When your roof needs repair or replacement, the last thing you want is to have the job done inadequately, which costs you more money, wastes your time, and creates stress. Beyond that, your roof is your home or building’s first line of defense against the elements, and an improper installation or repair can leave your structure vulnerable to damage and put the safety of the occupants at risk.
These are only some of the reasons why it’s so important to thoroughly vet any roofing company you hire, no matter how small or straightforward the repair might seem.
If you’re shopping around for a roofing contractor, it’s worth investing time into finding a highly experienced, reputable, and knowledgeable company.
So, what questions should you ask before hiring a roofer?
Before you get into the nitty-gritty details, you’ll want to find out whether the company is licensed and insured and whether they can provide proof of insurance. If a contractor is unwilling to offer documentation, it’s an easy way for you to know that you should look elsewhere.
Roofers shouldn’t just have any old insurance to perform a job– they should have workers’ compensation and liability insurance to ensure that you’ll be protected if an accident occurs. In addition, the insurance should be up-to-date, and it is a good idea to call the insurer to double-check that their documents and policy are valid.
Once you know that a particular company is licensed and insured, it’s time to find out more about their experience in the roofing industry, their reputation with other customers, and their portfolio of projects that are similar to the work you are looking to have done.
Here are eight questions you will want to ask any roofing company regarding licensing, insurance, and experience:
1. Are you licensed and insured? Will you provide proof of insurance?
2. How many years of experience do you have in the roofing industry? How many years of experience do you have as a roofer in this area?
3. Can you provide references from past customers that I could contact?
4. Do you have a portfolio of past roofing projects that I can view?
5. Do you have any certifications or awards in the roofing industry?
6. Can you provide any testimonials or reviews from satisfied customers?
7. Have you worked on a property similar to mine before? Can I see examples in the area?
8. What training and experience does your crew have?
There are three primary types of roofing warranties:
- Standard manufacturer’s warranties
- Workmanship warranties
- Extended manufacturer’s warranties
It is common for roofing materials to come with a basic warranty, and the industry standard for shingles is a basic limited lifetime warranty. This means that you are covered by the warranty while you continue to own the property. Beyond that, how much protection you receive will depend on the specific manufacturer, and the definition of “limited” can vary significantly.
Contractor workmanship warranties are offered by reputable, skilled roofing companies. This is a way that they can stand behind each and every installation project they do. There can be a lot of variation between these warranties, both in terms of what they cover and how long they last.
At the very least, you will want to find a workmanship warranty that protects you in the event that improper installation or worker error leads to material failures.
The cost of both materials and labor is usually covered by workmanship repairs. They do typically exclude circumstances that aren’t related to the quality of their installation, including storm damage, tree damage, and wind damage.
Finally, extended warranties are an optional add-on offered by many leading manufacturers. These are often only available when you are installing a completely new roofing system and must be installed by authorized and certified contractors.
1. Do you offer a warranty for your workmanship? If so, what does it cover, and for how long?
2. Will I receive written warranties for both the product and workmanship? When will I receive these?
3. Is there an extended manufacturer warranty offered for the roofing product I am using? Are you certified to install the roofing system in a way that will allow me to qualify for the extended manufacturer warranty? Would you recommend that I purchase it? If so, why?
Homeowners and building owners in the United States are often required to obtain a permit from their local government when they are making changes to the structure of a building’s roof. However, the rules and regulations can vary between states and municipalities, so you will certainly want to confirm whether or not a permit is required in order to do the necessary work.
Reputable, licensed roofing contractors will be able to apply for a permit for you and ensure that the entire project is up to code.
1. Will you obtain all necessary permits and inspections for the roofing project?
2. How do you make sure that your roofing projects are up to local building codes and regulations?
Of course, some of the biggest questions on homeowners’ and business owners’ minds when getting roofing work are the financial aspects.
1. Can you provide a written estimate for the roofing project, including labor, materials, and fees?
2. Does your company offer financing options available for the roofing project?
3. How do you handle payment? Do you require a percentage of the estimate up front? Is there a fee associated with paying with a credit card?
4. If you find additional repairs that need to be done, such as replacing plywood decking, how is this factored into the cost?
5. What are some scenarios that could cause the final cost to deviate from your quoted price?
6. Are there any utility rebates or tax credits that I will be able to take advantage of?
7. Do you offer any special discounts or promotions that would apply to the work I need done?
8. How do you ensure that the project is completed within the stated budget?
Not all roofing materials are created equal, and not all roofing companies work with all types of materials.
1. What types of roofing materials do you work with? Are there any roofing materials you specifically don’t work with?
2. What fasteners will you be using to install my new roof? Are they approved by the manufacturer of the roofing material?
3. Will you be re-using flashings, or will you be installing new flashings?
4. Is there a particular manufacturer you prefer for roofing materials? If so, why?
Choosing the right material for your roof can feel like an overwhelming decision. Check out our guide to the best roofing materials to help you make an informed decision.
Having your roof worked on can interrupt your daily routine or regular operations of your business. Understanding the process will help you choose the right contractor and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
1. Will you be subcontracting any work for my roofing project? If so, how do you get your subcontractors?
2. How do you handle unexpected issues or changes during the roofing project?
3. How do you handle clean-up and debris removal after the roofing project is complete?
4. What is your safety record, and what safety measures do you have in place for your roofing projects?
5. What is your policy on communication with clients during the roofing project?
6. Will you provide a written contract for the roofing project? What are the terms of the contract?
7. How will you access my roof?
8. How will you dispose of the materials that will be torn off my roof? Are you going to have a dumpster brought to my property? Are you going to have a porta-potty on site?
9. What steps do you take to protect the gutters of my home?
10. What do you do in the event of inclement weather?
11. How will you protect the rest of my property from damage?
12. How do you test the condition of the decking and determine whether it needs to be replaced?
13. Do you have any experience working with insurance claims?
14. What’s your policy for changing the specifications of the project once it’s already begun?
Probably the second most pressing question for many building owners and homeowners is what the timeline will look like for their roofing project. A reputable contractor will be able to give you a clear sense of when they will be able to do the job and how long it will take to complete. Beyond that, they should be ready to explain how they keep projects on schedule so you can rest assured that it won’t take longer than you expect.
1. What is the estimated timeline for completing my roofing project?
2. When would you be able to schedule this roofing job?
3. How do you ensure that the project is completed on time?
Are you looking for a ballpark estimate of how long your roof replacement will take? Check out our article about the typical timeline for a roof replacement.
The experience and knowledge of the roofing crew are important, but what about the customer support staff? Are they readily available to help you before, during, and after the roofing job?
Beyond that, you’ll also want to know whether or not there are maintenance and repair services bundled in with the job or if there are maintenance plans you can sign up for to keep your newly repaired or brand-new roof in good working order for years to come.
1. Who will be supervising the project?
2. Who will be my primary contact during the course of the project? How quickly can I expect them to get back to me when I contact them?
3. Do you offer any maintenance or repair services after the roofing project is complete?
4. What is your process for handling roofing emergencies outside of regular business hours?
5. How do you handle complaints or disputes from customers?
6. Do you offer maintenance plans that I can sign up for after the project is complete?
At this point, you’ve probably been able to whittle your list of roofing companies down to a handful of highly reputable, experienced, and knowledgeable roofing contractors. Before you make your final choice, you might want to ask them about what they do to ensure that their projects are both environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
Regarding being kind to the environment, this pertains to a number of aspects of the project: how they will dispose of materials, what chemicals (if any) they use during the process, and whether they prioritize materials made with recycled materials content.
When it comes to energy efficiency, you’ll want to ask about the options that will help you keep your cooling costs low in the summer and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC equipment. Beyond the possibility of installing a cool roof, this is also a good time to ask them whether they will look at your ventilation system and make suggestions if there are improvements that could be made.
1. Do you take any steps to make sure your roofing projects are environmentally friendly?
2. Do you take any steps to make sure that your roofing projects are energy-efficient?
At Colony Roofers, we know how important it is that your roof repair or replacement is done right the first time. With nearly 3000 completed jobs under our belts and more than 500 storm damage repairs in the greater Atlanta area, we’re a locally owned and operated company that you can rely on.
We know that getting roofing work done can be stressful for homeowners and business owners, and that’s why we do everything in our power to create a hassle-free roofing experience for our customers. We offer the highest quality roofing materials at the most affordable prices and always go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.
If you’d like to ask us any or all of these questions, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to come out to your property to give you a free thirty-minute inspection and estimate to help you make an informed decision when selecting a roofing contractor.
A reputable roofing company should have a valid license and be fully insured. They should also belong to professional associations and have manufacturer certifications, which indicate their commitment to quality and ongoing training.
Ask for references from recent projects similar to yours. Make sure to contact these references and inquire about their overall satisfaction with the work, communication, and timeliness of the company.
Ask about the team's experience and training. Ensure the crew is employed by the company, not subcontractors, to maintain quality control.
Professionalism is key. Look for timely and clear communication, a well-organized business approach, and respectful interactions. Reviews and references can also shed light on this.
A contract should detail the scope of work, materials used, timeline, costs, and warranty information. It should also outline what happens if extra work is required or there are disputes.
Very important! A reputable roofing company should offer a warranty that covers both materials and workmanship. This gives you peace of mind knowing you're protected if issues arise after the work is complete.