There are around 130,000 available roofers in the US according to the latest research meaning that, even in your specific area, you’ll have your pick!
Many people will pick the first roofer they come across and go with them. However, that’s a bad idea — you should always do your research to find the right fit for you and the job.
If you’re about to hire a roofing contractor then you need to ask some questions before deciding to hire them. Here’s what you should ask.
1. Do You Have a License and Insurance?
The first thing you should check before moving forward with the intent to hire a company is that they have both a license and insurance.
A license verifies their qualifications to work in this state. It tells you that they meet all of the requirements to be legitimate and have had the proper training on the job, so you shouldn’t need to worry about things going wrong because of incompetence.
Insurance, on the other hand, ensures both you and the roofing contractors are protected.
One part of the insurance should cover the building itself. Hopefully, the job will go off without a hitch but if something is damaged, you’ll want to make sure that they have the means to cover the repair.
The other part covers their safety. If they get injured on the job, it provides them with the means to take care of themselves and get their medical bills covered. Without this insurance, you could end up responsible since it happened on your property!
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
When you’ve verified they have the correct license and insurance, you should ask them how long they’ve been in business.
This question can be twofold. The individual may have been in business longer than the company or vice versa, so make sure you get an answer for both.
For the best results, you’ll want to make sure that, when hiring a roofing contractor, they’ve been in business for quite a while. While a new roofing contractor may be amazing at what they do, having experience guarantees that the person you’re hiring knows exactly what they’re doing.
3. Do You Have Experience With This Job?
As well as ensuring that they have experience in the industry, you should also make sure they have experience with the specific job you need to be done and the roof that you have. Installing a new roof is very different from roofing repairs, and either can vary a lot depending on the type of roof you have.
Make sure they also come out and take a look at the roof before committing to anything. Roofing companies who say they can do everything without ever seeing the roof, including providing you with a contract are a red flag — they should want to make sure everything is how they expect before committing to the job (unless what they’re doing is very basic roof maintenance).
4. Do You Provide a Warranty?
The next question you need to ask is if they provide a warranty for their work and, if they do, how long it is and what kind of things it covers.
For example, does it cover mistakes in their work? Does it cover damage you didn’t expect after they complete the job?
Warranties vary in length and can be anywhere between ten years and a lifetime. The main thing is to ensure that you feel you have adequate coverage and feel safe after they walk away.
5. Do You Have References?
The next thing you need to do is ensure that they’ve left a trail of happy customers behind them, satisfied with the work they’ve done. You can do this in one of two ways.
The first is asking for references. Roofing contractors should be able to put you in touch with people they’ve done work for, who can reassure you that they were very satisfied with the end result.
The second is by reading online reviews.
If you Google the company, you should be able to find some third-party reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends and family, and they’re right to do so. These reviews can give you a great, unbiased view of the company.
They should have a good overall rating, but you can also do a deep dive into the reviews to see what they did well and what they did not. The more reviews you read, the better picture you’ll get of the contractors you plan to hire.
6. How Do You Vet Employees and Contractors?
Some companies will work with subcontractors and others will just have employees. Either way, since these people are going to be around your home for an extended period of time, you might want to ask how the company vets its employees.
Background checks are usually a must. This can reassure you that the people you’ve trusted to do work on your house are safe people to be around.
7. When Do You Have Availability?
When you’re satisfied with the overall experience of a company in your area, ask when they have availability. If your roof is falling apart, you may need an urgent appointment that some residential roofing companies just can’t provide. If you have flexibility in when they can come, that’s even better, but you need to know when they can do the job.
You also need to ask how long the job is going to take. Sometimes it’s impossible to provide an accurate time estimate down to the hour, but any roofing contractor should have a good idea of how long this will take due to similar experiences. If they don’t have any idea, then it’s a red flag!
Bearing in mind that it can be very loud and disruptive to have people working on your roof, knowing ahead of time how long you might have to deal with that is handy.
8. What Will This Cost?
When you’re satisfied with the roofing company, it’s time to ask for the dreaded information: the quote.
Replacing a roof can be anywhere between a few thousand all the way up to $22,000 depending on the size of the roof and your home. You can also get quotes from a few different companies to get an idea of a realistic price if you’re worried about paying more than you need to.
Some roofing companies will also offer financing options so you can split the payment up if it’s too much to drop at once.
You should also ask if they can provide the quote in writing. This stops them from changing it at the last minute on the job, which — unfortunately — some less legitimate companies have been known to do.
Although the quote can be jarring, it’s also important not to go with the cheapest company just because it’s the cheapest. Consider the quote, but make sure it’s alongside all of the other factors that make a roofing contractor great.
9. What’s the Best Way to Contact You?
When you’re satisfied with the quote and all of the other aspects of the company, make sure you know the best way to contact them. This could come in handy if there’s inclement weather or you need to reschedule for some other reason.
Some companies will prefer to be contacted by text or email whereas it’s quicker to get to others via a phone call.
10. How Should I Prepare?
The last thing you need to ask is how you should prepare for the job.
If you have noise-sensitive kids or pets, some contractors might advise you to get them out of the house while the job is being done. If you work from home and know you won’t be able to concentrate, you might want to plan to work somewhere else for the day.
The company should be able to give you an idea of just how disruptive the work will be. This is more likely to be the case if they’re installing an entirely new roof.
Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor
While it can be tempting to pick the first roofing contractor you come across and call it a day, you’ll thank yourself later for doing your research. Not all roofers are created equal, and taking the time to find a good one for you will pay off when you have a good experience and a solid roof protecting your house.
Looking for the best roofer in San Antonio, Houston, or the Hill County area? Contact us today and let’s see what we can do for you.