How To Hire A Roofer, 5 Questions To Ask

Hiring a roofer shouldn’t have to be stressful.  Although, there’s nothing really “enjoyable” about having to get a roof repaired or replaced.  Finding a roof that’s reputable, honest, and takes pride in their work can be a daunting task.  Here are a few things you can do to find a good roofer and 5 questions that you should definitely ask them.  

Get A Recommendation From A Family Member, Friend Or Co-Workers.

Call every family member or friend that you know and start making a list of 3 to 5 roofers that come with good recommendations.  Ask around the office to see if any of your co-workers have recently had to hire a roofer.  Once you have your list, start making phone calls to set up times for estimates.  

Ask For References

When you call the roofers, ask them for references from past clients.  They shouldn’t have any problem coming up with a list of customers names and phone numbers, provided they have done a good job for them.  If they drag their feet, then call the next roofer on your list.  Also, see if you can get addresses along with the phone numbers so that you can drive by to see their work… or better yet, meet with the homeowner so you can chat.  

Look For The Paper Trail

Once you have your list of prospective roofers narrowed to a couple good choices, then you’ll want to see proof that they are licensed and bonded, and if they have liability coverage.  Again, any roofer that is above board should have no problem with this request. 

Call Up The Better Business Bureau

After doing all your research, if you are still unsure about your roofer, go ahead and look them up with the Better Business Bureau.  They should be able to tell you if the roofer is in good standing or if there are any complaints. 

The next thing you need to do is set up an interview with a contractor so you can get a good assessment of him, his services and the prices of those services.  You’ll need to ask some questions so that you can get the most affordable prices. 

When Can You Come To Inspect The Roof? Does The Inspection Cost Anything?

The truth is that no matter how good the roofer says he is, he likely won’t be able to give you a true estimate and cost of the work that needs to be done unless you have him inspect the area that needs the work.  Go ahead and arrange for an inspection to be done.  For the most part, it shouldn’t cost you anything.  

Do I Need To Purchase Materials? How Much Do I Need? Can You Help In Getting Me A Discount?

When the inspection is completed, the roofer should be able to tell you what materials you need and how much you need.  You could purchase the materials yourself under the guidance of the roofer, or you could have the roofer purchase them for you but you want to make sure that you keep tabs on the materials while they are working on your roof.  If there is any materials left over, you want to make sure the roofer doesn’t take off with it because you should be able to return back to the supplier for a refund.  Also, the roofer should have a good relationship with suppliers, so if at all possible he should be able to get you a discount. 

How Much Will Your Labor Cost Me? Do You Have A Fixed Rate? Is Prepayment Necessary?

This is perhaps the most important set of questions for homeowners. The aim here is to get a precise estimate of the cost. It is important for you to sign a contract with a fixed rate and not with an adjustable one. Otherwise, you risk paying much more than you have expected. Usually, you can expect to pay a chunk of the cost in advance. The sum is either 10% of the entire cost or $1,000, depending on which number is greater.

These are likely the most important questions you could ask the roofer.  The goal is to get an exact estimate of the cost of the job.  It is also important that when you sign the contract that you get a fixed rate rather than an adjustable rate.  Otherwise, you run the risk of paying more than what was originally agreed upon.  As for any up front costs, you can expect to pay a little bit up front, usually as little as 10% of the whole cost or $1000, depending on which is higher.  

Do You Provide A Warranty?

It doesn’t matter how skilled or experience a roofer is, you MUST always get a warranty from them.  Many roofing companies offer this as a way to pull in more business and to assure potential clients that they can be trusted.  If they are reputable, then they should have not problem providing you with this request.  The last thing you want is for a roofer to do a lousy job and then high tail it out of town with your money.  Actually, finding a roofer that will allow you to pay for the job only after the work has been completed to your satisfaction might help you choose between them or the other guy.  The standard term of the warranty is usually between 6 and 12 months at a minimum.  It should also make clear and without any ambiguity all the instances in which a breach of the warranty would be triggered.  This is crucial because you would not want your request for repairs to be rejected because of a hailstorm for example.  

Should I Do Anything With My Home Before You Start Working?

You want to make sure that all of your belongings (ie, clothes, appliances, knick knacks) are stored away and secure.  You don’t want anything to be damaged while work is being done.  This will also protect you from any accidents that may occur during the roofing process.

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