Do your homework
When it comes time to replace your roof, you just cannot open the phone book and pick a roofing company name by using a finger and pointing to a name with your eyes closed. This is an expensive upgrade and that means you need to do your roofing contractor homework.
One of the ways to do your homework is to get a list of potential roofing companies and ask them the following questions. Then take notes and compare what they all say. The best companies will have answers that stand out and prove their credibility.
Top Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor
Some of these questions may sound obvious but there are roofers out there that are not licensed and their work ethic is a little questionable. It is best to filter these companies out before you pay a large price for hiring the wrong company.
#1. Is your company licensed and bonded?
This is a very important question as most states require both of these legal qualifications before they can begin work on your home. Also, be aware that a business license is not the same as a roofing license.
Check with your state to see if they have methods to verify the license and bonding claims for all roofing companies.
#2. Do you have insurance?
Another important question that you need an affirmative answer before proceeding with the estimate. The two insurance coverage roofing companies should have are workman’s compensation and general liability.
The general insurance coverage protects your home and your finances if the roofing company damages it during the removal and replacement of your current roof.
Make sure to see proof of insurance coverage and that it is current.
#3. Do you offer a warranty on the new roof?
The correct answer will be yes. While most roofing companies offer only a 1-year warranty, the better companies will guarantee their work for up to 10 years.
Make sure to get the guarantee in writing so that you have proof if anything should happen to your roof during those 1-year and 10-year time periods. If they balk at providing a written guarantee, then it is time to move on to the next roofing company on your list.
#4. Do you use subcontractors?
It is standard practice for some companies to outsource their work for a variety of reasons. If the company answers yes, then you should get the same information from them that you are asking from the company you are talking with.
You will want the name, and address of the subcontractor, their business license information, if they are bonded and insured, and so on. Plus, you should know who is going to honor the warranty, the subcontractor or the roofing company.
The roofing contractor should be able to explain to you which tasks they are outsourcing and why they are doing it.
#5. How long has the contractor been in business?
While not all good roofing contractors have decades in the business, more often than not, newcomers may not be as good as experienced contractors. Then, while newcomers need some jobs to get established some projects might be too tough for them to handle.
In addition to those reasons, a long history in the business will provide you with a good source for references and to see how their previous clients like the work that was done on their roofs.
Getting references is essential when you need an idea of how the work will be done on your roof.
#6. Do you provide written estimates?
This is a good way to control the cost of the roof. The estimate should provide you with accurate materials and labor costs with no hidden charges. While the estimate will not be written in stone, it is a good guide to judge if the contractor is doing extra work that you did not agree to have done.
Sometimes there will be hidden damage that needs to be taken care of so your final expense may be a bit higher than the estimate. In the construction trade, there will always be additional costs when the roof is not in good shape.
#7. How do you protect the property?
A good roofing contractor will explain all the steps they take to ensure your surrounding property is protected from damage. They will also have the right equipment to help prevent any damage to your driveway, sidewalk, landscaping, and so on.
Also, ask them how they will repair any damage done to your property if it does take place. Knowing these answers can give you some peace of mind once the work gets started.
#8. How is the old roof disposed of?
It is said that on the average roof, 10,000 pounds of roofing material is removed. This material has to be removed from your property. Normally, the roofing contractor will supply the right-sized dumpster to handle all the old roofing material.
You should not have to order one or pay for one. The cost of the dumpster should be included in the estimate.
#9. How will the contractor leave the property?
On average a new roof can take several days to complete. That means that there will be an open roof and other materials left on your property. The roofing contractor should have tarps and tie-downs to protect your home from the elements.
Plus, they should store the unused materials safely and cover them with tarps. Sharp objects like nails and shingles should also be picked up at the end of the day.
When you are ready for a new roof, contact our company, Motor City Roofers. We have all the right answers to these and other questions concerning the roofing work for your home.
We have been in the business for many years and not only are we bonded and insured, but we also have lots of references. Leaving your roof to inexperienced contractors is not the best strategy to use. Call us today for experienced help.