Doing Homes The Right Way

What to Ask Your Prospective Roofing Contractor

A poor roofing job can be a disaster in terms of costly future repairs and leaks, so spend time and energy finding the right one for your project. When you do, talk to each prospect and make sure to ask six critical questions.

a. What is your complete company name and physical address?

First and foremost, ask for the roofing contractor’s full name and office address. If they give a P.O.box number, ask for the physical location. A contractor that has no physical location is likely a scam and should be stricken off your list.

b. Are you covered by worker’s compensation and liability insurance?

Roofers should have workmans’ compensation and liability insurance as protection for their clients when accidents occur. Workers’ compensation gives protection to the homeowner in case a contractor’s worker gets hurt, and liability insurance frees you from financial liability for damages the roofers may cause as they work.

Without workman’s’ compensation coverage, you as the homeowner may end up forking medical bills and other costs related to the injury.

c. Do you have subcontractors in your team?

If so, you need to know the same information about these people as you have learned about the contractor, especially regarding insurance.

d. Are you a licensed roofer?

Determine whether your potential contractor if holds a city or state license. Licensing requirements are unique from one state to another. In some cities and counties, contractors should also be licensed. Check whether a license is needed in your area, and if so, inquire from your local licensing offices if your prospective roofer’s license is current and holds no outstanding violations. A business license is separate from a roofer’s license. A business license only works for tax and legal identification purpose. It does not guarantee that the person has passed a test or has roofer qualifications.

e. Can you give me client references?

Ask for local project sites where you can drop by, and check some roofing work they’ve done in the last 5 years. You can ask for references as well, but past customers may refuse to release their personal information, or the a contractor may cherry pick a number of satisfied customers. Follow up with these folks and ask whether they would confidently recommend the contractor.

f. Will you offer a warranty for the roofing work? A roof warranty typically covers one year, but sometimes, roofers provide a longer period. The materials are often covered by the manufacturer, and the workmanship by the contractor. These are two distinct warranties, so let the roofer explain the coverage and ask what period is covered for each one.

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