10 Questions To Ask Your Roofing Contractor

10 Questions To Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Chattanooga, are you feeling overwhelmed and lost at the idea of replacing your roof? This “to the point” guide will hopefully remove some of the guesswork from kicking off a successful roofing project and put your mind at ease.

☑ Question 1

Question: Are you licensed & insured ?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear It: Many states, including Tennessee and Georgia, require a roofer be licensed in the state; however, all states are different. If contractors, including roofers, are required to be licensed in your state, only work with those who are so you have some recourse in case things go wrong. Be sure the license is up to date. It’s also a good idea to verify that your contract carries active general liability insurance & workmans comp policies. If they are not easily available to you, be weary.

When it comes to workers  comp, the problem, of course, is when the chance is taken on your property and an employee becomes injured. If you hire a company that doesn’t offer employees workman’s compensation and someone gets injured on your property, you might find yourself forking over thousands of dollars to pay for medical bills. This is a loss no homeowner wants to incur. To protect yourself, make sure the company you hire insures each worker that will be present on your property.

☑ Question 2

Question: Will you remove my old roof?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear it:  Some roofers will claim to save time and money by inspecting, with their eyes, the old roof, and then, if all looks well, shingling over it. However, unless the old shingles are pulled up you will never know if you have soft spots or rotten wood beneath the current shingles. If bad spots remain behind, you will have larger, costlier problems in the future. Don’t let a roofer place a new roof on your house until they have taken up the old roof.

☑ Question 3

Question: Are you going to install drip edge or edge metal when you install the new roof?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear It: Drip edge or edge metal is a small piece of aluminum placed under the shingle where it comes off of the roof. This piece of metal extends past the roof and allows runoff to flow into, rather than behind, the gutters, protecting the fascia and wood on your roof. If a drip edge or edge metal is not installed, you will incur problems associated with water damage. However, unless you specifically ask about drip edge prior to the job, some roofers will skip over this part of the process. For this reason, it is essential you ask about drip edge prior to hiring a roofing company.

☑ Question 4

Question: Do you bring a container for refuse material & where will you place it?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear It:  Refuse from the old roof, such as shingles, will need to be placed somewhere as it comes down. The company you hire should bring a container to the job site to contain the refuse. You should not be required to supply this container, nor should you have to deal with the refuse once the job is completed.

Asphalt driveways can crack under extreme pressure. If the company places the container on your driveway, you may wind up with a lot more to fix when the job is over. For this reason, it’s important to ask where the container will be placed, and then question the answer. If in the driveway, what are the provisions in case the driveway cracks? If not in the driveway, then where will the container be placed?

☑ Question 5

Question: What will you do in the case of bad weather during the job?

Acceptable Answer: Cover the job project in tarpaulins or plastic covers

Why You Want to Hear It: Let’s face it: the weather guy is not always right. This isn’t too bad when you’re stuck in the office all day, but when someone is removing and replacing your roof it can be a major problem. If the prettiest of days turns into a rain storm, what will the roofing company do to protect the interior of your home? Make sure your roofer has a plan for this. Your roof should be covered in some type of plastic sheeting or tarpaulin to ensure it, and everything beneath it, remains dry. Also ask what the plan is if the rainy days extend for a while. Will the company come back to ensure the covering is keeping the home dry? If there is a storm with high winds, will someone be available to come out and secure the covering if it appears to not be holding?

☑ Question 6

Question: Do you have a local phone number and address?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear It: Head down to Chattanooga after any extreme weather event and you will likely see a band of trucks roaming the streets, filled with contractors looking for work. While some of these may be on the up and up, what happens when the job gets done and then something goes wrong? Who do you call to fix what was not installed correctly or got damaged before the warranty expired? Will the person that did the work be available to come back out to fix what is wrong?  If you choose to deal with a company not local to your area, you may not be able to get the company back to fix any potential problems in the future.

☑ Question 7

Question: What is the warranty on my new roof?

Acceptable Answer: Minimum of 25 years

Why You Want to Hear It: Today’s dimensional style shingles cost the same price as the older style shingles and also last longer. Homeowners should get at least a 25 year warranty with both product types though.

☑ Question 8

Question: How will you protect my landscaping during this project?

Acceptable Answer: Specific details on what the company will do to ensure your landscaping does not take a beating. (Placement of equipment, traffic patterns to avoid trampling the bushes, etc)

Why You Want to Hear It: Too often, homeowners think about what’s going on top of the roof and forget about what surrounds the house. This includes the gutters, which we talked about earlier, but also the landscaping. If you spend hundreds – or thousands – of dollars planting trees, shrubs and flowers, you don’t want to come home to a new roof but a torn up lawn. Before you hire a company, ask specifically what they will do to protect your landscaping. Where will the ladders go? Where will the old shingles and potentially rotten plywood be dropped or tossed so that it doesn’t affect the bushes and flowers that surround your house? If an accident does occur and an employee from the company tromps through your rose garden, what will the company do to fix the damage?

☑ Question 9

Question: Is there going to be someone on site with whom I can communicate?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear It: While we always hope home renovation projects run smoothly, experience – and shows like Holmes on Holmes – prove they don’t. If you return home after a long day at work to find your roof is as open as a convertible and the company is ready to leave for the night, you want to know there is a project manager on site with whom you can communicate your concerns. While some companies will tell you during the sale that you’ll have someone on site managing the job, you might find when the crew shows up in the morning no one is sure who that project manager is. Find out before you leave for the day. If you still don’t know, call the company and ask. And if no one can answer, send the crew away until they can. A reputable roofing company will have someone on site throughout the project to answer questions and address concerns.

☑ Question 10

Question:Do you provide a written estimate?

Acceptable Answer: Yes

Why You Want to Hear It: Settling into a contract without a detailed estimate can cause problems in the long run. Be sure, before signing a contract, you have a detailed estimate for the job. Include the cost of removing the old roof, adding the new roof, and anything that could come up in the process, such as rotten plywood that needs to be replaced.

How Did You Do?

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