How to Hire a Roofing Contractor – Forbes Advisor

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Need a roofer for your project but not sure where to turn? Hiring a roofer starts with asking your neighbors or the Home Owners Association (HOA) who they recommend. You should check the roofing requirements and directories for your state, as well as finding and reading reviews.

Then call two or three local roofers to arrange consultations. Check references, ratings and qualifications, compare bids and negotiate final price. Below is how to hire the right roofing service for your project and budget.

Qualifications of roofers

Roofers must meet the criteria of their community. Before hiring, check the qualifications and records of your state’s roofers.

Good roofers are:

  • Experienced
  • Licensed in your area
  • Insured
  • Bonded (meaning that a bonding company has cash on a consumer in case they need to file a lawsuit against that company)
  • Ready to provide references
  • Ready to write a quote

Services offered by a roofer

Roofing services vary from contractor to company. Ask the two or three roofers you want to work with. Some common roofing services include:

  • Roof inspections that check whether:
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Installation or replacement
  • Weather protection
  • Isolate
  • Ventilation
  • Shoveling (removing snow and ice dams)
  • Roof cleaning (pressure that washes away mold, moss and debris)
  • Sealing, treating or painting (especially for wooden or metal roofs)
  • Dirt removal

Restoring a roof is a good time to check your gutters. You may find roofers who also provide gutter, siding, and window services. Ask the professionals in your area if they can provide other services. Attacking roofs and gutters at the same time can save you money in the long run because the contractor is already on site.

How to hire a roofer

When you are ready to hire a roofer, there are two types to consider: independent contractors and roofers. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Always compare the bids to get the best price and check the roofers’ ratings, testimonials and qualifications.

Independent roofers can be helpful for quick repairs. Because they work either independently or with subcontractors, large projects can take longer to complete, such as: B. Replacing your old roof. However, you can specialize in a particular style. Hiring one person can be a risk, but it does mean that you will see and work with the same person for the duration of the project.

Roofers are more likely to complete larger jobs faster, have their work covered by manufacturer warranties, offer discounts or free advice, and work with more materials. However, you may not have the same contact person for every phase of the project.

Questions to a roofer

Interviewing contractors is an important step in hiring the right roofer. Here’s something to ask:

  • What types of roofs do you install?
  • Do you work with homeowners insurance to make claims?
  • Do you have a current license for this work near me?
  • What types of insurance do you have and what is the coverage?
  • Can you give me two or three references to review?
  • Do you offer a free on-site inspection?
  • Do you take photos during the inspection and after the project is complete?
  • Will you give me a written estimate after the inspection?
  • Do you do roof repairs? How much do they cost?
  • Is your work covered by the manufacturer’s warranty?
  • How do you keep projects on schedule? What’s your bad weather policy?
  • Do you remove or dispose of old roofing materials? Is there a disposal fee? Do you recycle old materials?
  • When and how do you bill? Do you accept credit cards? Do you offer financing?

Choosing the right roofer

Always get quotes from a few roofers before choosing the one that’s right for you. You can choose the reasonable offer in the middle of the road or the contractor with the lowest price and best availability. With the right budget, you can go for the roofer with the highest estimate and 20 years of experience installing the type of roof you want.

Whichever bid you choose, make sure your roofer has the right qualifications.

If you already know what type of roofing you want, you may have fewer contractors in your area to choose from. Most roofers can install and repair asphalt shingles, but fewer are experienced with materials such as cedar wood shakers, clay tiles, or natural slate. Unique styles like sun shingles or green roofs require specialists that can be difficult to find in rural areas.

Door-to-door commandments can be predatory when a roofer visits neighborhoods hit hard by storms and high winds. When local roofers contact you to repair or replace your roof, check their license, insurance and references before accepting their offer.

Compare quotes from top local roofers
Free, no-obligation estimates

Find a roofer

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much should you prepay a roofer?

Avoid prepaying more than 15% of the project cost. You may want to pay with a credit card in order to have recourse in case something goes wrong. Check with your tax advisor to see if you need to file a 1099-MISC for contractor payment.

What kind of insurance should roofers have?

There are several types of roofer insurance. For the best protection, look for roofers with general liability and labor compensation.

What else should i know before hiring a roofer?

Roofs installed between 1907 and 1980 most likely have asbestos shingles or sheets in them. If your home has an asbestos roof, your project may take longer to complete and cost more to remove as the material poses a health risk.

In addition to installing waterproofing and roofing, your contractor will also install drip edge metal strips that will safely guide water from the fascia into the gutter. So replacing your roof is a good time to check your home’s bezels, soffits, and gutters for damage.

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