Make no mistake about it: Every single part of our home is important.
However, if we ever find ourselves in a situation where we have to choose between that roof over
our heads and some other part of the house, we’ll likely go for the roof. After all, it’s the roof that
provides us the highest degree of protection from the elements. We can all imagine living in a place
without walls, but it’s simply not possible to stay anywhere without a roof.
That said, the roof’s constant battle against harsh sunlight, heavy downpours, and powerful winds
exposes it to a lot of damage over time. Eventually, you’ll have to hire a roofing contractor to fix the
roof or replace it, and if you have residential roofing insurance, getting that done should be easier.
However, hiring the right roofing contractor can get a bit tricky. You have to make sure you’re
hiring a legitimate roofer, and interviewing candidates is a step toward the right direction.
Whether you’re doing them over the phone or in person, here are six questions you need to ask
prospective roofing contractors during interviews.
1. What is your company’s full name?
You don’t want to become a victim of a roofing scam, so make sure the person you’re interviewing
is a legitimate roofer who belongs to a real roofing company, complete with contact information
and a physical address. Copies of permits and licenses would also be great.
Once you get the information, you can always research the company name on state and federal
directories, where they will appear if they are, indeed, legitimate. They will also have a website, as
well as reviews about their services on business directories and review forums, so include them in
2. Are you insured?
Considering that roofing contractors perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, it’s only
right to ask if they have roofer’s insurance coverage. You don’t want to be liable for any bodily
injury or property damage they might cause while doing their work. Make sure that the roofing
contractor you hire has general liability insurance as well as workers’ compensation coverage, at
the very least.
3. Can you give me customer references?
Providing customer references should not be a problem for a reliable roofing contractor. Once you
check out references the candidate offers, make sure you find out if they’ve had any issues with
their roof since, or if they would still hire that roofing contractor for future jobs.
4. Who will work on my roof?
Some roofing contractors subcontract their jobs, and that’s okay, but they must disclose that from
the get-go. You don’t want to be doing all the research on a company only to find out later that
they’re taking someone else you haven’t vetted for the job. Whether you go with such a roofing
contractor that subcontracts their jobs or not will ultimately be up to you.
5. Can you give me a detailed written estimate?
You should never rely on a verbal estimate when it comes to roofing jobs—or any contracting job,
for that matter. You need to know how much the whole thing is going to cost you, and a roofing
contractor just saying it out loud won’t cut it. All estimates must be written down so you can
compare estimates from other potential roofing contractors.
6. Do you offer a warranty for your roofing work?
Reputable roofing contractors guarantee their work, so only go for one that answers the above
question in the affirmative.
You may ask many other questions during your interviews, but the six questions listed above
should be a good enough place to start.
Rachel Porter is the content specialist for Custom Contractors Insurance, LLC, an Arizona roofing andcontractors insurance company. When not writing, she enjoys reading and mountain biking with her friends.