Before you decide to hire contractors to work on your roof, it is crucial to understand the general process and write down a few questions you ought to consider. Before you hire roofing contractors or agree on estimated costs, knowing specific information about your home, such as the initial condition of your roof, allows you to have realistic expectations about the work and what it will cost.
A Few Considerations Before You Hire A Roofing Company:
- Do you need to exterminate termite infestations first?
- Do you want roof installation or just roof maintenance?
- Does construction equipment rental cost extra?
It is crucial to inspect the condition of your roof before hiring residential roofing contractors to do any work. Roofers might do a thorough inspection, but not always. Therefore, by examining the wooden structure underneath, you can take care to exterminate termite infestations if you need to.
Similarly, you can prevent throwing money away and make sure the wood underneath your roof is free of mold. Like wood damage caused by termites, damage from mold leaves behind wood that is brittle and unsalvageable, hardly the prime environment to place new and expensive roofing material.
Other factors that impact your decision to hire, or not hire, a potential roofing company include considerations about roofers’ insurance coverage, certification status, warranty coverage, and clean-up procedures.
Before committing to any residential roofing contractors, you want to make sure the roofing company you choose is reputable. Then, be sure to consult with the roofers and make certain they have the correct paperwork under their belt.
You want to check credentials so that you are not liable for potential mishaps such as an on-the-job injury, roof damage due to negligence, or project abandonment. The crucial thing is to be upfront by asking your roofing company direct questions.
Are You Licensed to Do Roofing Work?
Besides doing online research about the company, it is vital to ask your roofing contractors about the types of certifications they hold. In many states, a roofer doesn’t need to seek a license. However, certification can give you peace of mind knowing that the roofing company you are allowing into your home is indeed reputable.
While many states do not require residential roofing contractors to be licensed, there are exceptions. As a homeowner, you must check the state where you live. What if roofers in your state do not require a license to do the work?
If your state does not make licensure mandatory, it is best to use your good judgment to decide whether to hire unlicensed roofing contractors. Choosing to hire licensed roofers despite state requirements ultimately gives you confidence in who you are trusting to repair your roof. The alternative, hiring unlicensed roofers, may work out just as well, but why take a chance?
Are You Covered with General Liability Insurance?
It is easy to overlook the importance of insurance. But as a homeowner, you should take every measure to avoid something preventable during home repairs. In other words, you want to be sure that if a contractor causes damage to your property accidentally or indirectly, you are not stuck covering those losses. Your roofers may carry workman’s compensation in case of accidental injury on the job. But is that enough?
If you want to protect your roof and avoid unnecessary costs, then you must be confident that your roofing company has more than workman’s compensation. General liability insurance is paramount. For instance, if a roofer trips, falls, and breaks an arm, insurance such as workman’s compensation will protect you from incurring the costs of the incident on your property. But what happens when a roofer trips, falls, and breaks a hole in your roof? Without general liability insurance, the damage to your property becomes your out-of-pocket expense.
Insurance works to protect both sides. You don’t want to pay for damages you didn’t cause, and your roofing contractors do not want to get sued if an accident happens. General liability coverage is a form of risk protection and covers accidental injury to you or your property.
Do You Subcontract Work?
It is standard practice for a roofing company to hire subcontractors to do part of the work, especially if the project is large-scale. Inquiring about the subcontractors’ insurance policy and roofing credentials is just as important as asking your initial roofing contractors, if not more so.
Any individual that works on your property must be protected and covered by an insurance policy that serves to protect you and your property from potential disasters. Unfortunately, subcontracted roofers are a bit tricky.
The roofing company you hire may be insured. But if the company subcontracts roofers, how can you be sure that the roofers are covered by the policy also? Asking the right questions before you hire roofing contractors means requesting paperwork which shows who is covered by the general liability coverage insurance policy – otherwise, you risk putting yourself in a position that you could have avoided.
What Is Your Warranty Policy?
Your roof is most likely covered with a manufacturer’s warranty. But the manufacture warranty is a separate contract from the one issued by roofers to guarantee their work. The trick is to know whether you should opt for an extended warranty.
A warranty covers the completed job for a certain period. Usually, roofers guarantee their work anywhere from two to twenty-five years or longer, depending on the policy of the said roofing company. Exceptional roofing companies will guarantee lifetime warranty coverage, reflecting confidence in a job well done. If done correctly roof maintenance should be something you shouldn’t have to worry bout.
It is a good idea to know the specifics of your warranty coverage. For instance, does the warranty cover weather damage? Does it cover damage from faulty material? A warranty contract should be transparent about what it includes and for how long.
It is common for roofers to offer a warranty in the form of an extended warranty. If you have ever purchased a vehicle, you know that extended warranties often do little more than hike up the cost of your lease. However, when you consider the costs of roof installation or roof maintenance, a warranty is a worthy investment.
Will You Take Care of Excess Material And Debris In My Yard?
Large-scale roofing jobs require using roofing materials which will inevitably end up on and around your property. To prevent rogue nails and other hazardous debris from taking over your yard, roofers will bring construction equipment rental bins or dumpsters to hold excess roofing material. Usually, a roofing company will charge a disposal fee to cover the costs.
It is wise to understand your roofing options and what expenses should come out of your pocket. Asking the right questions can further help you prepare for expenses you ought to reasonably expect and thereby ensure you settle on a fair estimate.
Finally, the amount of your roofing estimate depends on the roofing materials used. For example, foam insulations or the type of roof you install could increase or decrease your cost. Something like silicone roof coatings could be or couldn’t be in your budget, depending on what you would want to pay. What you end up paying for also depends on the type of work done. Do you plan to do roof installation and repair, or just roof maintenance? Again, the best thing to do is ask your roofing company specific questions and recognize how different options affect your home and overall project costs.
What Will You Need to Inspect To Get A Roofing Estimate?
Roofers need to inspect your roof from the outside, and more often, they must check it from the inside, as well. Thoroughly inspecting your roof allows roofers to know how much maintenance will be involved and what your estimate will be. Uncovering cracks, leaks, debris, and other issues is vital before the start of additional work.
For instance, if your roof is old, or previous repair work is shoddy, your roofing contractors will have to do more labor. Prep work includes tearing away old roofing materials or repairing a leak. Roofing contractors typically reach an estimate in under an hour and present you with a final quote in several days.
Can you provide a written and itemized copy of the roofing estimate?
It is smart to request an estimate in writing, in addition to asking for a breakdown of the cost of labor and materials used. You might consider altogether avoiding a roofing company that is unwilling to provide this. Getting an itemized written copy of everything alleviates any confusion about what you’re paying.
Moreover, you will have a receipt to show all the work completed by the roofing company, just in case you find problems with your roof in the future. Items that you can expect to see on an itemized roofing estimate include a list of all materials used, the cost of materials used, the cost of labor, warranties included, primary contact information, and job completion dates.
Does The Job Require Roof Installation or Roof Maintenance?
The type of work that will be necessary to do depends on the condition of your roof. You will need to consider factors like age and wear and tear to assess what kind of labor the job requires. Another consideration is aesthetics and whether replacing your roof is worth the cost. Essentially, you must decide between repairing your roof and replacing it. Most often, the latter is more costly.
When your roof has partial damage, it might make sense to replace the shingles which have broken off rather than replace the entire structure. However, if there is severe structural damage, then replacing the roof entirely makes more sense. Furthermore, even if you’re dealing with a partially damaged roof, sometimes replacing it is better to avoid certain repairs in the future.
What Roofing Materials Will You Be Using?
Which roofing materials are appropriate often depends on the structure of your house, your warranty, rules set by the HOA, or where you live. You may need to decide between foam insulations, silicone roof coatings, or various types of shingles.
Some types of shingles are effective at keeping your home cool, while others are durable and aesthetically appealing. Various types of coating can offer insulation to shield your home from weather elements.
Silicone Roof Coatings vs. Foam Insulations
Choosing one over the other feels like that old saying about apples and oranges. While both options offer a variety of benefits, they are different in the benefits they offer. Foam Insulations are used to tightly seal gaps and effectively keep moisture out of your home. On the other hand, silicone roof coatings offer an extra layer of protection for your roof. Both offer a barrier protecting your home from the outdoors.
How Long Will the Roofing Project Take from Start To Finish?
Repairing or replacing a roof can take anywhere from one day to several weeks. Your time will not be hanging on a wire if you are proactive in getting a timeline of completion from your roofing company.
A timeline may be an estimate of how long the job takes or a date that defines the project’s deadline. However, unexpected events can happen.
Ask about the what-if scenarios: who will finish the work if a roofer becomes ill or injured? Do not be afraid to inquire about roofing materials to ensure a seamless delivery of work is completed, minimizing any gaps in the project. Ideally, your roofing contractor should address potential obstacles or delays during your initial consultation.
Common mistakes homeowners make when installing a new roof in their home include hiring the wrong roofing company, choosing inadequate materials, and accruing unnecessary expenses. When you are informed about the ins and outs of roof installation and roof maintenance, you can avoid common pitfalls. As a responsible homeowner, it is time to hire professional roofing contractors and stay two steps ahead of the process.
The most promising steps to ensure a smooth home restoration process are checking the structure of your roof and asking your roofing company direct questions about their credentials. Finally, keep a list of updated information about the types of materials you may need or not need.