Questions to Ask a Prospective Roofer
A poor roofing job can be a disaster in terms of costly future repairs and leaks, so spend time and energy finding the right one for your project. When interviewing prospects, make it a point to ask six crucial questions.
a. What is your full business name and where are you physically located?
First and foremost, ask for the roofing contractor’s full name and office address. If they give a P.O.box number, ask for the physical location. A contractor that has no physical location is likely a scam and should be stricken off your list.
b. Are you insured?
Contractors should have both liability and workmans’ compensation insurance to protect their clients in case of an accident. Workers’ compensation gives protection to the homeowner in case a contractor’s worker gets hurt, and liability insurance frees you from financial liability for damages the roofers may cause as they work.
If your roofer has no workman’s compensation insurance, you may have to pay the medical bills and other costs that arise from the worker’s injury.
c. Do you hire subcontractors?
If they do hire subcontractors, ask these people the same questions you asked the roofing subcontractor — especially the part about insurance.
d. Do you have a roofer’s license?
Determine whether your potential contractor if holds a city or state license. Licensing requirements can be unique according to the state. Roofers may also have to obtain a city and national license. Check whether a license is needed in your area, and if so, inquire from your local licensing offices if your prospective roofer’s license is current and holds no outstanding violations. A business license is not synonymous with a roofer’s license. A business license is only there for legal identification and taxation purposes. It is not an assurance that the person has passed an exam or is qualified to accept roofing projects.
e. Can you provide homeowner references?
Ask for local project sites where you can drop by, and check some roofing work they’ve done in the last 5 years. You can also request for references, but previous customers may not want to divulge their personal information, or the contractor could cherry pick a few pleased clients. Call these homeowners and ask if they would be eager to recommend the roofing contractor.
f. Will you offer a warranty for the roofing work? A roof warranty is generally for a year, although some roofers may extend this period. In most cases, the roofer covers the work while the materials are covered by the manufacturing company. These are two distinct warranties, so let the roofer explain the coverage and ask what period is covered for each one.