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How To Hire A Roofing Contractor Without Losing Your Shorts

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So you need roof work done. The first and most important thing to learn when getting your roof repaired or replaced is how to hire a roofing contractor that will do the job the way you want it, on time, and on budget.

If you look in the phone book or do a quick online search, you’ll first notice that there are no shortage of roofing companies out there. So how do you find the best contractor for you?

First you need to lay out your expectations. What do you want out of your roofing contractor?

  • Do you want him to show up on time, be courteous, and polite? Or do you just want someone to do the work regardless of attitude?
  • Do you want someone to do exactly as they said and what’s best for you? Or is it OK if they just use their judgement in the moment and change things as they please?
  • When it comes to workmanship, do you want the best quality, good quality, or average quality work done on your home?
  • Are you looking for someone to slap a roof on as cheaply as possible or do you want your contractor to take their time and install it the right way?
  • Would you like the contractor to give you a guaranteed price or are you OK with an estimate that could change by the time it’s finished?
  • How long do you expect their workmanship warranty to be? Would you like a 100% lifetime guarantee or are you OK with a 2-10 year warranty?
  • Do you want your whole roof to be 100% guaranteed for life or are you fine with a warranty that only covers a few things for a little while?

Your answers to these questions will determine how hard you’ll have to look to find a contractor that will do what you want. Obviously it’s going to be very easy to find a contractor that will do average work, with an average product, backed up by an average warranty.

Finding a highly skilled and competent contractor that delivers excellence in everything will be a bit tougher. But don’t worry, if that’s what you want you can find them, it just may take a little looking!

How To Screen Roofing Contractors

Here is a list of the best questions you can ask a contractor when you first get him on the phone to see if he’s a serious candidate or just another average roofer.

  1. Are you licensed (by both the state and city) to work in my area?
  2. Are you bonded according to state laws? (In Idaho roofers need a $6,000 bond)
  3. How much are you insured for? ($1,000,000 minimum)
  4. Do you carry workman’s compensation insurance on all your workers?
  5. Can you provide proof of all this at our first meeting?
  6. Can you bring a list of references with phone number of the last 10 jobs you’ve done? (Get the most recent, not the ones cherry picked by the company)

After you get off the phone you’ll likely have a meeting set in place for him to come take a look at your roof. Check for the following things at your first meeting to see if this contractor is a serious candidate.

  • Did they show up on time (or preferably 5 min early)?
  • Did he bring the documents you asked for? (from above)
  • Did he check in your attic to determine sheathing type? (to avoid extra costs after the roof project starts)
  • When he came into your home did he wear boot covers to avoid tracking dirt on your carpets? (This will show you how much he cares about your property)
  • How long was he there? (if he was in and out fast, there’s a good chance he missed some things that will be added into the price later)
  • Did he give you an on-the-spot 1-page estimate? (A quickly sketched 1-page bid or estimate usually does not have enough information in it to know what you’re getting for your money, plus, it’s subject to change)
  • Did he provide any pictures to show you what’s going on up on your roof? (to prove what he’s saying is true)

If you don’t get any red flags from your contractor at this point there’s a really good chance he’s a good candidate to hire.

If you’d like to see how we do things, give us a call at (208) 487-6617 and we’ll come out and do our Roof Performance Audit for you so you can see exactly what needs to happen to ensure a smooth roofing project.