You need to get a new roof put on your home, so you call a contractor. You get him on the phone, he comes out and gives you a price, then offers to do the work next monday. But hold on…
- How do you know if he does good work?
- How do you know he won’t charge more after the job is started?
- How do you know if he’s even licensed, bonded, and insured to work in your area?
If you don’t have the right questions prepared before you start calling contractors, you won’t be able to properly qualify them to make sure you’re protected through the whole roofing process.
Below is a list of 12 questions that I recommend you ask every roofing contractor you consider hiring. In fact, when I help close relatives who
live out of state find a roofer, these are the exact questions I give them to ensure they don’t get ripped off, scammed, or taken advantage of.
It may seem like a lot to ask, but think about it…you’ll be writing a big check to whoever you hire, so it’s well worth their time to make sure your questions are answered. If a contractor gets hostile or acts like you’re being unreasonable just move on, he’s likely hiding something and you wouldn’t have been happy with hiring them anyway.
So before you hire any contractor to replace the roof on your home (or even repair it) be sure to ask these 12 key questions:
- Are your laborers certified & trained by the manufacturer to install the products you sell? (if a roof is installed incorrectly it may not be covered by the manufacturer warranty)
- When you get busy do you hire temporary workers? If yes, can you provide proof of liability and workman’s compensation insurance? (If a worker falls off the roof and is not covered by workmans compensation insurance one of the targets for a lawsuit will be you, the homeowner)
- Do you offer a limited lifetime or a lifetime warranty? (A limited lifetime warranty is usually very restrictive, only a real lifetime warranty will cover you 100%)
- Does the contract I sign lay out your workmanship warranty? How long is it? Is it limited?
(The manufacturer warranty only covers defects in the material itself, if there is a leak caused by the installer’s workmanship the manufacturer will not cover it)
- What hidden charges are there that aren’t on your estimate? If “none” Can I get that in writing?
- Put this clause on their proposal…“The total cost for a new roof installed according to manufacturer specifications and local and national code requirements is $_______. No other costs or charges will be incurred from permits, extra materials, labor, or any other reason.” (Please be aware that if the contractor did plan on adding these and now legally he can’t, there’s nothing stopping him from taking other shortcuts that you may not notice until he’s paid and gone)
- Will you clean up the job site every day before you go home? (Old shingles and nails left around your home can be a hazard for kids and pets)
- Will my home be completely waterproof at the end of every day before you leave? (Water damage caused by rain on a roof left open is not covered by a roofer’s liability insurance)
- Do you guarantee you won’t damage my home or landscaping? If so, will you pay to fix it? (If you have a window broken or siding damaged you’ll want the contractor to be liable to replace it)
- Can you provide me with the addresses and phone numbers of the last 5 homes you’ve roofed? (ask them if there were any surprises, hidden costs, how they were treated)
- Does your contract outline in detail each process you use for reroofing my home? (Without detailed explanations shortcuts may be taken against which you’ll have no recourse)
- Does your contract outline in detail the materials that will be used to replace the roof? (If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist)
- How much does your shingle weigh? (lbs/square – the lighter the shingle the faster it will wear out)
Getting a good answer to each of these questions will almost guarantee the contractor you hire will do a good job and stick to his word.