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Finding someone you trust can seem like a challenge when you’re looking to replace or repair your roof, but we’re here to tell you that the whole process can be much less painful than you think with our simple list of the top 25 questions to ask your roofing contractor. From insurance information and contracts to vents, material disposal, and warranties, we’re here to help make your worries a thing of the past.

  1. What type of licensing do you have? This question is the most basic and essential because although you may think that all contractors are required to be licensed to work, different states have different code and licensing requirements. It’s not only important to know whether or not your roofing contractor is licensed, but whether their license is up to date. This will help protect you in case an accident happens, and you need to pursue legal action. We also recommend asking about any subcontractors the roofing contractor may plan on using and the types of licenses they hold as well.
  2. What type of insurance do you have? Though every roofing contractor is required by law to offer their employees workman’s compensation insurance, it’s always smart to be thorough. Some companies may decide to practice without a policy in place for their employees, and if an injury happens on your property, you could ultimately be held liable for the worker’s medical expenses. Regardless of the stellar reputation of your roofing contractor, always double-check to ensure you won’t be held liable in the future. It’s also crucial to ask about general liability insurance. While workers compensation covers the employees while they’re completing your project, it’s still important to consider any damage that may occur to your home as a result of their work. You can verify the existence of this policy by asking to see the contractor’s insurance certificate.
  3. What factors go into determining my roofing estimate? Your roofing contractor will need to consider things such as the market price of materials, the age and pitch of your current roof, the number of layers of materials they need, any structural issues, and the disposal of old materials to give you an accurate estimate.
  4. What does your estimate include, and can I see a breakdown? Some roofers who are looking to make a quick dollar may quote you a nice low price. But when the work actually starts, you may find that the price you were quoted only includes the shingles instead of the removal of the old roof, vents, waterproofing, gutters, and more necessities you thought were included. Don’t sign your name to anything until you have a detailed estimate for the job and know exactly what materials are or are not included.
  5. Do you need to come inside my home to complete the estimate? Your roofing contractor should definitely come inside! While that may seem strange to you — the roof is on the outside, right? — your attic or ceilings can show classic signs of leaking, cracks, or more and are an essential part of a thorough estimate.
  6. How will you protect my gutters during installation? If you are getting a brand-new roof, you may be getting all new gutters. If you’re simply having a small portion replaced or repaired, it’s important to know what types of protection will be in place to ensure your gutters aren’t paying the ultimate price.
  7. What company do you work with to remove the debris during construction? Your roofing contractor should have a plan for disposal of the old shingles, plywood, nails, etc., that are removed from your old roof, as well as any waste produced during the addition of your new roofing material. Whoever you hire should either bring their own container or contract with a company to have a container on site to dispose of the trash.
  8. What are the physical address, phone number, and full name of your business? Be very wary of companies that operate out of post office boxes. Ensure that you’re able to make direct, physical contact with your roofing contractor before, during, and after the project by obtaining their complete contact information before any contracts are signed.
  9. What type of warranty comes on the various products that I’ve purchased to complete my new roof? Not only should your new roof come with its own warranty, any products that are used, such as waterproofing, gutters, or air vents, should have their own warranty information as well.
  10. If the structure of my roof is damaged or needs repair, how much will the replacement plywood cost? This is a trick that you can use to determine if a contractor is trying to take advantage of you. If the roofing contractor discovers a portion of rotten roof while completing your repair or replacement, be sure to ask about the cost of plywood that will be used to cover the area. While it may seem insignificant, this is one of the smaller additions that can really add up.
  11. Can you do a layover instead of a full roof replacement? This is another test to see if you’re dealing with a reputable roofing contractor. A layover is when new shingles are installed on top of any existing shingles, literally laying new product over the existing material. While it may seem smart to save money, chances are you’re having your roof replaced because there’s something wrong with it. Why would you want to keep that old product around if it’s not good enough in the first place? Depending on your climate, this answer could also lead to disastrous structural damage. Shingles are heavy, and adding another full layer on top of your existing roof can add thousands of pounds to the roof supports. Always remember: just because a roofer can do a layover doesn’t mean that they should.
  12. Will there be a designated project manager on-site during construction? Make sure that you know exactly who to refer questions to if there is an emergency, or if you simply have questions during the installation process.
  13. How will you protect my property during the project? Moving materials takes heavy trucks, and sometimes even larger equipment. Think about your driveway, as well as any porches, landscaping, etc. that may be damaged during the process and address it with your roofing contractor.
  14. What type of training does your company have? Has the company completed any safety training? Do they complete drug tests and background checks on their employees?
  15. Are there any past customers of yours that I can speak with? Even if the roofing contractor says yes, it’s always smart to do a quick Google search.
  16. Is there a project in progress that I can visit? Ask to see a work in progress and address any questions immediately.
  17. Are any building permits required for this project? The last thing you need is a violation for a permit that was never applied for! Although they can be cumbersome and cost a few extra bucks, it’s always better to go the official route than to cut corners.
  18. What are your plans for any inclement weather? How fast can their workers respond during inclement weather, what plan is in place for their safety, and what is their policy for resuming work if they are interrupted?
  19. Are there any materials that you plan on reusing? Things such as the flashing on your roof can sometimes be reused. Ask your contractor if they plan on keeping any material or if they will be replacing everything.
  20. Are there any available tax credits or rebates available? Ensure you’re saving money in the long run with any available tax credits or long-term rebates.
  21. Should I increase the ventilation or insulation in my attic during this process? An improperly insulated or ventilated attic can cause everything from higher heating or cooling bills to structural damage. Be sure to address issues now rather than later.
  22. What type of quality assurance measures are taken during the installation? Aside from the workers completing the installation, who is completing quality assurance during the project?
  23. How are payments processed? What types of payments are accepted and whether or not any late fees will be charged if your payment is past due are two important questions to consider when choosing a roofing contractor.
  24. When are payments due? Make sure specific dates are listed in your contract before signing!
  25. Is there a process in place if I am not satisfied with the completed project for any reason? Make sure you’re not left on the hook for a mishandled project or sloppy work and that you have legal recourse should you be unsatisfied.

Now that you’ve brushed up on your roofing contractor knowledge, practice your skills by visiting the Model City Roofing website for a free estimate. With strict safety standards, top warranty coverage, and contractors who are licensed, certified, and insured, we’ll make sure to thoroughly answer every question on your list, so you’re well on your way to the best roof you’ve ever had.