If you’re familiar with the phrase, ‘having a roof over your head,’ you know just how important this truly is. It’s your first line of defense against the elements and falling debris. If a roof is leaky or unstable, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of the house is; it’s hard to live in. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 129,000 roofers in the United States. Finding a great roofer in such a massive pool requires tact. You have to ask the right questions. Here are some you can’t afford to leave out.
1. Do They Have Insurance?
Even if your home is already insured, as a homeowner, you don’t want to end up footing medical bills or paying for accidental damages to other parts of the house during the roof repair or replacement process. Therefore, the roofer you end up with must show they’ve got an active workers’ compensation and a general liability cover that absolves you of any liability your current home insurance doesn’t cover.
2. How Was Their Previous Clients’ Experience?
Asking to see previous projects or to speak with previous clients is not the same as going on a witch hunt. Buying or replacing a roof is a big decision, and you should carefully research the roofer’s work history. Be objective and address any concerns that come up straight on. Ensure their previous work aligns with the outcome you desire for your home.
3. What Credentials Does the Roofing Company Have?
Determine the credentials and licenses your local authorities require roofers to hold. Once you have this information, ask your potential roofer to show you their licenses and certifications. This way, you can weed out roofing companies trying to cut corners. If something goes wrong in the engagement, you’ll have a better chance for recourse if you deal with a legally sound roofer.
4. What Materials Do They Use?
Roofing materials aren’t all equal. They vary in price and quality. Your roof should serve you for decades without leaking or caving. So, the materials should support long-term use. For instance, if you install new asphalt shingles, according to Select Construction Company Inc., you will enjoy an impressive ROI of about 62%, whereas aluminum roofing, though much more affordable, has a lower ROI.
5. What Sizes of Projects Have They Handled Before?
The American Roofers Guild reports that the average residential roof in America is around 1,600 square feet. Granted, an experienced roofer may have handled projects in their tens or hundreds. Still, their scale may have been smaller than the work you want to contract them to do. Conversely, they may be experts at massive projects and must become familiar with the nuances of working on a much smaller-scale project.
6. Can the Roofer Give You a Work Plan?
Before you agree to anything, the roofer should provide you with a work plan that includes timelines, working hours, budget, payment terms, communication plan, contact persons, and other vital details that place you at the heart of the project. You shouldn’t be caught off-guard by anything, so try your best to read between the lines of any document offered to you. If a roofer doesn’t have a work plan, don’t hire them. With professional roofers, you won’t have to ask; a work plan is part of their project routine.
Roofing is a complex job, but these questions should set you on the path to a smooth engagement with your roofer. Build rapport with the company you choose to work with so you can ask for clarification at any stage of your roofing project. If you’re unsatisfied with a response to an issue that’s important to you, that’s a red flag. Keep looking until you find a roofer who’s willing to answer any question you may have, and before you put ink on paper, visit the internet for online reviews and comments about a particular roofer. The proof of roofing is in completed projects and satisfied clients.