Reaching out for roofing bids may seem like a challenge at first, but if you take the right approach, you can always come out on top. Throughout the selection process, knowing which questions to ask is crucial to narrowing down your choices and finding the right contractor for the job.
Here are seven questions you should always ask when hiring a roofing specialist.
1) Will You Remove My Old Roof?
You’d think that every roofer would conduct a thorough inspection whenever they’re assessing a new project – however, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, roofing specialists will eyeball the condition of your roof and if it looks good enough, they simply shingle over it. That could mean a problem for you as a homeowner. Unless the old shingles on your roof are lifted up, you have no idea whether or not the components underneath are in good condition. If there are problems and you don’t take steps to remedy them, you will most likely experience expensive problems in the future. Don’t let a roofer place a new roof over your current roof unless they’ve taken the appropriate steps to inspect the entire structure.
2) Do You Carry General Liability Insurance and Workman’s Compensation?
It’s essential that your roofing specialist carry some form of insurance that includes worker’s compensation. Should a member of the construction crew get injured or your home is damaged while the contractor is working on your home, you could be held liable for any medical costs or damages incurred. Your homeowners’ insurance may not cover accidents of this nature, so you will be personally responsible for those costs. Roofing contractor insurance protects you from all these nightmare-scenario accidents.
3) Can You Provide References?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when a roofing specialist cannot supply references, you should turn and run in the other direction – so make sure to ask before signing any paperwork. The contractor in question should be more than happy to oblige to your request, giving you the contact information of people who can recommend the quality of his work.
4) Do You Offer a Roof Warranty?
Always ask if there is a warranty included with the work that’s being done. Sometimes there will be a manufacturer’s warranty on materials, other times the contractor may offer a warranty on any failing parts or sub-par work. Roofs don’t last forever, but they should be built strong enough to at least provide a few years of protection. In case there’s ever a problem in the future, it’s nice knowing that you’re protected. Make sure that you obtain a copy of the warranty in writing and file it away somewhere safe.
5) What is the Payment Timeline?
A new roof can be expensive, especially for larger homes. That’s why you should always inquire about the payment schedule. It’s advised to never pay the full price upfront, and a trustworthy roofing specialist shouldn’t ask you to. However, setting budgetary expectations before construction begins and knowing the exact timeline of scheduled payments will help you avoid stressful cash flow problems throughout the project.
6) Will You Install a Drip or Metal Edge?
A more technical question, yet nonetheless important – ask your potential roofing specialist if they’re going to install a drip or metal edge. These important components are placed underneath the shingles where they extend beyond the roof, helping to direct runoff into your eavestroughs and protecting your home structure, decking, soffits and fascia. If they ignore this crucial step in the roofing process, you could end up experiencing expensive water damage down the road.
7) Can I visit a current worksite and see your crew in action?
The obvious answer to this question should be, “Of course!” Any reputable roofing specialist will provide you with an address where their team is on the job. Drive to the site and observe the crew in action. Watch for key indicators of professionalism – for example, proper safety measures should be implemented, the crew should be picking up after themselves and overall, they should be acting respectful of the property.