Top 10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor

A roof repair or replacement can be a stressful experience but it doesn't have to be! You've most likely gotten a few quotes, asked for recommendations from friends or social media, and narrowed down your selection of options based on affordability and experience. 

If your prospective roofing contractor can confidently answer these 10 questions then you're probably in very capable hands. 

1. How long have you been in business? 

  • Obviously, you want to choose a roofing contractor with a long-standing reputation and lots of experience. Experienced roofing professionals will have already encountered most situations that a visual roof inspection can't determine. They will know how to diagnose and properly fix them and, most importantly, they will know exactly what this will cost. You don’t want to end up in a situation where your bill keeps increasing because your inexperienced contractor underestimated the time or material commitment

2. Are you properly licensed and insured?

  • If the answer no, move on immediately! If the answer is yes, and you have any inkling of doubt, ask for proof. Exterior Design and Development is 100% licensed and insured and if you ask to see proof ... we will gladly show it to you! Insured means that we are covered for liability issues that may happen during the work. While we have rarely ever needed to file a claim, it is still important to have. You never want to be in a situation where a contractor causes damage to your home, is uninsured and doesn't have the funds to repair it. At that point, the homeowner will most likely be on the hook for the repair costs.  A licensed roofer is one who has proper training, experience and passed a test to receive a license, in most areas of the US, from the states where they will be doing business. 

3. Do you have any manufacturer certifications?

  • This may seem like an odd question to ask but it will set apart Joe Roofer from the true professionals. Most major roofing material manufacturers offer certifications. The GAF Master Elite certification is a factory certification program that provides ongoing training to roofing contractors and assurances to you that the roof will be completed well and professionally. TAMKO Pro and Certainteed also offer similar training programs to provide the same assurances that the roofing contractor you potentially hire is qualified to do the installation. Don't you want to hire a professional that takes the time to invest in their craft? We would! That is why we hold all 3 major manufacturer certifications and continue to invest in further education

4. Does the roof come with a warranty?

  • Most full installation or replacement roofs should come with a warranty. Usually, a certain amount of years is covered by the installer and then another period of time is covered by the manufacturer. It is set up this way because manufacturers won't cover faulty installations. That is why it's so important to ask this question and to ask for more information. If the answer is yes you can also ask for more information about who the warranty is from. 

5. Do you use subcontractors?

  • Some contractors will all or some of their roofing jobs to subcontractors. This isn't always bad. Your contractor may not have roofing experience and is subbing the job to a company that only does roofing. Other times, a roofing contractor may sub excess work out to trusted partners. Make sure the subcontractor carries workman's compensation and general liability insurance so that you are covered

6. Will you remove and dispose of waste materials?

  • You don’t want to be left with a pile of old shingles from your old roof in your driveway. It's helpful to confirm your contractor will bring a container to dispose and remove all trash and refuse materials.

7. How long will the project take?

  • At Exterior Design & Development, the majority of our residential roofing projects are completed in 1 day. If the project is expected to take more than 1 day, ask how they will protect your home overnight in case of inclement weather. After all, you are replacing your roof to protect your home. You don’t want leaks overnight because your contractor didn't appropriately seal the project for overnight safety. 

8. When can you get started?

  • If you have a leaky roof you may not want to wait 2 - 6 weeks for the contractor to get you on his or her schedule. Asking about the lead time will help ensure transparency and manage expectations. If you don’t have any major leaks, waiting for the contractor your trust's schedule to open up is definitely worth it!  

9. Who will be on-site during my installation?

  • You should always have a point of contact. It may not always be the person who did the estimate or you met when you booked the project. Ask who the on-site foreman will be and how you should handle questions or concerns. A reputable company will have a good answer and should make you feel comfortable!

10. If I have a problem, can I speak to the owner?

  • The right answer is YES! This is your home ... if there is an issue you should be able to speak with the owner. Exterior Design and Development is owned by Chad Solar who has been a roofing contractor for over 20 years! If you don't meet or speak with him before the project begins, he is always available. All you have to do is ask!