roofing contractor giving an estimate

When it’s time to get a new roof put on your home, you will want to call several roofing contractors to obtain estimates. But what questions should you ask when they get there? How will you know the right contractor to hire for the job? Here are some tips and suggestions on the hiring the right roofing contractor and making sure they are well qualified to do the job.

Question: Are You Licensed?

Most states require all roofing contractors to be licensed in the state the work is being performed in. It is best to research what is required in your state. Be sure the contractor’s license is up to date. If anything goes wrong with the job, the roofing license if very important.

Question: Do You Have Workman’s Comp Insurance?

Insurance can be expensive and some roofers may try to cut this out to save money. Employers are required by law to carry workman’s comp insurance. What can happen if you hire someone that doesn’t have this insurance? You could end up paying thousands of dollars for their medical bills since the accident happened on your property.

Question: Do You Carry General Liability Insurance?

The roofer’s liability insurance will cover any damage to your house or property caused by the contractor while the job is in progress. For example, if a bundle of roofing shingles falls and comes flying through your window (it has happened) you could end up paying the bills for repairs.

Question: Will You Remove The Old Roof?

If you only have one layer of roofing shingles on your roof, you can decide if you want the single layer removed or if you want the new layer applied over the existing layer. If the existing layer is removed, the job will be more expensive. Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples and all roofers are quoting on the same work.

Question: Will You Install A Drip Edge When You Install The New Roof?

A drip edge is a critical component of the roofing system. The drip edge is generally made of aluminum and extends past the edge of the roof to guide the flow of rainwater directly into the gutter. Water damage can occur if the drip edge is missing or not installed properly.

Question: Will You Install An Ice And Water Barrier?

Roof leak barriers help prevent leaks due to water damming, wind-driven rain and damaging ice dams. Ice and water shield is applied at eave and rake edges and in valleys. These are the areas most prone to water leakage. It is also recommended around skylights, roof dormers, chineys, vent pipes and other flashing areas.

Question: Does The Roofing Company Have A Local Address?

Many contractors will only list a Post Office box on their business card. Make sure they can provide you with an actual street address and phone number. If it takes the crew an hour or more to get to your home from their location, you may not get the most prompt response time or the best service.

Question: Will The Company Provide References Or Referrals From Previous Jobs?

It is perfectly fine to ask for photos or addresses of previous jobs. Also request phone numbers of some previous customers so you can check on customer satisfaction.

Question: Does The Company Have A Workmanship Warranty?

A roofer who stands behind their work will provide a workmanship warranty that generally lasts one year. You mainly want to know if the roofer will stand behind their work. Problems with application will show up early and you want to make sure the roofer will return to fix any issues with workmanship that arise.