15 Questions To Ask Roofing Contractors Before Hiring Them

Etiquette seems to be a dying art. Who is introduced first, the higher-ranking person or the lower-ranking person? How do you ask questions of a new acquaintance without sounding like a detective grilling a suspect? And what are you to ask a roofing contractor? Don’t worry — we have answers to all your questions. 

Who

  1. Who, exactly, will be installing my roof? Are they employees or subcontractors? — Some unscrupulous roofers hire day laborers from the parking lots of big-box home improvement stores. These are not trained, experienced roofing crews able to work together efficiently. Go with the roofer using dedicated teams of highly trained installers. 
  2. If a building permit is required, who will be pulling one? — A good, local roofer familiar with municipal building codes should be able to apply for and get a permit for remodeling or renovation. It should not fall to you. 
  3. Who will remove and dispose of the old roof? — The very best roofers will have connections for recycling substantial parts of your old roof. Carting costs for both recycling and landfilling the remaining debris should be included in the written estimate. 

What

  1. What training and experience does the crew have? — Factory training by the materials manufacturers (Owens Corning, GAF) ensures the roofing crews know exactly how to install your roof correctly. This protects the warranties and your Twin Cities home, since the roof is installed as the manufacturer recommends. 
  2. What past customers can I talk to? — A good roofer is eager for past customers to talk to prospective customers. Also tap into independent reviewers such as the Better Business Bureau and Birdeye. Take a driving tour of recent roofing projects to get a sense of the boost in curb appeal a new roof provides. 
  3. What steps do you take for the safety of your workers? — Crew safety is essential for the continued success of any business. Roofing is a dangerous occupation, so look for a roofer dedicated to training, safe work methods, and investing in the right personal protective gear, including fall arrest equipment. 
  4. What steps do you take to ensure the safety of my home and my family? — Good roofers practice clean-as-you-go work habits, cover landscaping and plants with protective tarps, and use magnetic brooms to pick up roofing nails and other metal debris. Your family’s safety is paramount for the very best roofers. 

When

  1. When did you start your business? — Midwest Roofing, Siding & Windows Inc. has been in business for nearly 50 years. Longevity and reliability matter, since your roof will be with you for at least another 20 years. 
  2. When would you be able to schedule my job? — Roofers have three seasons. Your project is weather-dependent, but a highly professional roofing contractor should be able to schedule you no more than around five weeks out. 
  3. When will my roofing project be done? — A well-organized roofing crew can complete most re-roofing jobs in one to two days. Some contractors start a job, then disappear for a few days before returning. Meanwhile, your exposed roof suffers. 

Where

  1. Are you local to me? — Never use a roofer who cannot provide a local physical address. If something is not quite right, how will you track the roofer down for a callback visit?
  2. Where is your license and certification? — Midwest Roofing, Siding & Windows Inc. is the proud possessor of License Number BC760140. Can your prospective roofer offer a license number and industry certifications such as GAF’s Master Elite Contractor or Owens Corning’s Platinum Preferred Contractor? 
  3. Where is your proof of insurance and Workers Compensation? — Your roofer should be able to show proof of bonding and proof of liability insurance. Workers Compensation insurance protects you from workers’ liens. 

Please

  1. May I please have a written estimate? — Beware the roofing contractor who mentions a “rough price” on the telephone, sight unseen. Be wary of any numbers not in writing. You need a written estimate including a Scope of Work. 
  2. May I please have a Workmanship Warranty? — The very best roofers offer limited lifetime workmanship warranties to ensure you against faulty installation. Manufacturers’ warranties are valuable but cover only mistakes in manufacturing the roofing materials. 

We began by promising to have answers: always introduce the higher-ranking person to the lower-ranking person. Ask a new acquaintance thought-provoking questions (“Do you believe in extraterrestrials?”) alternating with practical ones (“What hobbies do you enjoy?”). And, just as you should do when talking to a roofer, listen very carefully to the answers!

For honest answers to all your roofing questions, please contact us today at Midwest Roofing, Siding & Windows Inc. in the Twin Cities area. We are ready to apply our experience to your roofing needs, from inspection and repair to full roof replacement.

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