5 Questions to Ask when Selecting a Roofer
1. Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
The desired answers here are: Yes, yes and yes. Accept nothing less, there is no good excuse for any entity performing roofing work in New Mexico to not be licensed. It is the LAW.
While being bonded and insured are well-known qualifiers, few people know the importance they play. You want the contractor to be bonded/insured to provide a layer of consumer protection. In the event there are errors on the end of the contractor, you don’t want to be stuck footing the bill. Bonding requirements vary depending on your state and municipality, so it’s important to do your research before hiring a contractor.
2. What steps do you take to prevent injuries and minimize damage to my property?
How the contractor answers this question is just as telling as the answer itself. You want to hear a clear, concise, well thought-out plan on this subject. If their answer comes with hesitation and few specifics, or if they seem bothered or irritated by the question, chances are the safety of their workers and the well-being of your property are not high on their list of priorities. You want a contractor that implements fall protection and safety equipment on every job, regardless of the size and scope. Making sure you and the contractor are on the same page regarding concerns you have with potential property damage or areas of difficulty prior to the start of the project can help avoid headaches later on.
3. What is your plan for inclement weather during the job?
This is one of the least-considered issues when planning roof work. Most experienced roofers have certain “tricks” to help get through a spell of bad weather on the job. What you are looking for here is a contractor who has a plan in place to reschedule work, protect your property and finish the job in a timely manner. In New Mexico, we are all too familiar with the weather making drastic changes in any given 24-hour period, so it is important to hire a contractor who is planning ahead for the success of the project and not just “winging it.”
4. Will someone be reliable and readily-available for me to communicate with during the project?
No one likes to feel like they’re being left in the dark, especially when it comes to something as important as work on their property. While it’s unlikely you find a contractor who will flat out answer “no” to this question, it is important to dig a little deeper. Find out who that person is and their level of experience. Reach out to them and make sure they are someone you are comfortable working with. Remember, you are the one paying for the work. If they are unresponsive or taking days to call you back during the initial stages, how do you think the actual work is going to go?
5. If a leak or problem arises after work is complete, what type of guarantee do you provide?
This one is really important, as there are different levels of warranties/guarantees. The most protection comes from long-term, labor and material manufacturer’s warranty on renovation or roof replacement projects, and a minimum one year contractor’s guarantee on repair projects. Most contractors will offer shorter 30-90 day windows on workmanship, which is hardly enough time to judge the quality of the work. With the amount you are investing in your roof, you will want some form of assurance that exceeds the next storm. Remember to always get the warranty/guarantee in writing and ask thorough questions about the specific details, such as rework policies, leak-free warranties and maintenance responsibilities.
As we move into summer and monsoon season, now is the time to make sure your roof is ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it. We hope you find these tips useful when selecting your next roofing contractor, and remember that RoofCARE checks every item off this list and more.