Most homeowners will only have to replace a roof once or twice during their lives, and usually not more than once on the same house. When you combine that with how much is riding on your roof and how expensive a roof is, you see just how important it is to get a good roofer the first time.
Get Quotes and Ask Questions
That doesn’t just mean get different numbers. Make sure that you get all of the information about what they plan to do, and how much they plan to replace. A good roofer should do a sample cut of your roof to see how many layers there are. They should also be willing to completely remove the current roof and replace it from the ground up if there’s any problems.
Once you have all of the quotes, you don’t want to just choose the cheapest one. After all, the lower cost could be because they’re cutting corners, such as installing new shingles without removing old rotting decking. Go over all of the details and feel free to ask questions.
Make Sure They Have Insurance
While a roofer will do everything they can to prevent accidents, mistakes do still happen, and you need to be protected. That’s why a professional roofer will carry worker’s compensation insurance and general liability insurance. If one of their workers gets injured on the job, or they cause damage or injury to you, then this insurance will cover it.
To make sure they have it, simply ask for the name of their insurance carrier and their agent. Call the agent and ask for a certificate of insurance to make sure that their policy is in force. If they say that your homeowner’s insurance will cover it or that they don’t need insurance, then that’s a red flag.
Safety and Cleanliness
A professional roofer makes building roofs their career, so they’re not going to take unnecessary chances. That means they’ll use roofing jacks (supports nailed into the support beams) to create scaffolding on your roof, and will use climbing gear when working on steep roofs. The same attention to detail that they show towards safety will translate into getting a good roof with no accidents.
And the attention to detail won’t stop there. A good roofer keeps a clean work area. While working, they’ll use things like a roofing magnet to pick up nails and avoid accidents. Any roofing debris will be cleaned up as they create it, and it will go to a recycling center or approved landfill. All of these are signs that they have a permanent, professional crew who knows what they’re doing.
Some people will recommend only going with long-established roofing companies, but that’s not the only way to be sure that they’re a professional. After all, everyone had to start somewhere. One of the best ways is to check their proposal and watch their process for creating it.
A professional will never make assumptions without checking things out. They’ll get up on your roof to go over the flashing, decking, ventilation, and more. They might even take pictures of any damage or problem areas so you know you’re on the same page. Everything will be spelled out in great detail along with the costs so you’ll have no doubt that they know what they’re doing.