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Questions to Ask Roofing Contractors to Prevent Scams and Poor Roof Work

Questions to Ask Roofing Contractors to Prevent Scams and Poor Roof Work

Hiring professional contractors is a big decision! Roofing companies charge high prices to repair or install new roofs, and you should get prepared to interview chosen companies.
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Before we go through crucial questions to ask a roofer, let’s first talk about the roofing industry. In some states, there aren’t specific industry licenses required for companies before they register their business. Depending on which state your roofing project takes place, your contractor may fall into one of the following categories:

  • License required 
  • Registration required
  • License required only for projects above a certain value
  • No requirements 

Florida, for example, requires companies to get licensed before doing any work. On the other hand, states like Texas and Wyoming, don’t require licenses, so customers should be extra careful. 

If you choose a company that does not meet the legal requirements of the state in which they operate, you and the contractor risk difficulties. For example, you may not be eligible to get a building permit if the contractor doesn’t meet the requirements.  

So, what to ask a roofer? If you’ve selected a few candidates, here is a comprehensive list of questions to ask a roofer before hiring. Don’t forget, there are no stupid questions for discussing prices and everything related to getting a roof above your head!

#1 Are you licensed and insured?

Find out the requirements for roofers in your area, and then ask selected contractors whether they hold licenses or if their businesses are registered. The contractor must have liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you and the workers if misfortune happens.

When you know about these legal staff, there are fewer chances to get under the wrong industry side, so these are the first roofing questions to ask upon deciding. 

If the company refuses to answer or doesn’t provide proof, it is time to move on to the other candidates. 

#2 Have you already worked on a project like mine?

The next step is to determine whether the company has relevant experience in project scope, size, and material use to complete the job successfully. 

Interview questions for roofers about the experience will help you understand how the contractor will approach your project. Qualified roofers with more relevant experience, are less likely to mess up with your roof!

#3 Do you have a portfolio of proven work and satisfied client references?

Another set of questions to ask roofers focuses on references and portfolios. A contractor may not share personal details of their past clients if they don’t have permits, but they can point you to reading unbiased reviews. 

When the roofer provides you with details, contact references to hear personal experiences and opinions about the quality and professionalism of the contractor. Roofing companies who keep updated portfolios of their past projects are more likely to get new clientele.

#4 How will you determine materials for my project to ensure the best performance according to my budget?

Getting more into the technical aspects of the project will give you a bigger picture of the costs and expected performance. Speak with the contractor about the best options for your home according to your budget. Make sure the contractor takes the climate, your style, and other preferences when selecting the roofing material. 

For example, if you live in warm Florida cities, like Niceville, Pace, or Pensacola, your roof should resist hot weather and UV lights. Milton may have the coldest temperatures, but it doesn’t need your roof to fight against heavy snow and ice! 

Likewise, cities such as Crestview and Miami are in hurricane zone risk, so contractors should keep that in mind when suggesting roofing material. 

#5 What is the expected timeline for project duration?

Starting and ending dates are pretty common milestones people discuss with their contractors. But, what about potential holds, are there any specific dates the company doesn’t work on, what about individual workers? How will potential delays affect the project? 

Setting a detailed timeline for your project will help you plan your life around the repairs and know when you will go back to normal life. Even though you might not have to move out during roof repair, having workers on your roof will definitely disturb your everyday routine. 

#6 How much will the project cost, and what is covered in the payment?

Asking about costs is one of the essential roofer interview questions. The contractor should provide you with a written estimate that includes all expenses for materials, labor, permits, and additional fees. 

Ask the company to clarify all misunderstandings in the estimate and to inform you about additional costs. Discuss which expenses you may expect if something unplanned happens and how that may affect the budget. 

#7 Do you provide warranties for your workmanship and materials?

If the contractor works with an authorized roof material seller, the material will include a warranty. 

Some premium contractors may offer unlimited roofing guarantees, which apply to installation, materials, and handiwork. Because the roof is expected to last several decades, the warranty duration always comes up in the top 8 questions to ask a roofing contractor

#8 Will your workers protect my home and backyard while repairing the roof?

If it isn’t discussed previously in the section with past projects, ask the selected roofer about protecting your property, landscaping, and belongings during the roofing project. Discuss the activities once the actual roof job is done. It includes cleanup and debris and leftover building material removal.

#9 What is your payment schedule and accepted payment methods?

How will you pay for the job? Do you have to pay all in full, or does the company accept hire purchases? How much is the deposit requirement? What payment methods do the roofing contractor accept? What is the payment timeline? 

These and more payment questions to ask roofing contractors when hiring protect you from inconveniences with shady contractors. Confirm that you understand everything payment-related before signing the contract and avoid making full payment upfront.

#10 Do you have any certifications or memberships in professional associations?

Even if the state doesn’t require the roofers to be licensed or registered, those who hold certifications and are members of professional associations, are more likely to follow high industry standards and be skilled. 

For example, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) members usually have high ratings and plenty of successful customers. 

BBB (Better Business Bureau) accreditation, despite not being related to the roofing industry, guarantees that the company treats customers well and solves their complaints. 

#11 What is your approach to unpredicted problems or necessary project adjustments?

Don’t forget to include potential issues-related questions to ask the roofing contractor. Sometimes a project will go smoothly, but different factors can affect the plan, and the contractor needs to adjust the timeline and deal with unforeseen issues. Ask them how they will handle it. 

Will they inform you about issues, or let you know what happened once they solve the problems? Do you have to authorize needed revisions to the project plan and unpredicted costs? Clear communication on both ends is an excellent way to start, perform, and complete the project so pick a contractor that nurtures transparency throughout the project. 

#12 Who will be supervising the project, and how can I contact them?

If you have more roofing questions to ask, to whom you will direct them? During the initial interview, you might forget a few things to ask, but ensure your contractor provides you with the contact information of the person who supervises your project. You can reach that person about concerns and find out more information at every point. 

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you are now aware of what to ask a roofing contractor to ensure you pick well and never regret your decision! Keep in mind that even though states have some regulations for roofing contractors, there are still those who don’t follow and do not hold the necessary knowledge and skills to operate on your roof. 

The top sections to cover in your talk with roofing contractors should focus on state requirements, costs and payment, deadlines, communication, clean-up, certificates, and past experiences. Those who think all boxes are eligible to be working on your property!

Do you have more questions for the roofing contractor? Don’t be shy, share them with us!

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