Choosing a Contractor: 13 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Roofing Contractor
There’s no more denying it or putting it off. There are water stains on the ceiling. You’ve found a few shingles in your yard. There are birds, squirrels or raccoons in your attic (or maybe all three, yikes!). Whatever the case may be, the signs are clear: it’s time for a new roof.
Where can I find the best certified roofing contractors in my area?
Getting a new roof or a roof repair starts with finding the right roofing contractor for the job. You can find the best certified roofers in your area by checking out our network of Owens Corning Roofing Platinum and Preferred Contractors.
Roofing companies and contractors in our Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network are selected for their commitment to customer service, reliability and professional craftsmanship. Additionally, they must meet high standards and satisfy strict requirements, which include:
- Carrying all required state and local licenses.
- Holding at least $1,000,000 in general liability insurance.
- Being screened for financial stability and customer service.
$1M Liability Insurance / Excellent Customer Service / Workmanship Inspection
But, Do I Really Need a Roofing Contractor?
Installing a new roof, or repairing an existing roof, is a big job and a big investment for your home. Working with a qualified and trusted roofer who understands roofing materials, safety, and building codes and requirements will ensure the job is done right. You’ll also have warranty options offering peace of mind that the roofing contractor will stand behind their work for years to come.
Okay. I Want to Hire a Roofing Contractor, But How Can I Tell Who Is Qualified and Who Isn’t?
Most homeowners start with a list of about two to five roofing contractors, and meet with about two to three, before making their final decision on who to hire for the job. Searching for qualified roofers online, or getting recommendations from friends and family, are two ways to get started on creating a short list of roofing contractors to consider, but may not give you all the information you need to tell who is qualified and who is not.
Basing your decision purely off recommendations or a gut feeling is risky without knowing all the facts about the contractor, so here are 13 questions to ask that will help you narrow down your selection and hire the right roofer for your project:
- Do you have adequate insurance coverage? Your roofer should carry insurance to help protect your home from accidental damage. Owens Corning Roofing Platinum and Preferred Contractors hold at least $1,000,000 in general liability insurance.
- Do you offer additional warranty* and workmanship** coverage? Your roofing contractor should be able to offer a limited warranty that may include workmanship coverage. Owens Corning Roofing Platinum and Preferred Contractors offer several different levels of Roofing System Limited Warranties that offer up to a lifetime** of material and workmanship coverage.‡
- Will you provide an explanation of my warranty? Your roofing contractor should explain your warranty and be clear about whom to call with a problem. Find out if defective shingles are replaced for prorated replacement cost or original cost and if labor charges are additional. Learn more about our warranties here.
- Which roofing materials will you use on my roof? Not all roofing products are the same, so be sure your roofer works with a name you can trust. Learn more about Owens Corning® roofing products here.
- Will you provide me with a written estimate? Your roofing contractor should provide an estimate that includes an accurate description of the work to be performed, plus work that may have to be contracted out.
- Do you comply with all local building codes? Your roofer should know and comply with all local building codes.
- Could you please give me a list of references? Ask for references and call a few of them.
- Will you perform a thorough inspection? In addition to checking for storm damage, your roofing contractor should perform a thorough inspection of the entire roofing system, including the deck, attic, flashing, chimney, soil stacks and other roof penetrations.
- Will you check for adequate ventilation? Your roofer should check the existing attic ventilation and explain the importance of proper ventilation. This should include inspecting the roof from inside the attic to determine if the current ventilation system is working properly. Improper ventilation can damage your shingles and invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty. Learn more about ventilation or use our ventilation calculator here.
- Will you install synthetic underlayment? Roofers will install either a synthetic or felt underlayment as the first layer of protection on your roof deck. If you’re looking for advanced protection against leaks, water absorption, and mold then you’ll want to make sure your contractor will use a synthetic product rather than felt. Learn more about Owens Corning® synthetic underlayment products here.
- Will you install ice and water barriers? Depending on several conditions, additional ice and water barriers between the shingles and the wood deck may be needed to help prevent ice damming, wind driven rain, or collected water. Learn more about Owens Corning® ice and water barrier products here.
- Will you follow the manufacturer’s specifications? Your roofer should be familiar with and follow all manufacturer’s specifications since improper application can affect your manufacturer’s warranty. Owens Corning® Roofing product specifications are available for download on all product pages and can also be found in our Resource Library.
- Will you explain how my roofing system works? Your roofer should offer a thorough explanation of the entire roofing system and how all the parts work together, so you can make educated decisions. Learn more about the Owens Corning® Total Protection Roofing System®^ here.
Download or print the Contractor Checklist for reference to make sure you get the information you need to hire the right roofing contractor for your roof repair or replacement project. If you have questions about any of our roofers in the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network, please click to chat with a GET PINK® agent or call 1-800-GET-PINK®.
*See actual warranty for complete details, limitations and requirements.
**Lifetime workmanship applies to all shingles except Supreme® Shingles. Lifetime workmanship is only available to the original purchaser and is not fully transferable. See “transferability of the warranty” section for more details. Coverage is prorated after the first twenty-five (25) years. Contractor is responsible for covering the first two years of workmanship. See warranty for complete details.
^Excludes non-Owens Corning® roofing products such as flashing, fasteners, pipe boots and wood decking.
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