As a homeowner, you probably want to protect your home in every way possible. And while you can do so with proper insulation and regular maintenance, sometimes the elements can still be too much for your roof to handle and you’ll need to hire roofing contractors to make any necessary repairs or install new materials. When it comes time to hire roofing contractors, there are several questions you should ask them prior to signing on the dotted line. Here are five tips and questions to ask when hiring roofing contractors. Click here for additional information about roofing contractors.
If your roof is damaged in a storm, will it be covered by insurance? That’s an important question. The last thing you want is to spend money on a brand-new roof and then not be able to get reimbursed because your homeowner’s insurance policy didn’t cover damage from hail or high winds. If an insurer covers it, make sure they pay for all of your repairs—not just what’s considered comprehensive damage.
Insurance isn’t always available for storm damage, especially if your roof isn’t brand-new. If that happens, you’ll have no choice but to cover repairs out of pocket. That can be a huge expense—especially if it takes multiple roofing contractors visits over several months (or even years) before all of your roof problems are fixed.
Even if your roof is damaged in a storm, you should check with your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have for hail damage. It’s not uncommon for homeowner’s policies to only cover damage from wind-related storms like hurricanes or tornadoes—not storms that create hail as well. Even if it does, you may be limited on how much insurance will cover—or maybe they won’t cover any part of your repairs at all.
Asking your roofer whether they’re insured is an important question, too. If something goes wrong while they’re on your property—like if a ladder falls through a skylight or a worker slips off of it—you want to know that you have someone who can help you out with any related damages. If something happens on their end and they don’t have insurance, you could be out of luck if there are costly damages or injuries from their negligence.
Most roofing contractors will have some experience with roof repairs or maintenance, but if you’re looking for a full-scale roof replacement, they’ll need a strong background in that. Ask about how many years they’ve been in business, what kind of work they usually handle, and how many projects they do each year. All of these questions should help you figure out if their skills are right for your project.
You should also ask for references. Make sure you follow up on them, too—talk to other companies that these roofers have worked with. It’s also a good idea to get bids from different contractors in your area. This is especially important if you need a full-scale roof replacement, because there are so many factors that can affect pricing.
If a roofing contractor says they can fix your roof in two days, you might want to ask for some references. Get in touch with those past customers and see how long it actually took for them. If it’s still faster than you expect, that’s great—just ask yourself why he or she is able to work so fast. Is there something about your roof that would make fixing it faster? Or does that contractor just have more experience with similar jobs?
If it’s going to take longer than you expected, ask what he or she recommends. If your roof is older, damaged, or heavily shaded by trees or buildings, then a contractor will likely recommend repairing or replacing more of it. These might be parts of your roof that you didn’t even know were damaged. You won’t necessarily need a whole new roof—but you might need an entirely new part of your roof.
Obviously, you want a roof that can stand up to nature’s whims for a long time. But when you’re hiring roofers, you also want them to use quality materials that are built to last. Materials include shingles, gutters, flashing, tiles and more. Each has its own specific lifespan depending on how much it was used; how well it was maintained; what caused damage (e.g., hail vs. fire); and more factors.
Gutters, for example, come in a variety of materials – copper, aluminum or PVC – all of which have their pros and cons. Copper is more expensive but can last many years before needing repair or replacement. If your home has a Spanish-style roof with clay tiles, you’ll want roofing contractors who have experience using those materials for that style. Aluminum is cheaper than copper but needs cleaning annually to prevent corrosion from occurring.
A great roofer will take all of these things into consideration when offering a proposal. Discuss materials upfront so you can make an informed decision, because they can be more expensive than labor costs. Installing a new roof costs between $5,000 and $10,000 on average. It’s important to gain knowledge on how their bid may compare to others.
Every contractor should have a strong understanding of their value proposition—their core offering that is different from other competitors. Each job has its own unique challenges, so it’s important for contractors to be upfront about exactly what they offer as a solution. Take time up front in your hiring process (and throughout) to make sure you’re working with someone who can deliver on their promises.
Do they have specialized training or certifications? How long have they been in business? What systems do they use to communicate progress and deliver results? All of these factors can help you better understand if a contractor is right for your project. Knowing their value proposition is a good place to start, but always be sure to ask questions that dig deeper into how they will actually deliver on their promises.
Asking questions about an organization’s core business offerings is an important part of understanding how they will serve your needs. When thinking about hiring a roofing contractor, these examples can help you learn more about their skills, services, and value proposition.