.

But it is also critical that the contractor pull the permit, not the homeowner. If you pull your own permit, you are responsible for any damages or injuries that may occur on your property. By entrusting the roofing company to obtain the permit, you transfer the responsibility to them. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that the roofing project is being conducted in accordance with local laws and regulations and any issues will be handled by the roofing company.

Do you use subcontractors? If so, what is the subcontractor’s experience and reputation?

When evaluating a roofing contractor for your project, it’s crucial to ask questions about their use of roofing subcontractors and gather information about the subcontractor’s experience and reputation. Most roofing companies do use subcontractors. It’s good to understand the structure of their team, their experience with the type of roofing materials you are using and how they will complete the work.

Roofing contractors hire subcontractors to perform specific tasks on their behalf. However, they should still maintain overall responsibility for the project and ensure that the subcontractors meet the necessary standards.

Does the roofing contractor offer onsite inspections and estimates?

If a contractor tries to offer you an estimate over the phone without also setting up an appointment to view the roof firsthand, you may want to consider another contractor. You can only assess the size, shape and condition of the roof by an onsite inspection. The less than reputable contractors will give you a low estimate but continue to add on costs and fees. A reputable contractor visits the property to understand the scope of the project. Then they will provide you with a realistic quote.

Answers from All Weather Tite: You can request an estimate using our online form and will promptly come out to the home to take a look at the potential job. Once we have inspected the roof, we will give you a clear and concise estimate covering all the costs associated with doing the job right the first time.

Does the contractor clean up the site and remove all the old roofing materials upon leaving?

The quote should always include cleaning up your yard and disposing the old roofing material after the work is done. Always ask a potential roofing contractor if they include this item. Don’t get stuck with a pile of debris in your yard that will cost you to have hauled away.

Answers from All Weather Tite: We promptly clean up all materials. You’ll never know we were there!

Final Thoughts

Looking for a trustworthy and reliable roofing contractor can be stressful, especially when it is an emergency. As a homeowner, it is good to have a trusted roofing contractor that you can call on to handle your various roofing issues whenever they arise. Hiring a roofing contractor is your best option, but you must first get answers to these questions before dealing with them.