Before you hire a roofing contractor, ask a few pertinent questions

As a homeowner you will no doubt watch for any problems that may appear with your home; if the paint begins to peel no doubt you will have this taken care of, if you start to see evidence that your roof is beginning to deteriorate then you can be sure that it is time to either undertake repairs or perhaps it will be necessary to replace the roof all-together. There is a significant difference between painting the house and dealing with a deteriorated roof, hiring a roofing contractor to do the correctly job requires that you ask the right questions and hear the right answers. To ensure that the company you finally hire is reputable and capable of doing the work properly, here are a few important questions that you should ask.

  • Written estimate: Entering into a contract for anything without a detailed estimate is something that can return to haunt you. You must be provided with a written estimate that details all the work that will be done including the removal of the old roof and the installation of the replacement along with a definition of things such as landscape protection, plans for inclement weather, etc.
  • Licensed: The contractor should be licensed otherwise your recourse in the event something goes wrong will be limited. Ask to see the license, make sure it is current.
  • Insurance: The roofing contractor that you hire must have both workers compensation and liability insurance. Roofing is a potentially dangerous business, if a worker is injured while working on your roof and the company does not carry workers comp insurance you can end up paying for all the medical bills. Liability insurance on the other hand covers your property. If, in the process of repairing or replacing your roof the contractor damages your home, his liability insurance will cover the repair or replacement expenses.
  • Remove the old roof: Some contractors will attempt to save time and money by simply shingling over the existing surface. This is not acceptable, until the old shingles have been removed it is impossible to determine if the sub-structure is water damaged or rotted; if these problems are not fixed then you can expect to have continued problems.
  • Warranties: Your roofing contractor must provide a manufacturers 20 year limited warranty as the minimum with optional extended warranties available, all at no additional cost.

These few points, when answered correctly can give you the confidence that you need that you are hiring a responsible and professional roofing contractor with the best trained professional team.

What you should expect from a competent roofing company

Repairing or replacing the roof on your home is something that is not done frequently. Certainly there are unpredictable repairs that become necessary as a result of a violent storm or a falling tree and perhaps after 25 years or so the roof on your home may need to be replaced. As these things happen rarely, finding a roofing company that you feel completely comfortable with can be somewhat stressful, after all, the roof on your home is extremely important and the last thing you want is a problem.

As is true with most businesses, the roofing industry is highly competitive; as a result it can be difficult to find the right roofing company to do what needs doing at a reasonable price. When you are discussing your needs with various candidates there are a few tips that might help you better understand what to look for and what to expect.

  • Responsible roofing companies will always offer a free, no obligation roof inspection or consultation. This is an extremely important part of the entire process as it gives the roofing company an opportunity to properly evaluate the problem and what the solutions are.
  • A roof is potentially a very dangerous place to be, as the homeowner you should avoid climbing on it but the licensed contractor that you called should certainly go on the roof. If a company representative visits you and fails to go on the roof for the evaluation then this company should be discounted as a candidate to do the work. The contractor will normally take pictures of the problem areas so that you can see the condition of the roof and understand what needs to be done.
  • Once the contractor has been on the roof and performed a professional evaluation you should be provided with a written estimate of what it will take to put the roof back into pristine condition. Once you have received the estimate pay particular attention to all the details; what materials are included, how long will the project take and what warranties are offered. If you have any questions once you have read and digested the estimate do not hesitate to contact the roofing company, make sure that you are completely happy before you enter into a contract for the work.

Once the repair or complete replacement has been completed you can expect the company to remove all discarded material and the area completely cleaned up. Once you are completely satisfied you can feel comfortable in making the final payment.