Everyone knows someone who has a horror story about contractors. For example, you might face hidden costs, shoddy work, or damage to your home. So how can you protect yourself against these kinds of contractors on a roofing job?
Simply put, you need to ask the right questions. How contractors answer certain questions will determine how much you can trust them. This article lists some important questions to ask your roofer before you chose to work with them.
1. Do They Have Workmans Comp Insurance?
You should be sure to find out whether or not your roofing contractor has workman’s comp insurance for their company. This is one of the most important questions to ask your roofer because it could end badly for you if they don’t.
Of course, legally, every company needs to have this kind of insurance. Sometimes people take a big risk and try to work without it. This is also a big risk for you. If someone without insurance is injured on your property, you could end up being liable for their legal expenses.
Always make sure you ask this question if you want to avoid legal issues.
2. Do They Fulfill the Local Licensing Requirements
The licensing requirements always differ from state to state, but most of the time, roofing contractors ned to have a license to operate. Take the time to research your state’s requirements and then make sure your roofing contractor fulfills them.
If they don’t, it suggests that they might be cutting corners in other areas of their operation as well. For example, they might not have proper insurance, or they might work with sub-par materials.
Never work with a local roofing company that doesn’t take the local licensing laws seriously.
3. Will They Remove Your Old Roof?
In some cases, a roofing contractor will decide to simply build the new roof over the top of the old one. Often, they make this decision based on a visual inspection only.
This is not always desirable because there may be hidden damage in the old roof, such as rot or soft spots. For this reason, it makes sense to remove the old roof and create a new one from scratch.
4. How Much Will the Plywood Cost if You Find Soft Roof or Rot?
This is one of the biggest “hidden costs” that you’re likely to encounter when dealing with a roofing contractor. Some contractors won’t reveal that they need to do this until the project is well underway.
This can sometimes leave you with some large and unexpected costs. It’s best to ask about this first to make sure the project will stay on budget.
Also, if you ask about it directly, it’s unlikely that the contractor will attempt to hit you with any hidden costs later on in the project.
5. Can You Get a Written Estimate
This is another one of the questions to ask your roofer that relates to hidden costs. If you ask for a written estimate before the project begins, you lessen the chance that you’ll need to deal with any unexpected costs once the project gets underway.
If the contractor tries to hit you with any additional charges, you’ll have evidence of what the initial estimate was. This is an important question as it could potentially help you to avoid being overcharged.
6. How Long is the Warranty on Your New Roof
You should expect your roof to last for a very long time. With most new roofs, you should expect the shingles to last for at least 25 years. If the warranty doesn’t last for 25 years at least, you should be suspicious.
This is a key question to ask your roofer, so make sure you don’t forget.
7. What Happens if There’s Bad Weather While Working on the Roof?
Roof work needs good weather to be completed safely and on time. How a roofing contractor plans to handle bad weather is a very important question. A good roofing contractor will take certain measures to ensure your home is protected if they have to pause the job.
Be cautious of any contractors who don’t seem to have a plan for this kind of scenario. An improperly secured roof could result in damage to your home.
8. What Is the Address of the Business?
When you work with a local roofing contractor, you need to verify that they’re genuinely operating out of the local area. If a contractor gives you the address of a PO box, you should proceed with caution.
If you have problems with your roof that was installed by a contractor who isn’t local, there’s not much you can do about it. Always make sure the work is guaranteed by a reliable, local company.
9. Have They Worked for Any Local People?
You should always ask a potential roofing contractor if you can see any examples of their previous work on local houses. A good contractor will always be delighted to show you their past work.
Any roofing contractor who can’t tell you any properties they’ve worked on in the local area should be treated with suspicion.
10. How Will You Protect my Driveway?
This is another one of the questions to ask your roofing company that people often forget.
Roofers use a lot of heavy equipment that could potentially do damage to your driveway. This is another way that roofers can hit you with costs that you didn’t see coming.
A good contractor will take extensive measures to protect against damage to your driveway throughout the course of the project.
Now You Know Some Important Questions to Ask Your Roofer
As you can see, asking certain questions before hiring a roofing contractor can help you avoid some nasty surprises in the future.
Essentially, these questions to ask your roofer help you to determine if the contractor is a trustworthy, local contractor who won’t hit you with any extra costs.
If you want to learn more about other home improvement topics, check out the rest of our blog pages.