How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

If you need to replace your roof, how do you make sure that the roofing contractor you choose is going to do a good job? When looking for a roofing contractor, do some online research; ask questions about the contractor’s qualifications; and take the time to get more than one estimate.

Online Research

If you found the name of the roofing company from the yellow pages, a co-worker or Craigslist, do as much checking online as you can. Explore the company’s website; find out its Better Business Bureau rating; confirm that the phone number and email address are valid. Take advantage of any testimonials on the contractor’s website and telephone the listed contacts.

Ask Questions

Not all roofing contractors are created equal – each roofing company will have an area of expertise (they only do roofs for commercial structures); offer different types of products; and might not meet the roofing manufacturer’s qualifications to install or repair the kind roof you have chosen. To ensure that the company is legitimate, ask the contractor to provide the appropriate documentation: This will include:

  • any required provincial and/or local business licenses
  • certifications or licenses for the proper installation of specific products or roof configurations
  • registered business and/or tax identification number
  • proof of membership to any relevant professional associations (municipal, provincial or national)

Also make sure that the roofing contractor is insured and includes worker’s compensation and liability coverage. To help you select a trustworthy, professional roofing contractor, keep the following in mind:

  • how many years has the company been in operation
  • will the roofing company send their own employees (preferred) or will the job be subcontracted out
  • will they provide you with a written estimate so that you can compare it with the contract before signing
  • is a warranty provided and if so, what exactly is covered (it might be just for the materials and exclude workmanship)
  • what, aside from materials, is included; ask about things like what kind of prep work will they do and will they haul away the debris once the new roof has been installed

Multiple Estimates

When looking for a roofing contractor, home improvement experts advise that ideally, it takes at least three estimates to give you enough information for a useful comparison. If something is not clear to you, ask for clarification; itemize what is included, especially things like how many nails will be used to secure each shingle or roofing tile. Don’t select one contractor over another based on cost alone: look for differences in materials, the services included (such a warranties, guarantees, debris removal) and follow-up visits (customer service).