Hiring a roofing contractor checklist is one of the first things you should research before you begin to call prospective roofers in your area. With the information we have written below, we hope to provide some insight into what to look for when hiring a roofing company. We want all our customers to know these answers before getting started on their roof installation. Before you sit down and sign that contract, make sure to know the right questions to ask your roofing contractor. Also, it helps to have an idea of the responses you should be looking for.
The crew at Oscar Roofing works hard and installs roofs in Bloomington and Indianapolis area since 2003. We provide the highest-quality maintenance and best looking roofs around. Choose us and notice the difference.
Now, let’s take a look at those principal questions you need to ask your roofing contractor. We area always ready to educate our customers on everything roof-related. So today, we are looking at the top 15 crucial questions to ask your roofing contractor. Of course, there are many more questions you can and should ask. We do not want any homeowners to feel like they are asking too many questions. Any professional contractor will be happy to answer the questions below and more, since it shows that they are serious and respect you as a customer.
1. Check how long they have been in business
When investing in a roof installation, always ask your prospective roofing company how long they have been in business and what quality work they provide.
You will want someone with significant experience to handle your roof. Of course, if you decide on hiring a newer, up and coming company, it could be risky. A new contractor who is just getting into the business will probably have lower prices since they are just starting out. A drawback is that you want to make sure that this company will still be standing and operating years down the line, in case there are maintenance issues with your roof. A standard roofing labor warranty is 5 years, so make sure that they will be at least around for your warranty to be fully covered.
How do you know what their labor warranty includes? Ask your roofer and make sure that its detailed in their contract.
While we don’t want to be negative, it is essential to have a contractor that has years of expertise, can provide good quality and will be able to return if there’s any problems. A roofing company that has been in business for many years in your area will be a safer bet.
2. Know if they are a local business
When calling roofing contractors, always and we cannot stress this enough, always pick a local roofer in your area. Ask this potential roofing contractor to tell you their address and make sure that it is in a physical location in your city. Make sure the area code of their main office number is local as well.
The reason we state this is that, after giant storms, storms chasers come out. Storm chasers are companies from out of state that go across the country after a storm has passed and undercut the prices of local companies. They do this in order to get any jobs possible, get paid and move onto the next city where another storm has hit. While we cannot speak about these companies, it can get tricky with their practices. They do not have technically have to follow any local installation codes or file any license or paperwork. Because they do not operate in your home state, they do not apply for the certifications and licenses of your home state.
A good standing roofing contractor from your city will have the proper permits necessary to install roofs in your state. They will also know the local installation codes to follow and be compliant. You will not have to worry about any paperwork or issues regarding any of permits down the road.
3. Is the roofing company licensed, bonded and insured
One of the first things to ask your contractor is whether they hold all the necessary paperwork to be able to work in the city. This question goes in par with question #2 and we break down what each of these words mean.
- Licensed: A good roofing company will be in their city or county’s registry with their state’s board of licensing contractors approval. They renew their license every year and should show you that their license is current before the installation can begin.
- Bonded: When a company is bonded, it means that they are insured through surety bonds. The bond is held in place to make sure the company is performing their job as they should. A bonded company is making a promise to their customers that they will deliver their tasks as written in their contracts to the homeowners.
- Insured: Make sure the contractor you employ has their insurances in order. No matter the size of the business, from small business to larger companies. General liability insurance, workman’s compensation and company vehicle insurance are the essential insurances they should have. General liability covers the customer’s property, worker’s compensation covers the employees on your property. Lastly, vehicle insurance covers the company’s cars.
Before signing a contract with your roofing contractor, ask for copies of the documentations above. Roofing contractors will not mind and will most likely already provide them along with their original bid. However, simply do not rely on your contractor for all appropriate permits and licenses, a simple google search will tell you of your state’s local codes and permits. Knowing what you need will help you make the best decision.
4. Check if they are a preferred contractor
Popular shingle manufacturers such as Owens Corning and GAF have their own certification programs. They pick the top roofing contractors in different areas and and have them go through a certification process. The goal of this certification is to allow the contractors to be able to provide top tier warranties and add-ons straight from the manufacturer.
Owens Corning has their preferred contractor program, this means that they choose few contractors that the necessary qualifications. What this means for your warranty is that you have more coverage options. One of these is a 5 year workmanship coverage(depending on your roofing system).
Being a preferred contractor means that Owens Corning is entrusting us with impeccable installations to ensure that customers receive the most out of their materials.
5. Review their labor warranty
Ask your roofing contractor the warranties that they offer for their workmanship. Material warranties are given by the manufacturer and are separate from workmanship warranties. Labor warranties will be provided by the roofing company or installer of the roof. These could range from two-year to five or ten years.
The length of the warranty depends on the company and the scope of the project. If its a simple repair they might provide a two year warranty. If its a whole installation then they will probably do five years or more. Its essential that the warranty clause be written somewhere on the contractor’s bid, both for your sake and theirs.
6. Know the measures the company takes to protect your home
The roofing contractor will let you know before starting the roof installation what they will do to protect your home surroundings. For example, some companies place tarps or plywoods along your bottom roof line to cover foliage and landscaping from getting damage by shingles. The roofing contractors will also remove and place back any satellite dishes that you have. The installers also make sure not damage your gutters or siding.
Every company handles things differently. If you want to know what protective maintenance measures they take for your property, then its best to contact them directly.
7. Check if there will be additional costs
This depends on the project type. Always ask your roofing contractor for a breakdown of their services, that way you can tell what the roofers will be working on. Typically, a roofing contractor will provide all costs in their initial price based on their inspection. This includes the materials, labor costs and dump fees for a new roof.
A small drawback when it comes to inspections is that its hard to note what goes on underneath a roof unless you are removing all the shingles and other materials underneath. If you read your contractor’s quote you might notice a clause that states any wood decking replacement charges are not written in the quote. This is normal in the roofing industry, since the decking is hidden underneath all the other materials, it can be difficult to know their state until the project begins.
The roofing contractor will tell you in their contract the price of replacing a new plywood, if its not written in then its best to ask before they begin the project. Typically, plywoods are not very costly and there should be minimal replacements to be done. Unless you have multiple leaks or see parts of your roof that are sagging, only a couple of plywoods or none at all will need replacing.
8. Will a project manager be onsite during installation?
Any reputable roofing company will have one of their project managers onsite at the beginning and end of the day. They will also be checking in on the crew and homeowners throughout the day in case there are any questions or concerns. The sales person you are in contact with should be providing the name and phone number of the project manager and this project manager should reach out to you the day before installation begins. This is a great mark of a great company. Not knowing who is in charge and having to reach out to someone who is not onsite and aware of what is happening with your roof sounds like a terrible time.
The goal of the roofing company is to be in communication with their customers, and provide all the tolls to make sure the customers feel trust and are worry-free. Always know that a project manager will reach out to you the day before or the morning of the roof installation.
9. Know what happens if there’s inclement weather
Roofing contractors probably check their weather applications just as much as weathermen. They cannot work if there are harsh conditions, such as heavy rain, wind or snow. A roofing contractor will schedule your project out weeks before and should let you know a day or two before the date arrives if they will still be able to perform the installation. If they need to reschedule, then it is most likely due to weather issues and they will tell you as such.
If you notice that there is rain or high winds in your area soon, then you want your roofing contractor to reschedule. They and you do not want them working on your roof as this could cause more harm than good. The installation process could be done improperly, you could be exposing your open roof and water can pool in. Not to mention, its highly dangerous for the installers to work in rainy conditions. In order to avoid any of these events from occurring, your roofing contractor will most likely contact you and schedule for the next best date.
While it can be a hassle, we do hope that homeowners understand that sometimes this happens and its best to avoid any issues.
10. Know what payments the company receives
Before starting the roofing project, ask the roofing company what payments they take. Some companies will take the standard check, cash and credit cards. However, its a good idea to check in advance. The roofers will most likely also advice of a small deposit first, this is to cover their bases and know that the contract is secure and they can proceed with the installation.
Depending on the situation, some roofing contractors will also provide financing options. this is great if some homeowners are looking for this option. Check to see what the requirements are, see if you qualify and what the terms are. This option is great for homeowners who do not want to put forth a big chunk of their money right away. Ask your roofing contractor if they have any financing options or if they have a monthly repayment program if this a better option for you.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist
We hope this checklist highlights some of the essential items to know when you choose a qualified roofing contractor. These are the main topics you should cover, in addition, if you have additional questions to ask then by all means you should include them. We have always stated that our goal is to inform our customers and the more they know, the more in agreement we are in our similar goals.
Oscar Roofing specializes in residential roofing, new construction roofing and commercial roofing. With more than 20 years of experience, we have services thousands of customers with services, including: roof repairs, roof replacements, new roof construction, siding services and gutter services.
Call Oscar Roofing if you are in Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel and Bloomington. We’d be glad to provide our services and help you realize your house goals! Call us at (812)545-1381[Bloomington] or (317)358-6625[Indianapolis].