Are you one of the 76% of Americans who’ve embraced the home improvement trend since the beginning of 2021?
If a new roof for your home or business building is next on your to-do list, don’t hire the first company that comes up in an online search. Replacing or repairing your roof’s a costly, long-term investment, so make sure you get it right the first time.
These are the most important questions to ask when hiring roofers.
1. Do You Work in My Neighborhood?
Most people begin their search for contractors online, and it’s a good place to start. You can use search terms like ‘hiring roofers near me’ or ‘local roofers’ for the best results.
You don’t want to waste your time researching roofers who can’t or won’t do work in your area.
Besides, local companies are familiar with the unique weather and other challenges in your town, and you won’t have any additional travel charges if they’re based nearby.
2. Do You Have References?
If you don’t want to start your search online, it’s a good idea to ask other local businesses or homeowners for recommendations. You can also page through your local phone book to find local contractors and ask them to provide references.
These previous clients can give you a good idea about what it’s like working with various contractors and whether they delivered on their promises.
It’s also a good idea to look for reviews about your local companies before hiring roofing contractor services.
Don’t let a few negative comments put you off though. Rather focus on how the contractor handled the complaint and whether they resolved it satisfactorily.
3. How Many Years’ Experience Do You Have?
Whether you want to repair roof sheets or shingles or install a completely new roof, it’s important to choose a contractor with as much experience as possible. Every roof brings unique challenges. Sometimes they’re challenges that only years of experience can overcome.
An accomplished roofer can anticipate problems long before they happen and save you from budget overruns and even disaster down the line.
4. Are You Licensed and Accredited?
Not all states require that roofing contractors hold a license and those that do have varying requirements.
For instance, a contractor in Louisiana only needs a license if the project they’re working on exceeds a certain value. In other states, contractors must register with a specific roofing association.
Accreditations refer to things like memberships with industry watchdogs, or institutions like the Better Business Bureau, and OSHA.
5. Do You Have Adequate Insurance?
Insurance is another important consideration when choosing a roofer. Your insurance might not cover any damages caused by a contractor working on your premises.
Some of the insurances that every contractor should have include general liability and vehicle insurance. They could also have specialized roofers’ insurance policies.
Worker’s compensation is another big one to check. It’s illegal to operate a business without this type of insurance to cover your workers in the event of an injury.
With roofing being one of the most dangerous professions in the county, this is a serious omission on the part of the contractor.
6. Do You Specialize In the Type of Roof I Want?
Whether you’re investing in a new roof for your home or business, you’ll find a wide variety of options to choose from. Research your options so you can figure out whether a BUR or tile, metal or asphalt roof is best for you.
Once you’ve decided on the ideal material for your needs, you should find out if your local roofers are up to the task. All roofers prefer a particular type of roofing.
Also, a roofing contractor that deals mainly with residential roofs, might not have the tools or skills to complete a commercial roofing project to your satisfaction.
7. Will You Visit My Property to Supply an Estimate?
Never accept an estimate of costs over the phone. While most roofers can give you an hourly rate over the phone, there’s no way they can estimate the total cost without viewing the condition of your roof first.
Reputable roofing services will always want to see how they can save you money by repairing instead of replacing your roof.
When you do receive their written quotation, always question anything that seems unclear to you. Find out if the quotation includes removal of rubble, labor, and tax.
Get quotations from at least three contractors before you commit and compare them based on warranties, inclusions, and after-sales service rather than price.
8. Do You Offer a Warranty on Your Workmanship?
Roof warranties vary widely. Some may cover your roof for as little as a year, while others stretch to 15 or 20 years. Contractors that use substandard materials, like caulk, will offer shorter warranties.
Steer clear of these short-term commitments to quality. You don’t want to go through this whole process again in only a few years.
The best roofs come with a lifetime warranty. That means, the contractor guarantees their workmanship for as long as the roof materials last.
9. How Long Will It Take to Complete the Job?
Without a roof on your head, you’re technically homeless, so you need to make alternative accommodation arrangements. During your research into hiring roofers, check if they’ve stuck to their deadlines in the past.
Ask for a detailed timeline of the work involved. The amount of time it takes to complete a roof depends on the design of your building and the materials chosen but most roofers can complete the job in around two days.
10. What Are Your Payment Options?
It’s okay for roofers to ask for a portion of the total cost as a deposit, but they shouldn’t ask for the total amount upfront. Make sure you’re clear about what happens in the event of unforeseen expenses that you might not have budgeted for.
Nowadays, some roofers offer finance options for their work, but you can also get a home improvement loan to help pay for replacing your roof.
Clarifying these cost issues upfront can save you lots of stress and ill-feeling later.
Clarity Is Vital When Hiring Roofers
Asking the right questions when hiring roofers or any other contractors ensures you get the best bang for your buck. It’s always better to know exactly what’s involved beforehand to avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses in the future.
Are you keen to discover more useful tips for getting the most out of your home improvement efforts? Keep reading our blog for more how-tos and expert advice.