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14 Questions to ask your roofing contractor BEFORE signing a contract

Choosing the right roofing contractor is a very important decision for many reasons. You want to make sure the company is reputable and reliable, while also having confidence that your roof will not only be completed the first time around, but will last for 20-50 years depending on its type. has put together a list of 14 questions that every homeowner should ask a potential roofing contractor.

1. Are they licensed and bonded?

Every state requires that contractors be licensed while local cities and towns may have varying regulations. When a contractor is bonded, this means he has purchased a surety bond, which will protect you as the homeowner. A bond will provide a certain amount of liability insurance as well as possible. It also can potentially provide compensation to the owner should the contractor fail to complete the project as required or contracted.

Roofing contractor on a house2. Do they have workman’s comp AS WELL AS General Liability insurance?

It is required by law that employers offer workman’s compensation insurance which covers the employees on your property. General liability covers YOUR ACTUAL property. For example if a contractor accidentally damages your home (fire, flooding etc. yes it’s happened!) and the company doesn’t carry liability insurance, you could be responsible for covering the debts incurred by the accident. All contractors carrying this insurance will have a certificate with your name and address as an additional insured.

3. Do they have a local phone number and address?

In the unfortunate circumstance something goes wrong after the project is completed, who do you call to fix it? Will the person that did the work be able to come back and fix what is wrong? A roofing company that does not have a physical location is cause for concern.

4. Can they provide a list of references?

At least 3 is recommended.

5. What is the contractor’s current workload How many employees does the company have?

How many simultaneous projects will they have going on? A large number of simultaneous projects could potentially impact the speed of production on your home.

6. Will they remove your old roof?

The only way to know if there are soft spots or rotten wood beneath your current shingles is to remove them. Don’t let a roofer place a new roof on top of your old one, or you may end up dealing with long term negative effects.

7. Are they planning to install drip edge or edge metal when they install the new roof?

Drip edge or edge metal is a small piece of aluminum placed under the shingle where it comes off of the roof. It allows runoff to flow into the gutter protecting the fascia and wood on your roof. The possibility of problems associated with water damage becomes much larger without them. Some contractors will skip over this process to save time, it is therefore in your best interest to ask.

8. Will they use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect your gutters when they install your roof?

Ladder stabilizers or standoffs assist in keeping the weight for an extension ladder off of your gutters. Not using one can lead to much damage to the gutters all around your home. If the company you are considering does not use them, ask why and what they will do to ensure no damage results.

9. Will they bring a container to dispose properly of all waste/old roofing materials?

It is the contractors’ responsibility for all cleanup. You should not have to supply any clean up materials nor should you have to deal with any of it once the project is completed.

10. What is the cost of plywood should they find rotten roof or soft roof decking?

Once a roof is up, it will be tough to dispute the cost of plywood to repair any damaged roofing that the company may find. Being aware of the potential cost from the beginning will eliminate any surprises during the process.Construction worker on roof

11. Do they provide a warranty for the materials used and a warranty for the labor?

A warranty will cover the defects in most types of roofing—shingles, shakes, slate, tiles, metal roofing etc. It WILL NOT however cover improper installation. Therefor a labor warranty from a roofing contractor is essential.

12. What do they plan to do in case of inclement weather during the job?

Let’s face it, if you live in Colorado you know all too well how unpredictable the weather can be. Make sure they have a plan to accommodate any of Mother Nature’s surprises. Including rain, snow, wind or anything that could possibly damage your home or landscape.

13. How will they protect your landscaping during the project?

Inquire as to specific details regarding what they will do to ensure your property is not damaged.

14. What are the details of the warranty?

Is the warranty a manufacturer’s warranty or a contractor’s warranty? If you’re using shingles, what style will be used? The styles that are found in shingles today cost the same as the older style shingles. They also last longer. As a homeowner you should expect at least a 25 year warranty on both styles. MAKE SURE you have a detailed written contract that not only includes labor and material costs, but a time frame for completion, and an itemized list of all type, brand, and cost materials.


The quality of a contractor is very important. Use these 14 questions to help you make the decision that is right for you! Logo