Top Ten Questions to Ask Your Roofing Contractor
1) How long have you been in business?
While a short number here doesn’t necessarily disqualify a contractor(depending on what size job your looking for), this is a good indication as to the quality of work a reliability your contractor has shown his previous customers. On AVERAGE 96% of contractors FAIL within the first two years in business.
2) May I SEE your LICENSE AND INSURANCE please?
It is amazing the amount of contractors who advertise or say they are licensed and insured but fail to produce any documentation. Make sure your get a copy before letting work proceed. Insurance should include GENERAL LIABILITY, WORKERS COMPENSATION, AND VEHICULAR.
3) Do you SUB-OUT jobs? Or use 1099 contractors/employees?
While many commercial or general contractors sub-out work as a matter of course for your standard home roofing job we highly recommend using employee labor. When a contractor uses subs it is a sign that they like to cut corners or may not be carrying appropriate insurance. They also lose a large degree of control in the job.
4) Can you please provide me 5-10 references of similar jobs to mine?
Roofers that have been in business for any amount of time will have ample references you can contact and go look at the job to help you rest a little easier.
5) Are you certified with the manufacture for the products you install?
While many roofers say they can do a job, manufacturers certification is a professional distinction that sets you apart. Instead of learning from their great Uncle how to install shingles they know the current and most productive installation methods available.
6) How much MANPOWER can you commit to my roofing project?
Nothing is more frustrating that you’re roofing project lasting ALL SUMMER. Most professional roofing contractors have crews of at least three men with sometimes much more. Make your contractor give you an estimated timeline of events. Of course roofing is not a black and white proposition always allow for weather or additional work delays?
7) How can I get in contact with you or your company in the event something goes wrong?
Professional contact is a key to the successful completion of your roofing job. If your contractor only has a cell phone likelihood is there is not much holding him/her here and that 10 year labor warranty doesn’t mean much if he moves out of state.
8) What is your Better Business Bureau and State Attorney General’s Office record?
Have your contractor produce or better yet look up yourself these important indicators of your contractor’s reliability. While complaints don’t rule out a contractor (roofer) you want to see how/if they were resolved. Also a large volume of complaints in a short time period can indicate the contractor is having trouble.
9) Are you the cheapest?
What? This is a way to rule out some contractors without even getting an estimate. If a contractor claims to be the cheapest or will beat any quote you don’t want them working on your home! They have to make a living like anybody else and the cheapest price never gets you a quality job.
10) What type of guarantees do you offer?
Someone who says they guarantee their work but doesn’t offer you a written proposition is a scam artist. Ask for an in writing detailed document specifying what is covered and what is excluded under the warranty. Make sure a definitive time period is stated as well. Please note: Most lifetime guarantees have a legally enforceable expiration of 7 years.
Looking for a contractor that can answer all these questions and more? Just print out this page and hand it to them when they come to your home, or email it to them ahead of time.