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15 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Roofer?

Repairing or replacing a roof is a big job that needs to be done right. After all, your house depends on a sturdy, quality roof to protect it from the elements. Any leaks resulting from poor workmanship can lead to a disaster inside your home. Don't take chances. Check roofers thoroughly before hiring them.

1. Licensed and Insured

At the bare minimum, a reputable roofing company needs to carry the right amount and type of insurance. Liability and worker's compensation are especially important. If a worker is injured on the job, the company needs to cover medical costs. In most states, roofers also need to be licensed. In some regions, licensing is done at the city level instead, so be sure to check your local requirements.

2. Quality Craftsmanship

To check the quality of work done by a particular company, ask which homes they've worked on in your area. Take a look at some of these locations to inspect the quality of the roof. In addition, ask for references. Call a few and ask about the work completed. It's also a good idea to check the company's rating with the Better Business Bureau or similar consumer protection organizations.

3. Strong Materials

Your roof needs to hold up well against the elements, including powerful winds, hail, high heat, and heavy, wet snow. Find out what materials each potential roofing company plans to install on your roof. Research these products to learn about their durability and if they are a good fit for your environment.

4. Good Communication

When you talk to prospective roofing companies, how well do they communicate with you? Do they answer your questions in detail? It's important to have excellent communication throughout the entire roofing process to ensure everyone is on the same page. If your questions aren't answered to your satisfaction, it could be a red flag.

5. Knowledgeable Staff

Find out what training your roofers have received. Check how many years the roofing company has been in business. Is the company experienced in the type of roof you want? How many roofs have they installed, repaired, or replaced? Is the staff able to offer sound recommendations based on experience? You'll want to hire a knowledgeable team that knows what they're doing and will communicate with you clearly.

6. Written Guarantee

Be sure to get a written guarantee. You'll need to be protected in the event of any problems with the installation or materials. The guarantee should be clearly specified as part of the contract you sign with the company. Have the roofing representative fully explain the agreement, and read it over carefully before signing to make sure it matches what you've been promised.

7. Ongoing and Post-job Cleanup

The job can take several days, or in some cases weeks, to complete. Ask about end-of-day and end-of-job cleanup efforts. It's important that the area is livable, safe, and clean throughout the project. At the end of the job, you'll also want a clean site to go with your brand new roof.

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Are You Choosing the Right Roofer?

Your home's roof has an average lifespan of about fifteen years. If your roof is less than fifteen years old and you are experiencing roofing problems, you likely are looking to have your roof repaired rather that replaced. If your roof is older than fifteen years, it may be necessary to get a new roof installed. Whether you are in need of roofing repairs, a re-roof, or a new roof installation, it is prudent to hire a professional roofing contractor. A roofing contractor will be able to assess your roof's condition, recommend the proper repair or replacement, and use the proper roofing materials and ensure a professional installation.

Before hiring a roofing contractor, it is recommended to get referrals and recommendations from friends and family. Even if you do not have any referrals, you should definitely get several roofing quotes before hiring a contractor. A roofing quote should be complete and highly detailed, containing specifics about the work to be done, the cost of materials and labor, and a timeline for the scope of the work. An additional thing to check on is that the cleanup is included in the quote. Otherwise this could be an additional cost or something you will need to take care of on your own.

It is important to hire a professional and to check up on the credential of the roofing contractor. Ask them how long they've been in business. Check the contractor's board for any complaints or lawsuits on file. Make sure they have a physical address. Many roofers, like other contractors, are "fly by night" businesses working in essence out of their trucks. There are even reports of scams from such types working for bogus business identities with no business license or physical place of business. These shady types work out of their trucks and take money from unknowing home owners. Roofing contractors should also be properly licensed, insured and bonded. This protects you, the home owner, from any damage to your home during their work.

Whether you decide on roofing repairs, a re-roof, or a completely new roof installation, building permits will be required by your city. Make sure the roofing company you decide to hire is familiar with the permits required as well as with the local building codes. Inspections are also likely required per building code, likely before, during and after construction completion. Make sure the roofer is complying with all regulations. This is important because if the roofer is not compliant you may be liable for damages or necessary repairs to bring the work to code.

Once you've decided on a roofer, be sure to get a contract for the work to be done. This should again consist of details of all the work to be done, materials cost, estimated labor, and the time frame for the work to be completed. If there are any warranties offered, they should be supported in writing in the contract, including any details to the warranty. Read over the warranty carefully to make sure you understand the terms of the warranty. Don't be afraid to ask the contractor to explain anything you don't understand, and to specify anything that you don't see in writing. If you don't feel the warranty is adequate express your opinion and ask for additional amends to the warranty. Also make sure clean up is included in the contract so that you are not stuck with the additional cost of cleaning up. Some people may choose to save some money by handling the clean up themselves - that's up to you to decide on the cost savings versus labor.

Above all, don't rush to hire a roofing contractor without taking the proper time to consider the details and available options. Be sure to take the necessary time to research and evaluate any roofer you are considering hiring. Don't be rushed - your decision can wait until you've completed your contractor research. Both roofing repairs and a new roof are major investments. Taking extra time to complete adequate research will be money and aggravation saved in the long run.

Bottom line is when looking for the best roofing contractor, look for one who offers verifiable experience, proper licensing and insurance, that offers reasonable solutions to your roofing problems at a good price. Also make sure that you feel comfortable working with the roofer. Your new roof or roofing repairs should keep you happy for years to come.

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Don’t make a costly mistake by using some unlicensed Handyman! Hire a professional roofer and get the job done right, the 1st time.


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