Roof replacements, planned or unexpected, are a big investment. Here are ten questions to ask before you hire a contractor.

Whether expected or unexpected, roofing repairs are a large investment for home or small business owners. It’s important to make sure that you’re getting high quality service from a reliable team before you sign the contract to ensure your project is a success. Utilize the tips below as you search for a contractor that fits your needs.

Are they licensed and insured?
Before building your professional relationship, confirm that they are insured with liability and workers comp, and their state licensing is up-to-date. Request a copy of each to have on hand, and if you have any questions, your state Department of Labor should be able to help.

How long have they been in business?
Contractors who have an established reputation in your required area of expertise will likely be happy to share previous work with you. If you need storm repairs and will be dealing with insurance or are interested in an alternative to asphalt shingles such as steel roofing panels, confirm that you’re hiring a crew with a verifiable history in that specialization.

Do they have references to speak to about their past work?
In addition to their time in business, request to speak with previous customers for a chance to ask about their first-hand experience with the crew, their satisfaction with their roofing project, and if they would happily work with the contractor again.

What permits will be required for this project?
Especially if you are dealing with storm repairs, confirm with your contractor that they are prepared to pull any permits and their work will be done up to code, an often-necessary part of an insurance claim. If they hesitate to request permits themselves, it may be a sign they are not qualified to do the work.

Are they a member of a trade association?
While not a guarantee of service, members of professional organizations are typically required to be current on their insurance and licensing and to go through background checks before being approved.

With whom will I be working for the duration of the project?
Request the contact information for the Project Manager or jobsite lead in advance, and know who to contact, and how, if the Project Manager is unavailable. Connect with them in advance to make sure they are clear about your wants and needs as you work together.

Do they have a description of the materials to be used?
Particularly if your project requires specialized knowledge, research the products used by the contractor. Looking for a specific brand or style of product, like metal roofing, slate, or cedar shakes? Let them know and verify they can install what you want.

What is the timeline for the project, and how do they handle payment?
Discuss how they manage changes to their schedule and their policy for projects that go over the projected deadline. Obtain a firm quote and clarify their process for calculating payment and any unexpected expenses that may arise. Make sure that everything is outlined clearly in the contract before you sign, and don’t work with a company that requires a significant, or total, payment up front.

What can I expect from their team?
Inquire about the project scope, and request to see a detailed summary of the expected work. If there are special requirements, such as insurance proceedings or necessary permits, ask that it be included, and the responsibilities of the contractor outlined so as not to miss any important steps.

Do I trust this company and feel secure in their capabilities?
The last question to ask is to yourself. Do you feel confident that they will meet your needs? A home or business is often one’s largest asset, so take care to do your research and hire a team that you believe will complete the work to your standards.

It can be an intimidating process to hire a contractor for home remodels or repairs. Utilize these questions to help narrow down your options and build a strong business relationship with a team that you trust.

Interested in less maintenance moving forward? EDCO’s line of steel roofing promises lifelong durability, meaning you can spend more time focusing on what’s important to you with peace of mind that your home will look great and be protected for years to come.

References:

dli.mn.gov/workers/homeowners/tips-hiring-contractor
stormdamagecenter.org/finding-a-storm-damage-contractor
milwaukeenari.org