Best Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor
Get the Answers to Make the Best Decision for Your Home
Questions to Help you Select the Best Quality Roofing Contractor
You are making a very big decision when you select a roofing contractor, possibly one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your home. Your home’s roof is one of the most important parts of the house. Not only does the roof have a huge impact on energy efficiency and long-term habitability by keeping you dry, protected, and comfortable, but it is also a huge aesthetic for the exterior of your house. When you’re hiring a roofing contractor, asking key questions beforehand will help ensure you are getting a quality roofing business to do the work.
The Better Business Bureau and other consumer agencies get thousands of complaints against roofing contractors every year. Most states have few or no regulations where roofing contractors and installers are concerned. You really are in a “buyer beware” situation when you are getting a new roof. Therefore, it is incumbent on you to perform due diligence on the company you decide to hire.
Allied Roofing Solutions, your New Jersey roofing contractor, has a team of professionals who are experienced in the roofing business. We are fully accredited, licensed, and insured. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and are always happy to answer any and all of your questions. You can never have too many questions for us! To help you in the selection process, we are giving you the top 10 questions you need to get answers to in order to select the best quality roofing contractor for your job.
Some Helpful Tips
Even before you begin to talk to contractors, here are some tips that will help you ask the right questions.
Materials and Systems
It isn’t necessary to become an expert, but knowing the different roof materials can help you when interviewing contractors. Before speaking with a roofing company, look up the most well-known roofing materials, both at the high-end and low-end of the price range. Check out the “big box” stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot’s websites for their shingles. Compare warranties and other features like high wind and mildew resistance.
Know some basics such as the different grades of quality for different roofing materials. Shingles, shakes, tile, slate, and metal all have different life expectancies, features, and levels of performance.
Many roofs aren’t installed according to the manufacturer's guidelines, so be sure to ask your candidates about their process for installation. For example, knowing what the manufacturer guidelines are for several common shingles gives you some basic information to compare with their answers as you progress into your selection.
Contact Multiple Contractors
Contact several roofers and request an on-site estimate. A tip is to contact them during winter (the off-season) when they have more time to talk with you in-depth. Check out their websites to see galleries of previous work, if possible. If a company doesn’t have photos on their sites, ask if they can bring some with them.
Look at Costs and Value
You can do some preliminary research on typical roof costs for the size and architecture of your roof. This way, you may have a baseline range going into getting quotes from several contractors.
Questions to Ask Early When Getting a Quote
In order to obtain quotes that are similar for comparing “apples to apples,” so to speak, ask these questions:
- Which parts of my home do you need to inspect to provide an accurate estimate?
- How does the material affect the costs for installation?
- Can you give me a detailed, itemized breakdown of each expense?
- What is the cost of roof removal?
- What happens if the material costs increase before or during the installation? Will it affect my estimated price?
- How much will my homeowner’s insurance cover for hail or wind damage?
Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing
Here are 10 questions that are most important when interviewing roofing contractors to ensure you select the best one for your job.
1. Are You Licensed, Bonded, and Insured? Can I See Documentation?
This is one of the most important questions to ask, so ask it first. A company that has these will take the liability off of you. The license is the company’s permission to do business and is issued by the state or municipality. Bonded means the company will cover unpaid subcontractors and suppliers. Ask which types of insurance the company has and how much coverage it carries. At a minimum, your contractor should have general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. A quality roofing contractor should be more than happy to show you the paperwork that proves its credentials.
2. Are You Local?
You should always select a contractor that is local to your area. Ask a roofing contractor where the physical office location is and get the local phone number. In many cases, out-of-state companies appear after a big storm and undercut local roofing company prices. Afterward, they move on to the next town and you may not be able to locate them if there is a problem with the roof. A quality local roofing company knows the local installation codes to follow, the paperwork required, and anything else they need to ensure your roof is correctly installed and in compliance with the state’s requirements.
3. How Long Have You Been In the Roofing Business?
You can actually get this information from the company’s website or from your local Secretary of State’s Business Search website. If their response or the info on their website is different from the State’s website, you should be skeptical. It’s possible that the company has changed names several times due to disreputable work.
4. What Materials Are You Planning to Use on My Roof?
This is where your preliminary research can pay off. By knowing a little about the different types of shingles and prices, you can make conclusions from what the contractor tells you. You don’t want to pay top dollar for shingles that are inexpensive and won’t last long.
5. What Is Your Workmanship Warranty?
Not only do the materials have warranties, but also the contractor’s workmanship has a warranty. A roofing contractor can offer anywhere from one year, two years, three years, five years, 10 years, 25 years, or a lifetime. A company that stands behind its work and uses quality materials should provide you with a long-term or lifetime warranty.
6. If I Have a Problem, Who Do I Talk To?
You need to know your point of contact for the work. Is it the owner or the project manager? The ability to speak to the owner of the company about your issues can be worth a lot. If you are only able to speak to office staff, you will end up frustrated. You know that you are a valued customer and that your business is worthy of the owner’s or CEO’s attention when you can speak directly to him/her.
7. Do You Have Reviews, Recommendations, or References from Your Customers?
We can’t stress enough the importance of getting references from a roofing contractor. Each contractor that gives you an estimate should provide you with references from jobs completed in the past 3 to 6 months. A contractor with strong standing will be happy to provide references. Contacting past clients gives you the opportunity to confirm the contractor’s answers to your questions.
8. What Do You Do to Protect My Property and Make Sure It is Safe?
Having a roof installed is a big job and makes a big mess. Protecting your property is a critical part of the roof replacement process. The roofing contractor should have procedures in place to make sure your property and family are safe. Ask the potential contractor what steps they take to protect your lawn, landscaping, light fixtures, and other features on the property. For example, they should angle a tarp that’s secured from your gutters down to another tarp for dumping on the ground in order to cover the landscaping that surrounds the base of your home.
Ask these specific questions:
- How will you protect the gutters on my house?
- How will you protect my driveway and the rest of my property/
- How will you remove any materials that are torn off my roof?
- Will you have a dumpster on the site?
- Will you have a porta-john on the site?
9. Tell Me About Your Crew
This is more of an open-ended question that allows you to let them talk about who will be doing the work. If you need to give them more direction, these are some details you are trying to get:
- Who will be installing my roof?
- Are they employees or subcontractors?
- What training and experience does the crew have?
- Have they been trained or certified by the manufacturer of my roofing?
- Who will be overseeing my roof installation for quality?
10. What Are the Payment Terms?
It’s good to understand how payment will be made and under what terms upfront. Find out all the details about the payment schedule such as:
- What is due and when is it due?
- How much of a down payment will you owe?
- What is the timeline for the work to get started?
- If the work gets delayed due to inclement weather, will it affect when you get billed?
- If you have homeowner’s insurance that is paying all or some, what will you owe?
Contact Allied Roofing Solutions for Replacing or Repairing Your Roof
When you are in search of the best roofing contractor for a total roof replacement or a roof repair, contact Allied Roofing Solutions. We would like nothing more than to answer all of your questions to earn your business and show you we do a quality job. Our multi-step installation process ensures you get a top-notch job. We use the highest quality roofing materials for durability in order for you to get a roof that lasts a very long time. Call us today to schedule a free roof inspection at (201) 773-0633 or fill out our handy free estimate form.