Overhauling your roof is not a project to take lightly. Roof replacement can be very expensive, and it can take a lot of time.
This is one project you only want to do every few decades, if at all possible, but if you hire the wrong roofing contractor, your cover can deteriorate far quicker than that. To avoid a shoddy roofing job, start by hiring the right contractor.
Before hiring, set up a rigorous screening process. You’ll want to be sure that your contractor can answer each of the following questions correctly before you choose to hire him or her.
Otherwise, you’re likely to find yourself in a mess bigger than you can handle on your own. Here are some of the questions you must ask when you conduct a contractor interview.
1. Are you licensed?
You don’t only want to hear an affirmative answer to this question. You also want to see proof. Ask to view the license and check it out to make sure it’s legitimate and current.
In addition, check that the license qualifies in your state. There are different building codes and contractor rules for each state, and if the contractor you’re considering isn’t licensed in yours, you’ll be in deep trouble if things go wrong.
2. What kind of insurance do you offer?
Even though the law requires that contractors carry both worker compensation insurance and general liability insurance, not all roofers do. Some choose to skimp on that aspect of the requirements to save costs, which can be bad news for you.
If someone gets hurt on your property or causes damage, you could be liable for the cost. Only allow contractors to work on your roof if they have proof that their insurance will cover you and your land during the project.
3. Is there a warranty or guarantee?
All contractors should offer a warranty on your roof, and the best will offer a warranty that lasts at least 25 years. If they’ve done their job right, the roof should last much longer than that, but as the homeowner, you will be guaranteed prompt repairs on normal wear and tear at no extra charge during that time period.
4. What kinds of safety measures will you put into place?
Working on a roof is a high-risk activity, not just for the workers but your family as well. To begin with, ask about the supports the workers will be using, including ladder stabilizers and harnesses.
Though any injury will be covered under the roofer’s workers compensation insurance, an injury that occurs on your property would be very unpleasant.
Furthermore, make sure the workers will be safe while using their equipment and materials, especially if you have children or pets at home. If the service professional can’t answer this question satisfactorily, don’t trust him or her to work on your roof.
5. How do you dispose of materials and refuse?
This question is vital for a number of reasons. First of all, you want to be sure that the people working on your roof will pick up after themselves so you aren’t left with a mess.
Also, prompt the prospective team to be specific by asking how they’ll leave the worksite at the end of each work day. A roofing job can take several days to complete, and living in a mess for that long can be both unpleasant and hazardous.
You’ll also want to ask about disposal. The company you hire should bring a container to take care of the old wood and shingles, and they should be careful where they place it.
Once full, the container might create too much weight for a regular asphalt or concrete driveway. You’ll want to discuss the best place to put the container so it won’t cause damage to your property.
6. What will you be replacing?
Every roofing job is different, and some contractors will try to get by with the bare minimum of labor. When you choose to replace rather than repair a roof, building codes require that you tear off the layers of the existing roof before installing a new one.
Some contractors will try to cut corners by simply “inspecting your roof” and choosing to replace only the shingles or damaged areas.
7. Can I have a few references?
When you ask this question, specify that you want references from human beings who have worked with this contractor before. Once you have the references in hand, follow up by calling each person and asking a number of questions about the workmanship and professionalism of the candidate’s work.
Take a few minutes to search online for references as well. There will always be bad reviews, so read these carefully. Compare these reviews to the good ones before making your decision.
8. Can I visit a current project?
If you aren’t satisfied with references alone, ask if you can visit a current project the applicant is working on. That way you can see for yourself if the style and attitude of the workers is something you’d approve of.
If the contractor seems hesitant to allow it, you can assume the workmanship isn’t up to par and start looking elsewhere.
9. How many projects are you currently working on?
You need to know that the contractor doesn’t have too much on his plate to give your project adequate attention. The busier they are, the more likely they are to cut corners and work faster than the project deserves.
If the contractor seems unusually busy, ask to be scheduled for a later date or look for a new prospect altogether.
10. Will you use subcontractors?
You should know who’s working on your property at all times. Some contractors will choose to use subcontractors for certain portions of the project. That’s fine as long as you know about it and the same types of insurance and liability protection apply.
Look No Further Than John McCarter Construction
If you want a roofing contractor that can answer each of these questions without hesitation or gap, John McCarter Construction is the perfect fit. Our qualifications, experience, workmanship, and reputation are unmatched in the Ann Arbor and Detroit metropolitan areas.
We only employ honest, hard-working, and dependable staff that aim to make the entire roofing job a pleasant experience for your family and home. Schedule your free consultation today!