Learning About The Company Is Important
By asking fact finding questions you will get a better idea about the company, the roofer, and what kind of work you could expect. If you learn the company started last week, its only 1 person, and they are not insured; you may think twice about hiring them for the job. You want to make sure you have your roof being worked on by the right people, with the proper insurance, & experience to make sure your roof is properly to last a long time.
Questions To Ask A Roofer Before Hiring:
16 Questions To Learn More About The Roofer
1. How long have you been in business?
By figuring out how long they have been in business, you can figure out what kind of experience they have, whether they will be around to honor their warranty later on, & get a good general sense of the business. When you ask the roofer this question, if you get 5+ years in business, you should feel more comfortable. Not that new companies are bad, but longer standing companies tend to be more reliable in this case; as new companies are still trying to prove themselves.
2. Are you insured?
This questions is important to ask your roofer. If they are not insured and something happens, even to their workers, it will fall back on you. Because they are working on your property. So make sure they are insured, so you can be covered in the event something happens. Make sure to ask for proof of all the different kinds of insurance they have and their coverage.
3. Do you carry workers compensation insurance?
This will cover anything that happens to their workers so it does not fall back on you.
4. Do you carry general liability insurance?
Workers comp will cover the workers, but this is a good question to ask because it will cover anything else that happens to the home. If your home incurs damage because of their work, you want to know it will be covered.
5. Are you a licensed roofer?
You want to make sure they are licensed, so they will follow everything up to code for your specific state.
6. Who is the owner of the business?
This let’s you get to know a bit more about the business.
7. Who exactly is going to be installing my roof; Do you use sub-contractors or employees?
Neither is inherently bad, employees are usually preferred as they are more trained to do work more specific to the company rather being hired to work for the company on certain jobs. But at the end of the day it’s about the companies current reputation, previous work, & reviews.
8. How do you ensure your employees are safe on the job?
This will tell you how they handle safety on the job.
9. How do you ensure my family and my house are safe during the job?
Keeping your family and house safe is priority number 1.
10. When can you schedule our project?
Some roofers could be booked out for months, so make sure that the timing is right for you and your properties needs.
11. How long will the work take?
The excellent companies can usually do it in 1 day for most residential projects. This is because they have the people, experience, materials, & resources to schedule everything out properly to be done in one day.
12. Do you offer a warranty for your work & how do you stand by it?
The longer the better, of course, but use your best judgement when you ask your roofer this question.
13. Will you bring a container for refuse?
You do not want trash all over your yard.
14. Will you use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect my gutters while you are working on my roof?
It can be easy to forget how the workers need to access your roof. So it is important to ask this question to make sure they are protecting your gutters so the home does not incur other damages while getting the roof worked on.
15. In the event we have a good day turn into bad weather, what is the plan?
You want to ask your roofer this question, because you want to make sure they have a plan in place to put plastic or tarpaulin to make sure your roof stays dry. It can be daunting to think about your roof being exposed and all of a sudden the sky turns dark and begins to rain. Make sure they have a plan for short term and long-term rain.
16. Are you local and do you have a local address?
You want to make sure they have an address that isn’t a P.O. Box, as usually this will mean it is a contractor that isn’t local, but is mainly just looking for jobs to hire other local sub contractors. So who you are talking to will not be on the job and likely does not have experience with whom they are hiring. It could turn out well, but it is too much of a wild card for most people; and rightly so. It is always better to just make sure they have a local physical location.
24 Questions To Ask A Roofer Specific To Your Project & Needs
1. Will you have a porta potty on site?
Most people do not want workers coming into their house to use the bathroom and still want their privacy. Most professional businesses will have one on site.
2. Will you remove my old roof?
This may seem like a given, but it is good to ask this question to your roofer. Because it is not unheard of for some roofers to just re-shingle on top of the old ones. This can be bad, especially because rot & damage may be hard to see on the surface. It will compromise your roof later on down the line.
3. Where will you place the container for the refuse?
You want to know where this is going to go. If they place it on the lawn, your lawn will probably get ruined wherever it was placed. If they place it on your asphalt driveway, it is likely to cause cracks. This question is very specific to your property, so you want to work with your roofer to find the best spot that will not leave damage after the job is done.
4. Is there someone that is going to be on site that I can communicate with.
You may have questions the day of the project, or maybe you come home from a long day of work and see your fully open and exposed, and it looks like they are ready to go home. Whatever the case may be, you want to make sure you have someone you can talk to if problems, questions, or anything arises.
5. Will you provide written warranties for the work and materials just done on the project? When will I receive them?
You want to make sure you have everything squared away for your warranty. Asking your roofer this question ahead of time and following up after the project for it is a great idea.
6. How do you plan to protect my property from damage while the work is going on?
Your roofer will need a plan to make sure when they are working, getting on the roof, bringing in materials, & throwing away waste; that they are also keeping your property in mind.
7. What is the cost of replacing plywood if you were to find any needing replaced?
If price is your number one factor , this is a good question to ask if you are worried about hidden cost. When the roofers work, it is very possible that there may be more damage or things needing replaced than expected. So this will give you an idea of their pricing as things arise.
8. What unexpected things could cause a deviation in the estimated price?
This is a good question to ask because it really depends on your project. Ask your roofer this question to get more of an idea of what your project will entail and any things related to it that might show up.
9. How will check the decking condition on my roof and will there be any fastener pull-out tests?
This question for your roofer is how you get an idea of how detailed they will be and what to expect from the work you are getting.
10. Can you please inspect my attic for any signs of leaks or moisture or any problems that we should address.
If you are the typical homeowner, you probably do not venture into your attic very much. This is one of those questions you should ask your roofer to do because they will already be working on your roof. Why not do preventative maintenance or find issue while they are small before they become bigger, more expensive problems?
11. What materials are best for my home?
You should try to get an idea of what materials they are using. You can look up the reviews of said material and their durability. But getting an idea of what they use based on your climate will help you. Roofing uses very different materials based upon climate.
12. Ask about any tax credits or utility rebates that may be available if you are getting a new roof.
This question can save you some money depending on what materials they use. There may be a special that will give you some money back. Your roofer will know best.
13. How long should my new roof last?
When you ask your roofer this question, it can vary depending on the material being used. In general you should look out for something like 20 years to 50+ years depending on the material. (Asphalt shingles will be closer to 20, while metal roofing will be closer to 50 years.)
14. Will you be using approved fasteners by the manufacture, and the correct amount required? If so, how can you prove they did it that way?
In general, if you find a company that has been around for quite some time and their reviews are stellar. All of their work looks great, warranties are there, etc. You may not need to ask this question, as they have clearly built their trust over the years. But if you are going with someone a little newer, you may want to ask your roofer this question.
15. Will you be using all new flashing or is there old flashing that will be reused?
New flashing is important because the old flashing is bent & shaped towards your old shingles. Especially if the flashing is starting to rust, not replacing the flashing can leave room for repairs in the near future.
16. Do you have any references?
This question for your roofer depends on the age of the company. If they have reviews all over google & social media and have been around for quite some time, it’s already there. But if you have someone who is newer with little to show you are looking to hire, definitely try to get some more references from previous jobs to get an idea of their work.
17. How is the payment handled?
18. How experienced is your crew?
There is no experience required for roofing, and they always learn it on the job. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If they have their training right, someone experienced will always supervise and train. But you want to get an idea of how they handle this question to see how they are handling their crew.
19. If the job is going to take over 1 day, how will you leave my property and roof each day?
You want to be sure they are only stripping the roof of what is possible within the day. You want your roof and property to be protected from the elements.
20. If you tear off the roof and find that some or all of the roof decking needs replaced, how much will that cost?
This will make your repair very expensive, but it is also something that you will not know until the job gets started. If you are worried about price, this may be another good question to ask your roofer when planning things out.
21. How will you seal skylights, chimneys, pipe boots, & any other protrusions?
New flashing should always be the answer if they are working on or anything around it. This is important to get a proper seal and avoid needing to replace things again soon.
22. Will shingles overhang the drip edge? If so, by how much?
Your new shingles should hang at least 1/4 inch over the drip edge to ensure that water does not backup into the roof.
23. Is a building permit required, if so will you be pulling one?
In general, anything structural or beneath shingles will need one. But everything is up to the state’s specific laws. You mainly want to make sure they are going to be properly following your repair/replace to code by asking the roofer this question.
24. Does my roof qualify for it to be covered under insurance?
Depending on how the damage occurred and your homeowner’s insurance, they may cover your roof repairs under your insurance. We wrote an article about how to get a new roof from insurance if you want to learn more.