There are many roofing companies out there, but the sad reality is that not all of them are good. Some are disreputable and will perform poor quality work or greatly overcharge you. Others are “fly-by-night” companies that will take your money and disappear without performing any work at all.
It’s important to know how to weed out the bad roofing contractors so that you can find one that is actually worth your time and money. The first step in doing so is knowing what questions to ask. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 15 questions to ask a roofer before hiring them. If your roofing contractor can’t provide good answers to these questions, then it’s time to look for someone else to perform the work on your home or business.
1. How long has your roofing company been in business?
It’s impossible to stay in business for a long time if you’re running a shoddy business. A good business gets good reviews. A good business has happy customers that recommend the business to other potential customers and even offer repeat business. The better a company is, the more customers they will get, and the longer they can stay in business.
That’s why it’s a good idea to look for a roofing company with 20+ years in the business. While it’s possible for a brand new roofing company to be good, a company that’s been around for a while is pretty much guaranteed to be respectable and worth hiring.
2. Can you provide proof of insurance?
Anyone who performs work on your home should be equipped with commercial liability insurance. This insurance protects you, your home, and the roofing contractors in case anything happens while work is being done on your home. Make sure your roofing contractor has commercial liability insurance and can provide you with up-to-date proof of this insurance before you hire them.
3. Do you provide an additional warranty?
Most roofing materials come with a manufacturer’s warranty. However, the contractor may offer their own warranty on their work and/or materials. Be sure to ask about it!
4. What is your scope of work?
You need to know whether your prospective roofing contractor offers repairs, installation, maintenance, siding, and more. Do they offer a variety of roofing solutions? Not every roof will have the same problems or need the same solutions, so you need a contractor who can handle anything that comes up.
5. Are you licensed?
Many states require roofing contractors to hold proper licensing. Even if your state doesn’t require licensing, it’s much better to have a licensed contractor than an unlicensed one work on your roof. Your chosen roofing company should be able to produce proof of licensure.
6. What happens if you skip out on the job
Unfortunately, it does happen. A roofing contractor may take on too much and fail to complete their work. You should opt for a roofing company that is bonded to protect you financially.
7. How experienced is your crew?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has “no specific requirements” for roofing contractors. Most contractors learn the trade on the job, so you’ll want to be sure your team is experienced before they get started.
8. Can I visit a current worksite?
Most roofing companies tackle multiple roofing jobs at once. If you ask to visit a current worksite, the answer should always be “yes.” Seeing firsthand what the company can achieve is immensely useful. Even if you don’t intend to visit a worksite or the roofer doesn’t have any jobs going on at the time, asking the question is still a good test. If the roofing company seems hesitant to let you visit a current worksite, it’s likely a bad sign.
9. Can I have a list of references?
A reputable roofing contractor will have a list of references that you can call. Take some time to call the references to determine the quality and affordability of a potential contractor’s work.
10. How is payment handled?
Does the roofing contractor accept checks, credit cards, or cash? If they provide materials, a down-payment is appropriate. If you provide materials, you should not pay until the job is complete.
11. How much does it cost to tear off the old roof?
When installing a brand-new roof, the old roof must often be expertly removed. The costs will vary depending on the contractor and the complexity of the work. Be sure you understand the total cost of service before even one shingle is removed.
12. Will you inspect my roof?
During service, many contractors take a moment to inspect the roof and new materials for signs of wear or noticeable damage. You should ask to make sure that your roofer will perform an inspection and provide you with a thorough report before hiring them.
13. Do you have experience with specific roofing materials?
Of course, your chosen roofer should know how to handle asphalt tiles, metal roofing, modified bitumen, and many other roofing materials on the market. If you’re getting a specific type of roofing material installed or repaired, you should ensure that your roofer has experience working with that material.
14. What do you do when it rains?
Working on a roof during a severe rainstorm is never ideal. It is often quite dangerous. The contractor should watch weather forecasts and plan appropriately for rain.
15. Do you keep a schedule?
If roofing work is set to begin at 10 a.m., then it should begin at the allotted time. Be sure your contractor keeps a tight schedule.
A reputable roofer wants to perform good work on your home or business, and will therefore easily be able to provide good answers to these questions. At Bert Roofing, we have been in the roofing business for over 40 years, and we’re passionate about what we do. For all your roofing needs in Dallas, TX and the surrounding cities, contact us today.