How To Find The Right Roofing Contractor For Your Project
- How long has the company been in business? It's very important to know that a company has been around long enough to stand behind their products and services.
- Do they have General Liability and Worker's Compensation insurance? There are only a few carriers that will insure roofers because of the dangerous nature of the job. It is also very expensive, but you definitely don't want anyone on your roof without it.
- Reviews - do they have mostly positive reviews online?
- Do they have a State, County, or City contractor's license (public record)?
Roofing companies to provide estimates (should choose 3)
- How professional are they? Appearance, vehicles, clothing, manners, presentations.
- Did they get on your roof? If roof is walkable and not extremely steep, there is no excuse for any roofer NOT to get on your roof. (You'd be surprised how few do this.)
- How professional was the presentation? Did they provide a detailed written estimate?
- What materials are they using? There should be no question of what is being used and installed.
- Are warranties available?
- What is job progression? Are you aware of each step of installation?
- What is the cost? Cheapest is almost unanimously NOT the best way to go.
- Will there be a supervisor on the job site at all times? If so, you should be introduced so you know who to talk to.
- VERY IMPORTANT: It should work as a system.
- Are they using all products from the same manufacturer?
- Aluminum drip edge should be around the entire perimeter of your home.
- Ice & Water Shield should be in all valleys, low slope surfaces, chimneys, pipes and walls. In northern areas it should be ran on all eaves at least 24" past interior walls.
- A synthetic underlayment is the best available (most choose to use standard 15# felt).
- Brand of shingles is very important. Research these also. Should be one of the top 3 major brands sold typically in this area - Owens Corning, Certainteed, GAF.
- Architectural or 3-Tab shingles? Architectural shingles are by far better material for just a little more money. Most architectural shingles are algae resistant.
- There are some higher end shingles that have different appearances (thicker, bolder color, different shapes) but warranties are not any better.
Day of Installation
- Are the materials at the job site? (If not, your roof is being torn off with no materials available.)
- Do the contractors have a dump truck, trailer or dumpster? In most instances, the materials should be carried from the roof directly into the dump truck. This makes for a much cleaner job site.
- Did the contractor tarp the ground area to catch any debris that may fall off the roof?
- Once roof is removed, all felt paper should be removed so the decking may be inspected. Any rotten wood or busted boards should be replaced. All sheeting nails should be re-driven. This is a step that a lot of contractors completely skip. They will leave old felt paper, then install roof directly over. All this material that was bought and labor could be in vain if decking is not sufficient.
- Most jobs should be completed in one day depending on the size.
- Did they use a magnet and go all around the home to pick up nails?
- Did someone come out and inspect the final product?
- Was the job cost the same as your original contract (not including damaged wood)? This is impossible to know beforehand.
- All architectural shingles should be nailed with at least 1 1/4" nails. NO STAPLES.
- Pipe Boots - Most people use a cheap plastic style boot. There are several other upgraded options for minimal cost - coated steal and lead.
- Chimney Flashing - One of the most overlooked areas of the roof. Very few contractors do this correctly and we spend the majority of our repair time fixing other's chimneys. First the mortar should be cut out. Ice & Water Shield should be placed all around. Stepped flashing should be put at every shingle. Counter flashing should be installed in mortar joints.