How to Check a Roofing Company's Work

Posted by on Apr 01, 2023

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Pexels / Celil Dogan


Hiring a roofing contractor can be confusing. Unless you’ve had your roof worked on before, you may not know which questions to ask to figure out if a company is reliable. 

If you have a house with storm damage, you may be at a disadvantage. It’s possible the best roofers are busy working on other houses in the area and you probably just want to get the shingles fixed or the roof replaced so your family can feel safe again. A lot of contractors are nice to speak with, but hiring trusted roofers requires careful research. Here are a handful of questions and topics to cover when approaching people to work on your house.

Is the Business Local?

Why does it matter where the roofer is located? You want to know you’ll be able to track down a contractor three months or six months after the roof is installed. 

If they’re located a couple of counties over, that process can become a little more difficult. They might also not worry about burning a customer who’s located outside of their immediate customer range. 

Given current technology, it’s fairly easy to put up a site that makes a business appear local, but isn’t. Do a little research and double check. A lot of contractors will travel outside their standard work radius looking for jobs, particularly after a storm has passed through and done a bit of damage. 

For roofers, mother nature can mean great business. But a roofer with questionable ethics may just roll through, pick up some quick work and head out of town a few weeks later. When you realize the shingles weren’t installed as well as they could be, they may be onto another gig and difficult to access. In your research, you may also find that they don’t have a legitimate office. If so, that may speak to their professionalism. 

Are there many professionals who work out of their home? Sure, but knowing the location of their office is another factor to consider. 

Check the company’s reviews to make sure they have several and they come from verified customers and not hired bots. 

License Number
In most states, contractors need to have a license in order to do commercial work. In some locations, the license requirements depend on the size of the job. Definitely ask any contractor who’s planning to do a large roofing job on your house if they have a license. 

A small patch job costing less than $500 may not require a licensed contractor. A complete re-roofing job that will run four or possibly five figures will likely require a team with licensing, not only to get the proper permits, but also adequate insurance. 

Proper Insurance
You want to make sure that the contractor is insured. If, heaven forbid, there’s an accident at your house and your contractor or subcontractor doesn’t have workers comp insurance, you may wind up being liable for an employee’s medical bills and suffering. 

What if the job looks great when the team is finished only to find out later the materials were improperly installed and caused damage to your house? You want to make sure that the contractor will not only fix their work, but also compensate you for any damage incurred at the house. 

Ask for a copy of the roofer’s insurance and make sure it isn’t expired. Reputable roofers are open about it. 

Upfront Payments
Part of your negotiation with a roofer may include a request for upfront payments. If the contractor is requiring a hefty payment before the work has started, you may wonder if this is a businessperson who is surviving paycheck to paycheck — not necessarily a sign of a of business that’s doing be around for years to come. Some states regulate how much a roofer can charge upfront. If something seems fishy about the deal, it doesn’t hurt to research what local laws dictate. 

Deductible Coverage
If you’re replacing your roof as a result of bad weather, you may be able to claim a fix or improvement on your homeowner’s insurance.

As you probably know, with any major homeowner payment, there’s often a deductible amount that must be met before the insurance payment kicks in. Some of the roofers offering “big deals” may be willing to help pay your deductible. That practice is illegal in some states and fairly questionable everywhere else. 

The Guarantee or Warranty
Some companies offer a satisfaction guarantee that can come in handy of some of the shingles don’t lay flat like the rest of the roof or the workmanship is slipshod overall. The materials may also come with a warranty that you should be familiar with in case something goes awry. But if you don’t have any written guarantee, you might have to pay a contractor even for a subpar job because the contractor will threaten to put a lien on your house if you don’t.

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