How to Hire a Roofing Contractor for Your Project

Need to hire a roofing contractor? Our guide simplifies the process. Learn how to verify local experience, check insurance, and read reviews to make the best choice.
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To provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date guides and cost figures, we gather information from a variety of local licensed contractors, pricing databases, and industry experts. Learn more.

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Reviewed by JC Sanjuan — General and roofing contractor with over a decade of experience in residential and commercial construction. He specializes in project management, quality workmanship, client satisfaction, and solving roofing challenges.

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Are you feeling stressed about finding a reliable roofing contractor?
You’re not alone. Most homeowners do, too. And we get it, sometimes, the roofing business can have a bad name. But no worries; this guide is here to help.

We’ll go over what you should look for when picking the right professional for your roofing needs. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know how to make a smart choice, making sure your roof job goes smoothly from start to finish.

1. Make Sure They’re Local

First off, it’s a good idea to find a local roofer, especially if storms are common where you live. With today’s technology, it’s easy for contractors to pretend they’re local. They can get a local phone number and make business cards quickly. So, you’ll need to do a bit of digging. Make sure they’ve been around your area for a while and have local customers who say good things about them.

Being local is important for a few reasons. Local roofers know the building rules in your area. They also understand the weather and what it does to roofs. And if something goes wrong later on, they’re nearby to help fix it.

How to Find Local Roofing Contractors

Finding a local roofing contractor can be done through a combination of online research, personal recommendations, and verifying credentials. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:

  1. Word of Mouth: Start by asking friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues if they have any recommendations for local roofing contractors. If someone had a good experience with a contractor, they’re likely to recommend them.
  2. Online Directories: Look for local contractors in online directories like Yelp, Angie’s List, or the Better Business Bureau. These directories often have reviews and ratings which can help you get a sense of the contractor’s reputation.
  3. Local Business Listings: Check local business listings in your area. Many towns or cities have a list of local businesses on their website.
  4. Online Search: Simply searching online for “roofing contractor near me” or “local roofing contractor in [your town/city]” can yield useful results. Look at the reviews and ratings, and also check their location to ensure they are indeed local.
  5. Social Media: Many contractors advertise their services on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. You can also look for local groups or forums where people might recommend contractors.
  6. Contact Multiple Contractors: Don’t just settle for the first contractor you find. Contact several contractors, ask for quotes, and compare their services and prices. This will also give you an opportunity to gauge their professionalism and willingness to provide information.
  7. Check Credentials: Ask for proof of insurance, licensing (if applicable in your state), and any other credentials. You can also ask for references or examples of past work. More on this below.
  8. Visit Local Hardware Stores: Sometimes, local hardware stores have bulletin boards with business cards or flyers from local contractors. They may also have personal connections with contractors and might be able to recommend someone.
  9. Attend Home Shows: Local home shows or expos are great places to meet contractors face-to-face and learn about their services.
  10. Check with Local Building Departments: They may have a list of licensed contractors in your area.

2. Carry Insurance: No Compromises

Insurance is a big deal. Don’t forget to ask to see it. A trustworthy roofer will be happy to show you their insurance papers, and they should be current. If you’re dealing with an insurance claim for your roof, see if the contractor knows how to use Xactimate. This is a software that insurance companies use to figure out how much repairs cost.

Xactimate helps both you and the contractor agree on a fair price for the work. It uses the latest pricing information to estimate the cost of different types of roofing jobs. So, if your contractor knows Xactimate, it can make dealing with your insurance claim a lot smoother.

3. Check Reviews: Do Your Due Diligence

Online reviews can be very telling, so it’s a wise move to look up reviews of the roofer. However, a couple of positive remarks from their relatives won’t be enough to seal the deal. Ask the roofer for a list of previous customers and take the time to call these individuals to hear about their experiences firsthand.

In addition to personal referrals, check if the roofer is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB is a reliable source as they have strict standards for accreditation. Look at the roofer’s rating and read the reviews there. A good rating and positive feedback on the BBB are reassuring signs.

Dig deeper by looking at other review sites, too. Platforms like Yelp, Angie’s List, or HomeAdvisor offer a platform for customers to share their experiences. Look for patterns in reviews. Are there repeated compliments or complaints about specific things? These patterns can give you a better sense of what to expect.

Also, see if the roofer has received any awards or recognition from local business organizations. It’s a good indicator of their standing in the community.

Lastly, check their social media pages. How they interact with customers online can give you a glimpse into their customer service and how they handle complaints.

Gathering a well-rounded view from different sources will provide a clearer picture of the roofer’s reputation and what you can expect when working with them.

3. Accreditation Matters

It’s a good sign when roofing contractors are accredited by well-known manufacturers like GAF, Owens Corning, or Tamko. These accreditations show that the roofing contractor meets certain standards set by the industry. If you have a favorite manufacturer, make sure the roofing contractor is an accredited contractor with them.

These accreditations are not just fancy stickers; they show that the roofing contractor has the right training and follows good practices. Manufacturers want to make sure their products are installed correctly, so they have strict rules for who gets accredited.

Being accredited also means the roofing contractor has access to better materials and warranties that can be passed on to you. It’s a way to make sure you’re getting a high-quality job done with high-quality materials.

If you’re unsure what these accreditations mean, don’t hesitate to ask the roofing contractor to explain them. A good roofing contractor will be happy to explain and show their accreditations.

4. Licensing: Navigate the Loopholes

It might surprise you, but not all states require roofing contractors to have a license. For example, in Texas, there’s no mandatory roofing license. So, what do you do in such cases? Look for contractors with certifications from reputable bodies, like CertainTeed or GAF, that require ongoing training.

These certifications show that the roofing contractor is committed to learning and following the latest industry standards. It’s a way of making sure they know what they’re doing, even if there’s no state license.

Ask the roofing contractor about their licensing and certifications. Check if these documents are current and if they cover the type of work you need done. You can also contact the issuing organizations to verify the authenticity of the certifications.

This way, even without a state license, you can find a roofing contractor who is well-trained and trustworthy to handle your roofing project.

5. Speak with Customers

Lastly, take some time to talk to past customers. Even the best roofing contractors can face unexpected challenges. What really matters is how they handle these bumps in the road. Customer testimonials can give you a good idea about this.

Ask the roofing contractor for a list of past customers you can contact. When you talk to these people, ask about their experience. Were there any problems? How did the contractor handle them? Were they happy with the work? Would they hire the contractor again?

You can learn a lot from others’ experiences. It will give you a clearer picture of what you can expect. It’s the final check to make sure you’re making a good choice.

Top Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor Before You Hire

Selecting a roofing contractor is a big decision, and asking the right questions can make all the difference. Here’s a list of top questions you should ask to ensure you’re making a well-informed choice.

  1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
    This is non-negotiable. Ask for proof of licensing and insurance to make sure you’re covered in case of accidents or damages.
  2. Are You Local to My Area?
    Again, local contractors are more familiar with local building codes and conditions. Ask for local references to verify their experience in your community.
  3. Can You Provide References?
    Speaking with previous customers can give you insights into the contractor’s reliability and quality of work. Don’t hesitate to call these references.
  4. What Is Included in Your Estimate?
    Get a detailed estimate that breaks down costs for materials, labor, and other potential expenses. This will help you avoid unexpected costs later.
  5. What’s Your Payment Schedule?
    Understanding the payment terms upfront can help you manage your budget. Some contractors require a deposit, while others may offer payment plans.
  6. Do You Offer a Warranty?
    Ask about both the manufacturer’s warranty for materials and the contractor’s warranty for workmanship, so you know what’s covered and for how long.
  7. What’s Your Plan for Bad Weather?
    Roofing projects are weather-dependent. Ask how the contractor plans to protect your property in case of unexpected weather conditions.
  8. Who Will Supervise the Project?
    It’s good to know who will be your point of contact during the project. This person should update you on progress and be available to answer your questions.
  9. What Will You Do with the Waste?
    Inquire about how the contractor plans to dispose of waste and whether disposal fees are included in the estimate.
  10. What Happens If We Find Additional Issues?
    Sometimes roofing projects uncover unforeseen problems. Ask how these would be handled, both logistically and financially.

Final Words

Now you have a roadmap to follow in your search for a trustworthy roofing contractor. These steps will guide you in making a well-informed decision. Remember, trust your gut feeling too. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to look for another contractor.

Finding the right professional for your roofing project is crucial. It’s about ensuring that your investment is well-spent and that you’ll have a sturdy roof over your head for years to come. Take your time, do your research, and you’re more likely to end up with a professional who gets the job done right.


FAQs About Hiring a Roofing Contractor

  • Do I Need a Local Contractor? Yes, local contractors know area-specific building codes and weather conditions. Easier to check the reputation.
  • How to Confirm Licensing and Insurance? Ask for proof and verify dates. Call to confirm if possible.
  • What’s in an Estimate? Should include a breakdown of material costs, labor, and additional fees like permits or disposal.
  • Is a Down Payment Required? Varies by contractor. Understand terms upfront.
  • Are Customer Reviews Important? Very. Read multiple reviews and speak to past clients if possible.
  • What Kind of Warranty to Look For? Look for a warranty on both materials and workmanship.
  • What if Bad Weather Strikes? Ask about the contractor’s weather policy. They should have plans to protect your property.
  • Who’s My Main Contact? Know who will oversee the project. This person should be your go-to for questions.
  • How Is Waste Disposal Handled? Confirm if the contractor takes care of it and if the cost is included.
  • What if Additional Issues Are Found? Ask how unforeseen issues would be handled and if they affect the initial estimate.

References

Licensing Requirements for Contractors

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Whether you need a repair or a complete replacement, we've got you covered. Our easy-to-understand guides on roofing and costs from experts will help you make the best decisions for your roofing project.
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We’re committed to providing you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make informed decisions about your home improvement projects. Our research process is thorough, combining local contractor insights, permit data analysis, and building code reviews to ensure our guides reflect real-world costs and comply with the latest standards. We also stay on top of industry trends and best practices by consulting with experts. By factoring in both material and labor costs, we give you a complete picture of what your roof replacement might cost.

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