Understanding Roofing

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 complete business name and do you have a physical office?

First of all, ask the contractor for their full name and complete physical address. If you get a P.O.box number, let them provide details of their physical location. A roofer without a physical office is suspicious, and you shouldn’t waste time dealing with them.

b. Are you insured?

Roofing contractors need to have workmans’ compensation and liability insurance to protect their clients against accidental injuries or damages. Workers’ compensation provides protection to the homeowner in the event that a contractor’s employee gets injured, and liability insurance saves you from from paying for damages that the roofers cause while at work.

If your contractor has no workman’s compensation insurance, you may end up being responsible for medical bills and other expenses arising from the injury.

c. Do you hire subcontractors?

If they do use subcontractors, make sure you know these people as much as you know the roofer, most especially on whether or not they have insurance.

d. Are you a licensed roofer?

Determine whether your potential contractor if holds a city or state license. Licensing requirements are unique from one state to another. Cities and counties may also require a roofer to be licensed. Find out whether you will need a license in your area, and if you do, verify with your local licensing offices to ensure that your potential roofer has an up-to-date license without any outstanding violations. A business license is not synonymous with a roofer’s license. A business license is merely for tax purposes and identification. It is not an assurance that the person has passed an exam or is qualified to accept roofing projects.

e. Will you provide client 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. Follow up with these folks and ask whether they would confidently recommend the contractor.

f. Do you provide a warranty for workmanship? A roof warranty typically covers one year, but sometimes, roofers provide a longer period. The materials are often covered by the manufacturer, and the workmanship by the contractor. These are two distinct warranties, so let the roofer explain the coverage and ask what period is covered for each one.

Smart Ideas: Roofing Revisited

Figuring Out Roofing

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