You know you need a roofing contractor, but how do you know you are contracting with a good one? The question nags at you, “What questions should I ask my roofer?” With quality roofers, though, the question might better be, “How can my roofing company prove it is the right contractor for me?”
Good roofers are good business people. They abide by regulations and laws, and they attend to the paperwork. Ask your prospective roofer these questions:
- Do you have a physical address? Can I drive by and see your front office? I don’t need to get a tour — I just want to know you are not a storm chaser or “Chuck with a Truck.”
- Do you have proper state licensing and certification? Do you carry liability insurance for your crew, and provide Workers’ Compensation coverage? Where can I look at paper evidence of these important safeguards?
- Is a building permit required for my project? Will you pull the permit if needed, or are you expecting me, the client, to do it?
Good roofers hire good people. Three questions to ask relate to the actual crew members who will be scaling your Birmingham-area home’s roof:
- Who will be installing my roof? Are they subcontractors or your own employees? Do you hire day laborers from the parking lots of home improvement stores, or do you use a cohesive, reliable crew?
- You are sending strangers to my house; what training and experience will the crew have? Do you screen your employees? Have crew members been trained by the manufacturer of the roofing materials you are installing?
- What steps do you take for the safety of your workers? Do you provide fall arrest harnesses, personal protective equipment (PPE), roofing hoists, and heavy-duty ladders?
Good roofers do not shy away from their business background. They embrace their strengths and learn from their mistakes. Ask your prospective roofer these questions:
- Are you local to me? Having you in the neighborhood makes me feel more comfortable, in case I need to do a callback or have other work done.
- How many years have you been in business? I think a good contractor should have a solid record of success and be a part of my community.
- What past customers can I talk to? Can you provide photographs of recent projects similar to my roof, so I know the quality of your work? Could you provide an address or two so I can drive by and see a finished job?
Get it In Writing
A good roofer backs the friendly handshake with real contracts and warranties. Ask your prospective roofer about them:
- Do you provide a written estimate? Will the estimate show a complete scope of work, detailing the materials used, method of installation, line item costs for old roof removal and cartage, and a general estimate of the schedule and crew size?
- Do you offer a Workmanship Warranty? Many homeowners mistakenly think the manufacturer’s warranty covers installation. Some do; many do not. A good roofing contractor offers a workmanship warranty protecting you from faulty installation.
The Job Itself
A good roofer is more than a slick sales presentation. The job itself matters. Ask your prospective roofer these questions:
- When would you be able to schedule my job and how long will my project take? How can I be sure you will not start the project and then leave my roof unfinished for a few days or weeks?
- What steps do you take to ensure the safety of my family, pets, and home? What should I do to prepare for your installation and use of the yard? Do you use a magnetic sweeper to clear nails and staples from my yard where my children will play? How do you protect my landscaping and plants? Do you have your crew clean as they work?
- Will you remove and dispose of the old roof? How do you minimize waste and landfill of new materials? Is cartage a line item in your estimate?
Most Alabama homeowners will buy only one roof in their lifetimes. You want the job done right, for a fair price, with minimal surprises. Always ask for three estimates and be sure to get a clear answer to every one of your questions.
A roofer who cannot answer these 13 questions honestly and clearly probably cannot roof your house well and correctly.
When you contact us at Yellowhammer Roofing, you get a local, reliable roofer. More, you get the hard work of the great people we employ. We value our professional crews and our reputation, so every job is our chance to strengthen our reputation. Please, contact us with all the questions you have about roofing, our 45 years of expertise, and the projects we’re doing right now for your friends and neighbors.