6 questions to ask roofing contractors when hiring

Make sure you research a company before hiring them to make a roof repair. (Photo courtesy of Colin Kessler)

Make sure you research a company before hiring them to make a roof repair. (Photo courtesy of Colin Kessler)

Before hiring a roofing company to make repairs, there are certain questions you should ask. A poor job can mean costly repairs and leaks in the future, which means more time and money spent. Ask a roofer the following questions before making a hiring decision.

1. What is your full name and address?

Ask for the roofing company's full name and address. If they use a post office box, ask for the physical location. A roofing company that doesn't have a physical location is a cause for concern, and you should move on.

2. Do you have insurance?

Roofing contractors should have workers' compensation and liability to protect the homeowner in the event of an accident. Workers' compensation protects the homeowner from an injury to an employee, and liability protects you from damage caused by the roofers. Without workers' compensation insurance, the homeowner may be responsible for medical bills and other costs associated with the injury. Your homeowners' insurance may not cover these types of accidents, so you will be personally responsible for the costs.

3. Do you use subcontractors?

Ask if any part of the job will be performed by a subcontractor. If so, make sure you ask these questions of the subcontractor, particularly ask if they are insured.

4. Do you have a license?

Ask the roofing contractor if he or she is licensed by your city or state. Licensing requirements vary by state. Some cities also require a contractor to be licensed, but if your contractor does not have a state or city license, ask the licensing authority if it is required in your area.

A business license is not the same as a roofing contractor license. A business license is for tax purposed and identities the company. It does not mean the person has passed a test or is qualified to work as a roofer.

5. Do you have references?

Ask for local job sites that you can visit to check prior roofing work. You can also ask for references, but sometimes past customers do not want their personal information released. Follow up with the residents and ask if they are happy with the work.

6. Do you offer a warranty for your work?

Ask how long the roof repair company guarantees its work. A roof warranty typically lasts for a year, but some roofers offer longer warranties. The manufacturer usually covers the materials, and the roofer covers the work. These are two separate warranties, so ask the roofer what is covered under each warranty.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on Aug. 15, 2012.


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