Is the contractor licensed?
Some states don’t require roofing contractors to be licensed.
Does the contractor have liability and workers’ compensation insurance?
If so, how much? The contractor can easily provide this information by obtaining a Certificate of Insurance from his insurance company should you choose to request it. If the contractor doesn’t have insurance, you can be liable if any of his workers are hurt on your property!
Does the contractor have a reputation for quality?
Most contractors will readily provide you with a list of references. It is recommended that these referenced projects be a minimum of three (3) years old. Keep in mind, though, that there are a lot of contractors who are just starting out that will install a new roof as good or better than contractors who have been in business for many years. A quick call to the Better Business Bureau may also help in determining if contractors have had any complaints registered against them.
Is the contractor willing to provide you with a good workmanship warranty?
This warranty should protect against any defects in the roof and should last a minimum of three years. Some contractors will readily provide a five (5) year warranty on complete tear-off projects.
Does the contractor provide you with a copy of the roofing material manufacturer’s warranty and thoroughly explain it?
Are defective materials going to be replaced at the original purchasing price or are they prorated? Will labor be an additional cost?
Does the contractor thoroughly inspect your roof and then explain his findings?
A good contractor will inspect anything that could cause leaks whether it is roof related or not (for instance, chimney defects, air conditioning units, fans, walls, etc).
Does the contractor provide a written estimate?
Does the estimate include:
- A detailed description of the work that is contracted?
- Additional work that may have to be done and give a price for such? For instance, deck replacement, gutter repair/replacement, etc.?
- Application of underlayment over wood decks?
- Application of an ice and water protection membrane in areas where the average January temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less?
- Clean up of all debris generated from the project?
- All permits necessary?
- Warranty information?
Does the contractor explain tearing off versus laying over the existing roof?
Is the contractor going to use four (4) fasteners per shingle?
Six (6) per shingle in areas where there is frequent high wind?
Does the contractor have a pager or cellular number in case of an emergency?
Will he be available on weekends?
Is the contractor going to supervise the different phases of the project and provide a final inspection?
Find out if the contractor is going to hire a subcontractor.
If he is, then the subcontractor needs to meet all the same criteria that the contractor does.
You may want to require a lien release from all parties before final payment is made.
These include material suppliers, subcontractors, etc.