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What to Ask a Roofing Contractor Before Hiring One

A bad roofing job can costly huge in leaks and repairs in the future, so be sure to spend time and effort searching for the right roofer. When you do, talk to each prospect and make sure to ask six critical questions.

a. What is your full business name and where are you physically located?

First things first, ask for the roofer’s full company name and address. If they give a P.O.box number, ask for the physical location. A roofer without a physical office is suspicious, and you shouldn’t waste time dealing with them.

b. Are you covered by worker’s compensation and liability insurance?

Roofers should have workmans’ compensation and liability insurance as protection for their clients when accidents occur. Workers’ compensation gives protection to the homeowner in case a contractor’s worker gets hurt, and liability insurance frees you from financial liability for damages the roofers may cause as they work.

If your roofer has no workman’s compensation insurance, you may have to pay the medical bills and other costs that arise from the worker’s injury.

c. Do you have subcontractors in your team?

If so, you need to know the same information about these people as you have learned about the contractor, especially regarding insurance.

d. Are you a licensed roofer?

Determine whether your potential contractor if holds a city or state license. Different states have different licensing requirements. Roofers may also have to obtain a city and national license. See if a license will be required in your area, and if so, ask local licensing offices if the roofer’s license is update and has no outstanding violations. A business license is not synonymous with a roofer’s license. A business license only works for tax and legal identification purpose. It does not indicate that the person has passed a test or possesses qualifications as a roofer.

e. Will you provide client references?

Ask for local project sites where you can drop by, and check some roofing work they’ve done in the last 5 years. You can also request for references, but previous customers may not want to divulge their personal information, or the contractor could cherry pick a few pleased clients. Follow up with these folks and ask whether they would confidently recommend the contractor.

f. Do you provide a warranty for workmanship? In general, a roof warranty lasts a year, but there are roofers that provide longer than that. The materials are often covered by the manufacturer, and the workmanship by the contractor. These are two independent warranties, so ask the contractor what the coverage and covered period will be under each.

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