The process of picking a roofing contractor to install your new roof can be intimidating, but do not fear, we are here to help you! This handy list of questions will help you better understand what lies ahead so that you can ask the right questions.
1. WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Seems like a pretty simple place to start, right? Get the physical street address – not just a PO Box – so you know where folks are located. Hiring a contractor with an office near you increases the likelihood of better customer service and quicker service times.
2. DO YOU CARRY INSURANCE?
Yes the the only answer to this question! A contractor should carry both comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Contractors may also carry other kinds of insurance including health, life, and auto insurance so don’t be misled. Let the contractor know you want to see current certificates for liability and workers’ comp.
3. ARE YOU LICENSED?
You’re basically asking if the contractor is licensed by your state and/or city. good to know, right? Just note that not all states require contractors to be licensed. Some cities require professional licensing. A check with your local licensing authority (or Google) will give details.
4. IS YOUR COMPANY CREDENTIALED?
Several roofing manufacturers (like CertainTeed and GAF) offer a variety of programs to professional contractors that establish their credentials as a knowledgeable roofing company. You can use a contractor’s credentials as another indicator of their degree of knowledge, professionalism, and commitment to their trade. This is a big investment and you take it seriously…so should your contractor!
5. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS?
Needless to say, longer is usually better. Less than three years may signal an unstable business or one low on the learning curve. On the other hand, everybody has to start somewhere, right? References will be helpful to double-check any business, and are especially important when dealing with a new business. A newer business may have a great future but it is only reasonable to be more careful when considering its referrals. The failure rate of small businesses in the first three years is very high.
6. DO YOU HAVE REFERENCES FROM PERVIOUS JOBS?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s no exception in this case! Ask for photos of completed jobs. Better yet, ask for the names and phone numbers of recents customers (within the last year) who’ve agreed to be a reference. Get at least 5 and you can choose who to call. And don’t forget addresses! Take a drive and check out their handiwork in your community.
TIP: Many contractors now have a presence on social media, so check out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Yelp for photos (and reviews!) of your contractor.
7. WHAT IS YOUR WORKMANSHIP WARRANTY?
Typically, contractor workmanship warranties are for one year or more. In this case, the length is less important than what is covers. You’re looking for:
– The ability of your contractor to stand behind their work
Be sure to ask the contractor for their warranty specifics. You’ll also get a sense of some of this when reading reviews and doing your research.
A NOT ON WARRANTIES: The contractor warrant their workmanship. The manufacturer, on the other hand, warranties the roofing material against defects in manufacturing. Together, these two warranties will cover the shingle roof system. Understand them both – ask for a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty pertaining to the specific shingle products you are considering during your evaluation.