Questions to Ask your Roofing Contractor

There’s a lot that goes into getting your roof replaced. How well things go relies on the contractor you pick for the job. Whether you’re going by referral or research there are some questions you should always ask. Here is a list of questions to definitely ask your roofing contractor before signing anything.

  • How long have you been in business?

    • It is good to know if your contractor has been in business for a while or if they are new and starting out. It isn’t necessarily a negative if they business is young, but if they have been around for a while it is safer to assume they know what they are doing.
  • How many projects like mine have you completed?

    • If your roof or home is unique, you want to make sure they’ve done similar projects before.
  • Are there any completed roofing projects I can see?

    • If they have done similar projects, it is a good idea to get referrals and some pictures of past jobs. This will help build your confidence in your roofing contractor. And you can also confirm that they know what they’re doing.
  • Is the whole crew insured?

    • Your roofing contractor should have liability insurance as well as workman’s compensation. Working on a roof can be dangerous, making sure they are insured protects you from any damages during your roof replacement. It will also give you peace of mind to know the workers are covered in case of injuries during the project.
  • How much experience does your crew have?

    • Experience is important. Sure everyone needs to do their first roof to get experience. But you want to make sure at least 90% of the crew working on your roof including your main contractor has a good amount of experience working on roofs.
  • What licenses do you have?

    • Make sure your contractor is properly licensed by your state to actually work on your roof. Each state is different so it’s important to make sure your roofing contractor has all the right paperwork.
  • Can I have a written estimate?

    • Having a written copy of the agreed estimate and cost of the roof will help avoid possible price hikes during or after the job is done.
  • Can I see the warranty before you start the job? How long is your warranty?

    • Find out how long the job is guaranteed. Are you covered for repairs up to a year or longer? Is the quality of the job guaranteed at all? Every roofing contractor is different so make sure to find out before you sign anything.
  • Does the warranty cover the job or the materials or both?

    • Does the warranty cover the materials or is the manufacture taking care of that? Finding out if your warranty covers the labor or the materials will give you an idea of who to contact if you start having problems with your roof.
  • How long will the job take?

    • This essentially gives you an idea of how long to expect a crew at your home working on your roof. It’ll help you plan your schedule better. Asking about rain dates is important as well. It is good to find out what the plan is when the weather changes.
  • How is the payment going to be handled?

    • Are you paying half upfront or 25% up front? What happens if the job is not done as agreed or on time? If they are using subcontractors are you paying the sub-contractors separate? Are you paying for material and labor or just labor and purchasing the materials on your own? Make sure all parties are clear on how the payment is going to work and what percentage is due up front.

These are some great questions to keep in mind when you’re looking for a company to replace your roof. Feeling comfortable with the process is always important when you are having a big project done on your house.

Roof Maintenance

The roof is an essential part of your home that sometimes tends to be forgotten about. Out of sight out of mind right? Unfortunately, you can’t just put a roof on and forget all about it. Regular maintenance and inspections are necessary to make sure your roof is in good shape to ensure longevity. It doesn’t have to be too often, maintenance once or twice a year can make a big difference. You can catch and fix problems before they become an emergency. A healthy roof can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Know Your Roof

First thing is to always know what type of roof you have. Knowing the roofing material gives your foresight into what problems might ensue. Different materials have their benefits and disadvantages, you can read more about what the best roofing material for your home is here. Some roofing materials work better in warmer climates and others in colder climates. Single ply roofs run the risk of open seams. Metal roofs expand and contract and also rust over time.

Roof inspection

Either hire a professional or safely inspect your roof yourself. Don’t just inspect for problems that already exist. Be sure to look for things that might become a problem moving forward. Check for tree debris, insecure drains, wobbly joints, missing shingles, algae, etc.  If you just purchased the house or are planning on purchasing, you want to check to make sure past problems haven’t gone unchecked. Avoid temporary fixes.  Don’t inspect just the outside of the roof. Sometimes the damage culprit may be on the inside. Check indoors for bug infestations or water damage that might compromise the integrity of your roof.

Clear Debris

Broken tree branches, leaves, and animals can all damage your roof. It doesn’t hurt to clear debris off your roof once in a while. Something as normal as snow in the Northeast can cause your roof to collapse. When removing debris and snow make sure to do it carefully so you don’t cause damage to your roof. A snow rake can be used to clear snow off the roof. It never hurts to hire a professional to do it, so you know it’s done properly.

Roof maintenance is very important and should never go overlooked. Make your roof last longer and save money in the long run.

Are there any other things you do to keep your roof healthy? Let us know in the comments.

Winter Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement projects are a great way to improve energy efficiency, comfort in your home and increase your property value. Due to the extended nature of these projects, we tend to save home them for the warmer times of the year. That doesn’t have to be the case, there are a few home improvement projects that can be done in the colder months to improve the comfort of your home.

Insulation

Winter = heating and heating = money, you don’t want to throw money away on inefficient insulation. Make sure this winter you’re not losing heating through the ceiling and drafts coming in from crawl spaces and make sure to insulate the basement as well. You can have a professional come check to make sure your insulation is up to code. For the best insulation in your home, your attic insulation should be at least 16 inches of R-49 insulation. You can also wrap plumbing and pipes with foam insulation to make sure you’re not losing heat that way. Attic and crawl space insulation should be left up to the professionals but you can insulate pipes and water heaters yourself when done carefully.

Gutters and Roof Cleaning

Before the first snowfall, make sure leaf and debris are cleaned off of your roof and gutters. Even if it has already snowed you can still clean them. If you take a day to clean off debris and leaves it’ll be very helpful as now they won’t clog up your gutters and form snow/ice dams when it snows. You can also have gutter guards installed after you clean the gutters to make sure your gutters stay clear the rest of the season. Clogged gutters can cause water to run into your walls and mold to form. This simple home improvement project will help keep your home, gutters, and roof in good condition throughout the season.

Upgrade Doors

Front and interior doors are one of the most noticeable aspects of any home besides the windows and walls.  If your doors are starting to look boring it might be time to upgrade and give your home some personality. You can have the main entry door replaced with a much more modern and energy efficient one. When it comes to the interior doors you can replace those as well with newer upgrades. If you like the current doors but just need to give them some personality, that’s possible too, you can add trimming, repaint, and accessories. For a family home, you can repaint and adorn each bedroom door to reflect the personality of the occupants.

Make your house stand out from the rest of the block, and increase the curb appeal.

These are just a few of many home improvement projects that can be completed in the winter. For free estimates on home improvement projects, sign up here.