What to Ask When Hiring a Roofer

what-to-ask-when-hiring-a-rooferMost people would agree that keeping your home safe and weatherproofed constitutes common sense. A simple leaky roof can cause damage beyond your wildest dreams, which makes checking your roof a mandatory process. When you check your roof, you may find that repairs are necessary. Whether your roof needs major repairs or a simple leak fixed, you should always entrust your roof to a qualified professional.

Since having roof work can be a relatively gargantuan investment, you shouldn’t let just anyone handle the repairs. Upon a quick review of the Yellow Pages or a Google search, you will quickly find there are several roofing contractors available. The following list of information covers some of the most basic criteria you should look for in a roofing contractor.

Length of Time in Business

Instead of hiring a roof contractor that has only been in business for a few months, you should look for a well-established roofing contractor. Simply put, contractors who are unprofessional, dishonest, and those who do poor work will not stay in business very long.

Available References

The National Roofing Contractors Association provides a list of local contractors your area. You can also ask your friends and family members for the names of contractors they have used in the past and would recommend. In addition, you have access to the opinions of millions of consumers through consumer sites, such as Angies List or Yelp.

In any case, when you choose a particular roofing contractor, you should always meet with them beforehand. During this time, you should ask them for a list of names, numbers, and addresses of their formal local clients. In addition, you can always request images of their work.

Total Cost of the Job

While you must always consider price, you should avoid making a decision solely on the cheapest price. In addition, you should be wary of any roofer who asks for more than 10% up front. Most reputable roofing contractors will want some type of  initial deposit. However, the initial deposit should only cover the beginning costs of the job. The problem with paying for most of the job upfront is the risk of having your roof unfinished.

Insured and Licensed Roofing Contractor

Before you choose a roofing contractor, you should request a copy of your roofer’s liability insurance. Since roof work is very dangerous, your roofer should have their own insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident. If the roofer fails to have insurance and suffers an injury, the uninsured roofer could potentially sue you.

You should only hire a roofer who is licensed to work in your jurisdiction. In the event, your roof is not repaired properly, a licensed roofer will take full responsibility for their work.

Review the Contract

Before you sign the contract and allow the roofer to begin their work, you should make sure you have fully reviewed the document. In addition, if there are any changes, make sure the changes are documented. In particular, you should pay special attention to the section regarding guarantees. This section protects you against potentially faulty work within a certain period, such as a leaky roof 60 days after the work has been completed.


After the work has been completed and you have paid the contractor, you should always request a signed receipt. On one hand, some home improvement work can qualify you for a tax deduction. On the other hand, the signed receipt shows you did in fact pay for the work, which will be vital if leaks or other problems arise before the guarantee of the work passes.


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