By CoMitted 365 | Aug 11, 2021
Maybe your neighbor referred their roofing contractor, or your in-laws play pickleball with one - however you happened across your prospective contractor, pause for a moment to ask a few questions to confirm you are hiring a reputable, trusted company that stands behind their work.
We’ve broken our questions into two categories: company-related and project-specific.
Company Related Questions for a Roofing Contractor
Through this line of questioning, listen for answers that indicate they are experienced and professionally prepared to do your roofing work well and safely.
1. Are you Licensed? With who?
There’s not a lot of flexibility in this answer; if you are hiring a Minnesota roofing contractor that annually makes more than $15,000, they must have a license from the Department of Labor and Industry (which requires them to pass a required exam, show proof of insurance, complete background checks, present a $15,000 surety bond, and more).
2. What level of liability insurance do you carry?
The state of Minnesota requires at minimum, “$300,000 per occurrence, which must include at least $10,000 property damage coverage.” This insurance is protection for the roofing company but proves to you as the buyer that they are prepared if any damage or accidents occur on your property as a result of your roofing project.
3. Are you local? What is your physical address?
Hiring local is great for your community’s economy, but it also means they are familiar with the city and state guidelines. Plus, they likely have a reputation and work samples that you can verify. All that being said, it’s important to verify their address and confirm their business is legitimate.
4. What kind of experience do you have?
Asking this question gives your potential roofing contractor the opportunity to talk about their previous work and show you they are capable of completing projects on time, on budget, and to high-quality standards. If you like what you hear and see, then move to the next question.
5. Will you give me references or others I can talk to?
Don’t skip this question and simply take the contractor’s word for their work; ask other homeowners who were recently in your shoes what their level of satisfaction is with their new/repaired roof, but also the roofer’s service, crew, quality, cleanliness, etc. This gives you the opportunity to validate what the roofer initially told you.
Project-Specific Questions to ask a Prospective Roofing Contractor
In this set of questions, you’ll be specific about your home’s needs, making sure they are met or exceeded - before, during, and after the project is complete.
6. What's the warranty on my roof work?
There will be a warranty on materials you select for your roof - and that comes from the manufacturer. So if your roofing contractor is ordering this on your behalf, make sure to get clarity and clear documentation on it. But also ask if there is any warranty on the workmanship - this will come from the contractor.
7. Will someone be on-site if I have questions?
Inquire about who is your on-site point person - is there a project manager or will one of the owners be present while the work is being completed? Should you have any questions about the work, the crew, the material, or otherwise, you’ll want to know who to direct your questions to.
8. How do you protect my lawn, yard, driveway, etc. while you work?
Roofing work requires access to and use of your yard and driveway to not only get to your roof but to set materials and collect debris as the work progresses. Plus, as your roof sits on top of your home, your landscaping / deck / attic / lawn ornaments or possessions left sitting in the yard or driveway may be in danger of impact if things fall or are tossed off the roof. Ask if + how your roofing contractor works to protect your home and your possessions around it.
9. Do I need to anticipate any delays or changes in costs?
This is an important check-in question as your roofing project is initiated; prior to starting, it can be helpful to ask how the contractor will communicate delays or cost changes so you know when you’ll have options and that you won’t be surprised with an unexpected bill or a never-ending project.
10. Is Your Work Guaranteed?
The answer to this question is usually rolled into the warranty the contractor provides on the workmanship of your roof. However, in the absence of a warranty, the answer to this question is key to determining if and how the roofing contractor will respond if an issue is discovered.
Before you sign on the dotted line and hire a roofing contractor, it’s smart to do some due diligence. Answering these questions should put you in a great position to hire a roofing contractor you trust to repair or install your roof well and worry-free.