6 Things to Ask a Roofing Contractor

what to ask a roof contractor

A new roof is an investment you may make only a few times in your life.

So when the time comes, it helps to pose similar questions to any roofing contractors you decide to contact about the job.

1. What type of roofing do you normally install?

Some roofers install only asphalt roofing, while others may specialize in metal or another type. You’ll fare best with a roofer who is experienced installing the type of roofing you intend to purchase (if you’ve made that decision), or someone who can help you examine your options if you haven’t.

2. Can you provide references of nearby homes where you’ve installed roofing?

Make sure you call some of the references and ask whether the homeowners have had any problems with the roof since it was installed. Drive by the home to verify the quality of the workmanship first hand.

3. What should be changed about my attic ventilation?

Re-roofing presents an ideal opportunity to assess your attic ventilation. Ventilation can help make sure the attic space is not substantially overheating in summer, or suffering condensation in winter. You can ask a roofer or an HVAC contractor for an assessment of your airflow to determine whether ridge vents or soffit vents could help circulate air through the attic space.

4. What accessories do you use?

Take this opportunity to learn more about roofing components like drip edge, valleys, and chimney flashing. Drip edge, a small piece of metal placed under the shingle where it comes off of the roof, allows runoff to flow into the gutters, protecting the fascia and wood on your roof. Asking about drip edge will help ensure that this part of the roofing system is not skipped. We’re so passionate about accessories that we’ve even created a short animation on the importance of drip edge here. You’ll also find that replacing components like valley and eaves flashing is cheapest and easiest when re-roofing.

5. Will the installers on my job be subcontractors or employees?

Either subcontractors or employees could be well qualified to perform the labor. However, it’s important to know whether the installers are classed as employees or subcontractors. Depending on your state’s laws, you may need to make sure that any subcontractors are also insured in order to protect yourself.

6. Do you have insurance?

You’ll want to make sure your roofing contractor carries commercial liability insurance against bodily injury and property damage sufficient to cover any work related damages. They also need to provide worker’s compensation coverage for job related injuries and health risks. Don’t hesitate to ask for proof of this insurance, or even to call the insurance company to make sure their policy is in good standing. In addition, some states or cities may require that your contractor should be currently licensed to install roofing.

When you think you’ve found a roofer for your project, be sure to ask them about any manufacturer qualifications they hold (like Quality Edge’s Integra program). Also ask for specification sheets and warranties for the roofing products you’ll use. A few simple questions like these will help you protect yourself and your home when your new roof is installed.

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Scott says:

    I like that you recommend to drive by the houses of the references the contractor provides. I can see why this would allow you see the kind of work they do. If you feel comfortable doing so, you might even decide to talk with the owners of the house and ask about their experience with the contractor. I think that the more information you have the better.

  • I have been thinking about hiring a roofing contractor to do some inspections but I’m not sure where to start. I like that you recommend asking for proof of insurance before hiring them. If something happens on my property, I want to make sure they are covered. Thanks for the help!

  • Deb Pearl says:

    The roof on our house is just really old and doesn’t look very good, we would love to hire a roofer, but we don’t know how to find the best one. That’s a great idea to ask them if they can install all types of roofs. We wouldn’t want to accidentally hire one who couldn’t install the kind of roof we want! Thanks for the tip!

  • I noticed shingles on my roof that have started to fall off and curl so I’ve been thinking about having it inspected. I like that you suggest finding a contractor with liability insurance. I don’t want to be responsible for any injuries or property damage so I’ll be sure to ask about this right away. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for going over some things to ask a roofing contractor. It’s good to know that you can ask them for some references so that you can possibly see their work in person. It definitely sounds beneficial to make sure that you give yourself enough time to check this out, especially if it can help you understand more about their experience and what they have done in the past.

  • These are some great tips for hiring a good roofer. I want to replace my roof, since it is over two decades old, and I need to find someone to help with that. I will make sure to talk to at least three different companies and get their estimates to compare.

  • Doyle says:

    Thanks so much for the information. I’m always on the hunt for quality roofing tips. Especially when it comes to how to choose the right company. Customers and homeowners should be more educated so they can make an easier, no hassle decision.

  • I know Haag certification is a good one to have if the homeowners are dealing with insurance claims. Not necessarily a requirement but certainly a plus! Great points!

  • Our roof is in really poor condition. We need to have our roof replaced. We are looking for a roofing contractor. As we look, we will be sure to take your advice and ask if they have insurance.

  • It helped a lot when you mentioned how you need to ask a potential roofer what type of roofs they usually work with before hiring them. It is important to remember that doing this can help you find the best one for your type of house. I understand that doing some research can help you find the best roofer in your area that can work with the type of roof you have.

  • Kristi Jencks says:

    A new roof is an investment that we make only a few times in our life. So we need to ask some questions to roofing contractors before we engage them in work. We must ask them what type of roofing they normally install. Roofing contractors generally install asphalt roofing ,but some also install metal or other types of roofing. We must choose the one who can install any type of roofing or specially the type we need. Our next question will be whether they have done roofing in near by houses that we can refer. We must also ask them about the accessories they use in their work. They should clearly tell us either they are employing subcontractors or employees in work. We should be sure that they are insured or they have commercial liability insurance.

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