Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor

Everything you need to know before signing a contract
Questions to Ask a Roofing Contractor
The roofing industry can be complex and daunting when you need to get a job done on your home. Seemingly simple information, like the shingles used and the company’s years in business, will tell you a lot about the service quality you’ll receive.

Learn what to ask your roofing contractor and what to look out for before signing the contract below. Being prepared will help you find a roofing contractor who will make your roofing experience convenient and stress-free.

What questions should I ask a roofer?

  1. “How long does the roof take to complete start to finish?”
    • It typically takes us 2-3 days to complete a job depending on the inspection process in your county. Don’t allow a contractor to tell you it takes longer than a week to complete a roof. No matter the size, it should take no less than seven days.
  2. “Do you have workers comp and general liability?”
    • We have both, and the insurance company can send copies directly to the homeowner. Never accept a copy of the insurance directly from the contractor. The certificate should always come from the insurance company directly.
  3. “When do I need to pay?”
    • You should always know the payment structure. We don’t take money upfront but some companies may take a small amount before the job begins in order to buy materials.
  4. “How long is my warranty and what does it cover?”
    • Our warranties vary from 7 years to 15 years depending on what kind of roof you choose. It covers our labor only. It does not cover manufacturer’s defects like blistering or tobacco juicing. Most warranties are voided after an act of God like hurricanes and windstorms over 50 mph. Windblown rain defies gravity and normal roofing installation methods that we cannot guard against. As a courtesy, we will fix any small leaks at no cost if our customers get a leak after a storm.
  5. “What is blistering and tobacco juicing?”
    • Blistering happens when moisture gets trapped during the manufacturing process. After installation, blister-like marks appear. Blisters don’t necessarily cause leaks. Tobacco juicing refers to staining on a typically white fascia caused by the oils of the shingles to run onto the fascia.

    Example of blistering and tobacco juice on roof

  6. “Are you a local company and how long have you been in the area?”
    • It’s very important to understand how long the contractor has been in business, especially in your area. We have been in Central Florida for over 35 years.
  7. “When will my dumpster and materials be delivered and picked up?”
    • All dumpsters and materials should be delivered the day before the job starts. And the dumpster should be picked up the day or day after the job is complete.

Questions to ask your roofing contractor about contracts

You don’t get your roof repaired or installed often, so the contracting process is understandably confusing. Below are some of the things that you should look for in the contract or ask the contractor about before binding yourself and your money with a signature.

  1. “Do you use architectural shingles?”
  2. “When does the contract expire?”
    • Be aware of a potential clause in your contract that states the expiration of the proposal. If the job isn’t executed on in that time frame, your contract will be null and void. This means you’re at risk of being charged more if the price of shingles has gone up (which it often does.)
  3. “What is the timeframe for backing out? Is there a clause in the contract that states this?”
    • While you don’t have to directly ask the contractor this, be sure to look for it in your contract before signing it. Most roofing contractors will have a section of the contract stating that you cannot back out after three days of signing the contract. Almost all contracts have this, so keep it in mind before signing.
  4. “What is the payment structured that is outlined?”
    • Find out the payment structure that the contractor is defining in the contract.
  5. “Will all of the metals be replaced?”
    • Ask if all metals will be replaced. The contractor should definitely offer this within the accepted price.

Red flags of roofing companies

If you notice something weird or suspicious about your roofing contractor, look into it more. Some red flags to be on the lookout for are:

  • if they ask for all of the money to be paid upfront
  • if they ask you to do any work at all, from pulling permits to cleaning up the job site
  • if they are very pushy in any aspect of the interaction
  • if the contractor doesn’t have an office. This could mean they are inexperienced with little resources or insufficient insurance.
  • if the crew is only one or two people. This will make the job last about two weeks when it should be done significantly sooner than that.
  • if they are constantly pushing the job date back (except for if it is due to rain.)

Roofing Contractor Scams

Some seemingly-normal contractors are actually just scam artists trying to take your money and leave without completing the job. If your contractor does any of the following, be extremely cautious in working with them.

  • Be very wary of contractors that ask for all of the money upfront. They can take your money and run, take an extremely long time to do the job, or do a shoddy job since they have already received their full payment.
  • Don’t settle for a contractor that doesn’t finish the job quickly or provides a lot of excuses. If it seems weird and suspicious, it probably is.

Roofing Vocabulary

Learn the roofing lingo provided in the roof parts diagram below to better understand your roofing contractor and to provide them with greater detail when needed.

Roofing parts diagram

Have questions about your roofing project?
Contact us for answers and a free estimate.

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